The Atlanta Braves’ announcement that they’re seeking to move from their 17 year old home Turner Field caused both uproar and celebration in metro Atlanta recently. The bad news is that the city of Atlanta has to figure out what to do with an 80,000+ seat venue that’s in great condition. The good news is that plans call for an ambitious retail and entertainment district. This new development would no doubt make Atlanta a much more attractive sports destination to rival Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium.
More to The Story of the Braves’ Move
Regardless of the controversy, there are some facts that are difficult to ignore. The biggest of those facts is glaringly obvious in an illustration provided on a web site dedicated to their move. The illustration reflects Atlanta Braves ticket sales, with each red dot reflecting a ticket sold in 2012 to an Atlanta Braves game:
Clearly, the current location isn’t driving ticket sales to rival those occurring miles north. One can argue that additional investment in the existing area would grow new fans organically. But, that’s also a pretty big bet when you know you can easily cultivate more customers where lots of existing customers already are. And, previous attempts at additional development have been problematic to say the least (take a look at this article from 2012).
The Business and Marketing Takeaway From the Braves’ Move
Know your market. Talk to existing customers. Listen to them. Have metrics (like location of ticket purchasers) that help you gauge details regarding your customer base. That’s exactly what the Atlanta Braves are doing here.
Winning new customers where they don’t yet exist is attractive, and that of course is the fundamental goal of marketing. However, one also has to look at the value of time and money spent in environment A versus environment B. Tangential issues and factors often cause businesses of all sizes to overlook this basic comparison. After some review, it’s usually surprising.
Because, when it comes to customers . . . Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.