Below is a news summary by Eddie Meyer, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University.
(from Sports Business Journal, April 9, 2012) While having only been in Oklahoma City for four years to date, the Thunder are only six weeks into their 2012-13 season-ticket renewal campaign, and have already sold out of their full-season-ticket allotment for next season. This sets the mark for the earliest this small-market franchise has sold out of its inventory.
“We are at our self-imposed limit at 14,000 season tickets and we just wrapped it up with renewing at 98 percent,” stated Brian Byrnes, Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales and Marketing for the Thunder. “Virtually every season-ticket holder has an active deposit for next season and it is the fastest we have sold out of our season tickets.”
The Thunder are currently leading the Western Conference with a 42-15 record, which has largely helped fuel ticket sales for next year. The team decided not raise season-ticket prices despite this success and is now one of the few NBA teams boasting a season-ticket waiting list. We were very aggressive [in ticket pricing] early and we didn’t feel an increase was warranted.” With the Thunder ranking among the top five teams in season-ticket sales, they also rank in the upper third of the 30-team league in ticket revenue, though no specific revenue figures we given.
“It’s rare that a team sells [season tickets] so fast,” said Bernie Mullin, Chief Executive Officer of the sports marketing consultant, Aspire Group. “It’s a great product on the court, but they have been in the market now for a while and this is a time when you could have some dissolution of interest. But holding season-ticket prices is a smart strategy and will hold them in great stead should the team see its on-court performance decline.”