Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gorilla My Dreams

I'll give you your money back

"Good Times Guaranteed or Your Money Back!  Come see the edge-of-your-seat action live Thursday, December 6 as your Phoenix Suns battle the Dallas Mavericks and if you're not completely satisfied with the experience, we'll give you your money back."

That's the official verbiage of the Phoenix Suns' innovative offer.  The first freebie in NBA history.  So free, I'm astounded that my namesake, the other David Stern, would give this promotion his blessing.

The average player salary in the NBA is more than $5 million per year.  The Suns pay out $64 million in total player compensation.  Who knows what other costs are involved Thursday night.  Every attendee may have fun, but will the team go bankrupt and be moved to Dubai?  Do they like basketball in Dubai?
Unless the players are reimbursing the owners (that would be an average of $83,000 per player) for the potential loss of ticket revenue for the Dallas game, there must be a plan behind this promotion.  Tonights' game will be aired on TNT - one of only a half-dozen games on national TV this season.  I'll be watching and eating the oatmeal raisin cookies I got at Subway with coupons acquired at Diamondbacks games this summer.  The Dbacks expired in October (ok, June) but the free cookie coupons are good until then end of December.

I suppose the team owners don't want a half-empty arena on national TV (they are assuming more than just the players' mothers will be watching).  Attendance this season (of which the Suns have 7 wins and 12 losses) averages about 15,000 per game - significantly lower than in previous seasons.  

Still, the money-back gimmick could be a good thing.  Folks who don't know Nash defected to LA will just see the new guy and think Nash has beefed up.  Given the Suns' awful performance this season, "fun" could mean anything.  Coupons for cookies?  Maybe.  Foam fingers to be exchanged for colonoscopies?  Some might find that more fun than watching the Suns blow another 16 point lead.

Before I fork over cash for a ticket (and a ticket printing fee, and an arena fee, and a conveniece fee, and don't get me started on parking...), I want to know if the Suns are offering a bonafide guarantee, or just a warranty?  The difference being the guarantee is a money-back promise with no time period set as opposed to a warranty which promises to replace or repair within a specific time period.  I'd rather have a warranty from the Suns - they need to be repaired or replaced within a specific time period (preferably before the All Star break).    If they honor that warranty, they might be able to restore the good-time aspect of attending the game without having to cough up cash back.

Birds with stones.  You paying attention Robert Sarver?


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