I ran across the story of the American Drag Racing League recently. This five-year-old entity is thriving during a time when most sports properties are struggling in the face of the recession. ADRL's revenues are projected to hit $12 million this year, a 100% increase over 2008. An enviable growth trend, indeed! What makes this growth all the more amazing is that ADRL has virtually no ticket revenue. It gives away tickets in return for attendees' names and e-mail addresses.
THE ADRL story is a great lesson for businesses in any industry, not just sports. Business success is driven by coming up with game changing ideas and mindsets. The one aspect of ADRL that fascinates me most is CEO's Kenny Nowling's view that "our product is our fan, and the customer is our sponsors." What a unique way to view a sports property! Rather than beating its head against a wall trying to sell tickets in a competitive, economically challenged market, ADRL realized it could harness the value of fan access and monetize it.
Just because no one else does something a certain way is not a reason that your business cannot entertain the thought of playing by different rules. Time will tell if the ADRL model works long-term, but it certainly has given the league a chance to succeed.
CNBC.com - "League Gives Away Tickets, Sees Big Growth"
Labels: ADRL, American Drag Racing League, Sports Marketing