I have a job. It's a decent job. It pays enough. But I would like a different job. And that job is:
Director of Game Experience for an NBA Franchise
I don't care what franchise. Just give me a three-year contract. The wage can be modest. So can the benefits. I just want three years to play with. 'Cause I'd like to reinvent the fan experience for one lucky NBA franchise.
To start with, I'd dump the cheerleaders. They don't lead cheers. They're just there to be leered at. I support leering, but cheerleaders as you know them are a distraction. What if, instead of leering at a distance, you got to sit next to a chick who was cheerleader-hot for the entire game? Like she was your assigned seat mate and her job was to love the team unconditionally and help you personally enjoy the game. (Not like that, dirty.) She's gonna be the first person to leap out of her seat after a heart-stopping play. She'll boo the officials the loudest. And she may even flirt with you if you can keep your eyes out of her cleavage and focused on the court. How much would you pay for that? You don't have to answer. If you're a single dude, the answer is...a lot. I'd hire 20 or so women to be paid fans. I might add 5-10 hunky guys for my female customers if there was enough demand for it.
Next, I'm hiring a DJ for the arena. And I'm instructing him/her to create four playlists of music. One will be the songs that were most popular in (whatever NBA city we're in) from 1970-1990. The second will be the songs that were most popular in (NBA city to be named) from 1990-2005. The third will be the greatest hits of any artist who has ever come from (the NBA city in question) and/or songs about (fill in the blank). The fourth will be a fluid list that the DJ is tasked with maintaining. I don't care what's on that final list as long as it sounds like what it feels like to live in (you know the drill) and it captures the personalities of the players who are the franchise. No playlist will have more than 50 songs. And none of the songs on any of these lists will be played simply to fill a silence. All of them will be catalogued to synch up with some moment. The "our-team-is-
interested-even-though-both-teams-have-their-scrubs-in" moment. The "we-really-need-to-cut-this-lead-to-10-before-halftime"
moment. The "everyone-wins-free-tacos" moment. And whatever else makes sense.
Then, I'm gonna audit the selections of food and the status of contracts with our arena's vendors. At least 30% of any food and drink you'll be able to buy will come from some local icon. For example, if you're at a Laker or Clipper game, you oughta be able to eat In N Out. If you're in Milwaukee, you oughta be able to sip on some Pabst or some Schlitz. Pending the status of current contracts, I'd propose that we move to make at least 50% of food and beverage choices be locally relevant. If people in Atlanta prefer Papa John's to Pizza Hut, the Hawks should contract with Papa Johns.
Lastly, we're gonna identify a minimum of one seating section and a maximum of four seating sections in the lower bowl of the arena that have historically underperformed or are naturally devalued because of their presumed inferiority. Say, the section that's at a weird angle that costs 40% less on Stubhub that seats at mid-court. We're gonna take this section(s) of seats and block it off for our die-hard fans. You won't be able to buy single game tickets for these seats. Instead, you have to buy multi-game packages. In either 10-, 20- or 41-game bundles. The catch is that these seats are gonna be dirt cheap. Comparatively. If the seats are currently being sold for $80 per game, you'll be able to buy them for $20 per game. Maybe $10. Whatever pricepoint makes sense to move a big chunk of die-hards from the nosebleeds back down to the floor level.
These are just four ideas I have to demonstrate what I'd like to do in my position as Director of Game Experience. Some of them, I trust, are not new. They may already be in some stage of execution for some franchises. If you're an NBA owner and you're reading this, you can crib from this list as needed. If you'd like to discuss how I can further help prevent fans of your franchise from suffering through another sucky game experience...*cough*...*Abe Pollin*...*cough*...*Donald Sterling*...email me at this address.