How the Dallas Stars Leaned Into America’s Pickleball Obsession to Sell More Seats

How the Dallas Stars Leaned Into America’s Pickleball Obsession to Sell More Seats

February 20, 2024

The Challenge

The Dallas Stars love a product giveaway for the same reason many FEVO partners do: it’s an easy way to knock out various goals in one fell swoop. Looking to move some additional inventory and accrue incremental revenue? Throw in a product giveaway. Want to target a specific group of fans? Throw in a product giveaway. Simply want to delight fans with a seasonal or topical gift? Throw in a product giveaway.

Bearing all that in mind, the Stars recently launched a new product giveaway to test two hypotheses at once. First, they wanted to try out a higher-price-point item than the typical T-shirt, hat or bobblehead. Second, they wanted to see if including said higher-priced, more-desirable item in a ticket package could help them sell less-in-demand sections of their arena. 

The Solution

The “more desirable” item in question? A custom pickleball paddle. The Stars connected with FEVO partners Volair, a high-end paddle producer, to create co-branded paddles that could be bundled with seats in certain sections at American Airlines Center. Because this was a more niche giveaway than usual, the sales team wasn’t quite sure how the public would respond to the Offer. But thanks to Volair’s quick production capabilities, the team was able to launch and promote a FEVO Offer that gave them a clear sense of demand well in advance of game day. They ultimately placed their order just six weeks ahead of the giveaway — a much shorter lead time than many other giveaway items require. 

The Marketing

With the recent surge in popularity of pickleball, the Stars knew it was the perfect time to create an Offer celebrating the sport. First, they took advantage of a local celebrity pickleball tournament that had local legend Dirk Nowitzki as well as Stars alumnus Marty Turco in attendance. Turco starred in video promos that were filmed at the tournament, which then ran on the big screen at Stars’ games, where fans could use QR codes to immediately check out the FEVO Offer.

They also promoted the campaign via email, social media and inside American Airlines Center, and even saved a handful of paddles as exclusive promotional items for season ticket members to buy. In all, the promotion ran for around three weeks. It worked so well that they didn’t even have to partner with local pickleball clubs to hit their desired reach — though they plan to do so for an even bigger blowout next season.

Want to make your own Pickleball Night? Volair can help. Click here to get started!

How the Dallas Stars Leaned Into America’s Pickleball Obsession to Sell More Seats