The University of Minnesota’s athletic department achieved its goal of out-earning itself with its second annual Black Friday ticket and merchandise sale.
The athletic department saw about 12,000 unique online visits and brought in just less than $50,000 for the four-day online sale from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
“We had very little, if anything, for customer service requests or complaints,” ticketing manager Brent Holck said. “The setup for our site was easy to navigate, and that showed with the huge success.”
On Black Friday alone, the athletic department brought in just less than $25,000, up from $20,000 a year ago.
The University also changed the way it sells its athletic merchandise. The company that helped set up the holiday sale, AudienceView, combined merchandise and ticketing sales in a pioneering effort for Gophers sports fans.
The athletic department had only three merchandise items discounted for the holiday sale, but managed to bring in about $9,000 from merchandise during the four-day span.
Minnesota is one of the first NCAA Division I programs to combine ticket sales with merchandise, according to Holck and Mike Evenson, AudienceView’s director of business development.
Compared to this time last year, the athletic department has sold an extra $9,000 in merchandise.
Perhaps the most fan-friendly innovation, according to Holck, was the “experience packages” the athletic department promoted and sold over the sale.
“We sold 34 Superfan packages and five getaway packages,” Holck said. “We’ll be looking to do more of these experience packages in the future; as you can tell there was a definite interest in them over the four-day span.”
The $50 “Superfan” package included passes to nine home sporting events over a four-day period from Jan. 18-21.
The $189 getaway package included a hotel and tickets to the Gophers men’s hockey game against Notre Dame on Jan. 7 and the men’s basketball game against Purdue on Jan. 8.
After this year’s success, the University will continue to take advantage of the Black Friday shopping spirit, Holck said.
“We want to put more resources behind it,” he said. “Whether it’s the technology we use or the items we sell, we’re continually looking to [innovate].”
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