Did you see us downtown for the Colts opener?

We partnered with Hank FM and 1070 The Fan to hang out at their tailgate on Georgia St. before the Indianapolis Colts home opener against the Oakland Raiders.  We had blast!  Not only did we give away awesome sunglasses:

photo (18)

These shades are sweet. Can you believe we gave them away for free? We’re crazy nuts.

We also gave away Indianapolis Colts tickets, Indiana University basketball tickets, Purdue basketball tickets, and Jason Aldean tickets!  We had a blast interacting with Colts fans who were on their way to the game, and it was a great opportunity to promote our company.

Did you see us there?

photo (16) photo (17)

Fanfare Tennis Ball Toss at the Western & Southern Open

We were lucky enough to be able to sponsor a really awesome promotion at the Western & Southern Open this year.  After the Friday evening quarterfinal match (which just happened to be Federer vs. Nadal!!!), 2,200 fans who had received as special numbered fanfare tickets tennis stress ball had the opportunity to throw their ball on the court in hopes of making it into branded bins to win big prizes from Fanfare.  It was awesome, and we gave away some great prizes!  Here are some photos of the promotion.

Charlie Baglan (2)

 

photo (6) photo (2) Charlie Baglan (3) Charlie Baglan (4)

Pitts 16Aug13-250

The tournament cleaned up the balls really quickly — it was quite impressive.  The Western & Southern Open is such a great event and we are excited to be a Premier Hallmark Sponsor.  Tennis tickets for the 2014 Cincinnati tennis event will be on sale early next spring!

Have you ever filled out a U.S. Open Tennis Bracket?

Let me just say that a U.S. Open tennis bracket is nothing like the NCAA tournament bracket.  First of all, there are twice as many “teams.”  With the NCAA tourney, you might not know where a team is from (e.g. Belmont or Liberty), but with the US Open bracket, you know neither where someone is from, nor how to pronounce/spell their name.  Sure we know Nadal, Federer, Murray, etc.  But who knows anything about Peter Gojowczyk, Michal Przysiezny, Thiemo De Bakker, Andreas Haider-Maurer, Mikhail Kukushkin, Roberto Bautista Agut, or Marinko Matosevic.

We filled out US Open brackets in our office this year.  In addition to filling out NCAA tournament brackets, we also filled out brackets for the NCAA baseball tournament.  While College baseball certainly is more off the radar than NCAA basketball, it is amazing how far tennis is off the radar beyond the 5 or 6 top names that non-tennis sports fans will be familiar with.  Of course, with non tennis fans filling out brackets, we have some interesting upsets and match ups.  Jack Sock makes a deep run in many brackets (including a run to the final in one bracket), most likely because his name was easy to fill out.  In another bracket we have little known American James Duckworth making a run for the ages to win the US Open, beating Roger Federer in the final (the semi-finals in that bracket are Duckworth, Juan Monaco, Federer, and Thomaz Bellucci).  Who knows, I guess it could happen.

duckworth nadal

 

Whether Nadal keeps his hot summer going with a 3rd hard court tournament win in a row, or whether Kevin Duckworth makes an epic run to the finals, you can bet that the US Open will be on in our office because a bracket is on the line, and tennis fan or not, bragging rights are up for stake.

And of course, if you actually want to go to the US Open, we are a great source of tickets. We do tennis tickets all over the world, and we have access to a lot of tickets for the US Open!

What Wimbledon and Assembly Hall have in common

Sure, Wimbledon and Assembly Hall both host great athletes and exciting sporting events.  But really, what they most have in common is some really claustrophobic seats.  We couldn’t help but notice watching the coverage of Wimbledon that some of the camera shots they showed seemed like they were in a very, very deep corner of the stadium.

Wimbledon1

Ever wondered what it would be like to watch tennis from an actual cave? Centre Court at Wimbledon has some seats that are close!

Assembly Hall in Bloomington, home of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team has some notoriously crappy seats.  Of course, as the Official Secondary Ticket Partner of Indiana University Athletics (total shameless plug), we are very familiar with them.  The seats at the top of the main level, which are under the overhang of the balcony, are very similar to those at Wimbledon.  However, I could not find a good picture of that.  So here is one from the top row of the balcony, which is no less claustrophobic.

assemblyhall

Nothing like having your picture taken from the worst seats in the building.

On the bright side (no pun intended), you don’t have to worry about bright lights or the sun getting in your eyes for these seats!

The “real” fans are in the cheap seats. Is that true?

We recently had a discussion in our office that stemmed from one of our staff commenting that the “real Pacers fans” are always up in the cheap seats.  I strongly disagreed, in part because I know of many dedicated Pacers fans who buy premium seats for many games. But beyond that, I think that entire premise that the only real fans are those up high in cheap seats is based on certain pre-conceived ideas about what it means to be a fan.

Certainly my co-worker is not the only person that shares the notion of real fans being up high.  A quick search of message boards reveals as much.  From one well-known band’s message board we have such gems as, “lifelong fans cannot get a good seat,” “real fans deserve to sit front and center,” “the real fans are stuck at the back in the cheap stuff.”  A recent article that was on yahoo.com had the author claiming that the people in the lower level of a basketball game were disinterested, quiet, and not actually true fans.  The author argued that he would never again sit in the good seats, but would go up into the upper levels in the “better” seats with the “real” fans.

This claim is based more on certain types of behavior than anything else.  Why is it that we attribute certain behaviors as being more “fan-like” than others?  Sure, cheering is pretty obvious.  But the more we yell at officials, the opposing team, and the opposing team’s fans the more of a fan we are perceived to be.  Upper levels are generally louder.  That loudness is considered the essence of fan-ness  In actuality the behavior can be obnoxious, but many times it even descends to boorishness and rudeness.   Its to the point that some people won’t go to games because of the behavior of the “fans.”  Here is the first article that popped up with a quick Google search.  If the mark of being a fan is acting like an idiot (or a jerk in many cases), then we have a screwed up notion of what makes a fan.  My budget puts me squarely in the group that would buy cheap seats, but at some events, I cannot stand sitting with the “fans.”

But this is not just a critique of fan behavior, it is an argument about the claim of real fans being in the cheap seats.  The fact is that just because fans in the more expensive seats do not act in the same way, it does not mean that they have any less of the passion for their team.  I am quiet at games.  Not because I don’t root hard and get nervous and on edge during games –but just because that is my nature around other people.  I don’t berate officials (even though they do often suck).  I don’t harass other team’s fans.  I know many other people who act the same reserved way.

Of course, there are the “suits” who are just at events because they can be, or because their company has seats.  There are people who go for status.  We know someone who has great season tickets for a team because one of their main business competitors has the same type of seats and they want to keep up.  But for every one of them, there are real fans who happen to be able to afford good tickets, and they comport themselves differently at games.  The people who act like idiots just expect other people to act like them, perpetuating the myth that the only real fans are those who act like they do.  Drinking too much and acting stupid does not make one person a better fan than than another

Having money does not take away team spirit.  We have lots of customers who are very wealthy, spend a ton of money on good seats, and genuinely care about the teams and events they attend.  Foolish comments like “lifelong fans cannot get a good seats” have to be based on the assumption that people with money are not lifelong fans.  In fact, some lifelong fans have so much money that they just buy the team, like the Ricketts family who purchased the Cubs.  So the amount of money you have and the type of seats you can afford have nothing to do with the depth of your team pride.  Many people who shell out a lot of money are in fact big fans.

So what does this prove?  Nothing, of course, except that it is false to say that the real fans are only in the cheap seats.  And naturally, this would not be a complete blog post if I did not remind you that at Fanfare Tickets, we can get you both the great tickets and the cheap tickets for almost any event.  So if you want court side basketball tickets with the “non-fans” or the get in tickets with the “real fans,” we can accommodate!

I miss gorilla ball

I’m not a baseball purist.  Truthfully, I’m not really that big of a baseball fan at all.  But I LOVE the College World Series.  I enjoy it every year, and as someone who grew up in the south, I really enjoy the dominance of the southern teams.  **I am enjoying Indiana’s run this year though.**  In some ways however, I miss the college world series that I grew up watching.  This is where I am different from many true baseball fans.  I’ve watched several of the games this year at the new TD Ameritrade Park and I think I have seen a total of 1 home run.  I miss gorilla ball!!

Gorilla ball is a term given to era of home runs in college baseball in the mid 90s, and specifically was used in 1998 I believe.  For reference, the record for home runs in a season was set in 1997 by LSU, with 188 home runs in 70 games.  In 2013, the most hit was 74 by Louisiana Lafayette in 63 games.  That’s a huge difference (114 to be exact).  I miss the days of monster home runs and big scores.  I miss scores of 17-13.  I miss the days where my team was down by 8 runs late and feeling like the game was totally within reach.  Watching the games at the CWS this year, its like a 2 run lead is almost untouchable.

warrenmorris

The greatest moment in College World Series history was a home run. Warren Morris’ walk-off two run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Miami in 1996 is as good as it gets.

I have nothing against good defense and pitching.  Except that it is boring and I don’t care for watching it.  We’ve sold some College World Series tickets to local fans, and I know they had a good time.  And I know there were good reasons to change the bats (not least of which was player safety). But I miss the days 400 foot home runs.

A few thoughts about Race Tickets

The prices of tickets and parking for the Indianapolis 500 are increasing in 2014.  No one would accuse us of being objective in this, but aside from the fact that it is generally better for us if prices are lower, this sure feels like a dangerous move:  Read the article here to follow along.

We’ll work through a few thing here regarding the article.  First, note how after the first mention about increasing prices, the article says, “but at the same time the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is working to get more fans into the historic track.”  Call us idiots, but raising prices does not seem to be a good method for that.  And keep in mind that in addition to the increased base prices, there is a new ticket tax being implemented in 2014 that will further increase the cost.

And who did the “research” on eBay about ticket prices?  Maybe 5% of the tickets in that price level can command those prices (and just because someone has a ticket listed for a certain prices does not mean they will get it).  If they were looking, did they not notice the $150 price level tickets listed for under face value?  Or the blocks of $70, $80, and $90 tickets listed for  half of face value?  The fact they are actually raising the prices in some of these sections is crazy.  How can they make some BS comment about market value and then give a ridiculous quote from eBay listings? eBay of all places!  It is hardly the standard by which someone should judge the market value of a product.  You might as well judge the value of a grilled cheese sandwich by an eBay listing that has a sandwich with the face of the Virgin Mary on it that is going for $19,000.  Further, is it odd that the Speedway rep says ticket prices are below what the “market will bring” rather than saying what the market will bear?  It sounds like that quote is geared towards ticket brokers or people who sell their seats than to the fans who will sit in them.

WTHR did a nice job interviewing a couple of race fans who had no problem with the price increases, but each of them are long time race fans, including one who has attended around 20 races.  Are they representative?  I don’t think so.  Those of us (note that I do include myself here) who are hooked on the race and have been fans for a while will probably continue to pay and go each year.  That’s all fine and good if long time die hard fans don’t mind the price increase, but that sure seems to be a rapidly shrinking group.  How many times have you heard people say that these are the glory days of the Indy 500?  Probably none.  They should interview the fringe race fans who are on the fence every year about going to the race.  If the price of tickets increasing doesn’t get you, the fact that the price of parking substantially increased in many areas will potentially be a turn off.

imsempty seats

Rumor has it that IMS likes how the grandstands look on TV, so they are trying to get fewer people in them so as not to block the view of the shiny metal.

I am glad though that the IMS rep hopes that by improving IMS and getting more fans into the track that more people will spend money at Indianapolis restaurants. That doesn’t sound insincere at all.  Of course, after the price increases, fans will have less to spend at those restaurants.

Now before you go and say this is just a bitter post from a ticket seller who is upset that they have to pay more, that is not actually the case.  We don’t just walk up to the ticket counter and buy up all of the good seats.  We buy and sell on the secondary market, which means that the prices we are paying are independent of the face value.  The price we pay depends on a number of factors; face value is actually a pretty minor factor.  This affects fans far more than it does us.

Even the NFL is having an issue with sagging attendance, and despite the love we have for the IMS locally, the NFL is much more of a powerhouse than the Indy 500.  See this interesting article about increasing prices and decreasing attendance in the NFL.  The NFL is OK with sagging attendance because they make so much money on TV revenue, and people, even if they are not attending games, are definitely watching them on TV.  For the 500, people aren’t going to the race in the same numbers and they aren’t watching it either (see the crappy record-low ratings for example), which makes you wonder if people are starting not to care.   We hope not.  We are as proud of our community as anyone, and we LOVE the race!

 

It’s summertime, and that means 3 things.

First Grilling.  And yes, grilling is certainly first.  Anyone who disagrees might as well stop reading because this point is not up for debate and we are clearly not on the same page.  Nothing is more awesome than cooking meat outside over an open flame.  Nothing.

burgers

Consider the Burger…..yum.

Next comes fun.  Now I know that is a little vague, but summertime offers a lot of options for fun.   Whether it is golf, time at parks, boating, or just hanging out by the pool, summertime affords ample opportunities to get outside and enjoy the weather.  Sometimes, just sitting out by the pool with a beverage in hand is exactly what you need to relax and unwind.

pool-ball

Inviting…no?

Finally, we have summer music.   People have been enjoying summer amphitheater concerts for years, and we are lucky in Indianapolis to have two great local outdoor venues which attract major acts — Klipsch Music Center and the Lawn at White River State Park  (not to mention many smaller venues in the area which host acts all summer long).

summer music

Not really sure who this is, but it looks like a great show.

Ultimately, while I am completely serious about grilling being the best thing about summer, this post was really just a way to talk about summer concert tickets.  We have VIP seats for basically any show you would want to see, and even if you don’t need VIP tickets, we can get you the concert tickets you want for your favorite shows.  Whether you want to see Tom Petty, Jimmy Buffett, Peter Frampton, Dave Matthews Band, or any other show, Fanfare can get you the summer concert tickets you want!

 

Screwups, guarantees, and a Stoic Philosopher

Many companies have guarantees for their ticket sales.  Most websites, including the largest internet resale marketplace, only offer a full refund if a buyer has a problem with tickets.  Another popular site offers a 125% money back guarantee if there are problems with the tickets or if they do not arrive in time.  That is great, but it does not address the fact that tickets are not just items, they are part of an experience.  For the parent dealing with unmet expectations and disappointment, the “extra” money back doesn’t matter.  For the person who drives 2 hours each way, or plans a weekend trip and books travel and hotel rooms, offering back money after the fact is not acceptable.

How is what we do different?  Well, we don’t just hide behind a guarantee to get sales.  We actually stand behind everything, and if there is a problem, we work to make it right so that the experience can be salvaged.  In the moment, the experience is often more valuable than the money.  Unfortunately, we screwed up on an order last night where we mistakenly re-printed a set of Indiana Pacers tickets and our customer had the original set which had been invalidated.  It was a simple mistake that slipped through the cracks, but it left a customer of ours at the gate with tickets that would not scan.  Instead of simply saying, sorry, we’ll refund your money tomorrow, we immediately went to work to make sure our customer got into the game they had planned their evening around.  It turns out, the customer ended up getting a substantial upgrade to lower level seats that were much more expensive.

Epictetus, a stoic philosopher, once said, “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do” (Discourses 3.23).  That is what we do.  We say all the time that we are fans of events who know what having a good experience means.  We mean that.  We aren’t just people answering phones who follow a script; we use our brains and we relate to our customers.  We want people to work with us because they know that we have their back.  Even on the rare occasion when we screw up; we have our customer’s backs.  That means when there is a problem, we don’t just hide behind a guarantee, we go out and make it right for our customer on the spot to make sure that they have a good experience.  We know what we want to be, and we do what we have to do.

Denominalization — Let’s Fanfare it.

Denominalization is a grammar term. Now, I know many of you probably decided right there after the first sentence that this blog post is not at all something you will want to read.  Hang with me though.

As I was saying, denominalization is a term in English referring to the process of changing nouns into verbs.  I.e., a pencil is a thing, but we use it as a verb when we “pencil something in.”  A jet is a noun, but when we “jet off somewhere,” it is used as a verb.  Impact is traditionally a noun, though it is quite commonly used as a verb to say that something “impacted” something else (this one I find particularly annoying).  Have you ever been asked to “ID” someone been  “carded” when your age mattered or you needed identification?

Denominalization — in the wrong hands it is exceptionally obnoxious.

We often do it for companies too.  How many of you have said that you “googled” something? I tell people to google information all the time where what I really mean is to search for something.   Google is a noun, but we have also turned it into a verb.

Here is why this matters to you.  Fanfare Tickets is a noun.  We think we need to turn it into a verb.  Probably it would best mean something along the lines of, “get awesome seats for an event and have a fantastic experience.”  Using the full Fanfare Tickets is cumbersome, so we can clip it to just Fanfare.  Thus, someone who got terrific Indianapolis Colts tickets could say, “Dude, we really Fanfared that Colts game.  Let’s do it again next week!”  You might hear a conversation between co-workers where one says, “I really want great seats for the Indianapolis 500.”  “Me too,” says the other, “Let’s Fanfare it!”

If you want to Fanfare your next event, we can make sure you have the most Fanfared experience ever.  Get Fanfared for football tickets.  Be Fanfared at a baseball game.  Tennis?  We fanfare the heck out of tennis events.

I think this might catch on…..