The electronic raffle has become ubiquitous in professional sporting events lately as a driver of ancillary revenue, as a visitor to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, can likely attest. In 2013, Cleveland Cavaliers offer fans the ability to enter a 50/50 raffle, where half of the pot goes to the winner and the other half to the Cavaliers Youth Foundation and other area charities. Other arena tenants, the Cleveland Monsters hockey team and the Cleveland Gladiators arena football team, partake in these raffles to support charities as well.
The ability to offer these raffles nightly is made possible due to technological advances. Pointstreak 5050, a Canadian company, has pioneered digital raffle capabilities, developing many advantages over traditional ticket raffles. This company has teamed with many professional teams, including those in the Cleveland area. Tickets are sold by employees who have handheld devices with ticket printers attached. This gives sellers the ability to walk throughout the arena to distribute tickets, while automatically entering patrons into the drawing. This system has increased the amount of revenue that can be taken in during a raffle. It allows fans and ticket sellers to know how much the pot is worth at all times through integration with scoreboard displays, provides the possibility of unlimited tickets to be sold, and produces instant sales and reconciliation reports. Additionally, a title sponsor of the raffle may represent another form of revenue for the team.
The other teams in Cleveland have seen similar success from their 50/50 raffles at Quicken Loans Arena, MLB’s Cleveland Indians had adopted the same technology to provide raffles for the 2014 season. During the 2017 ALDS in Cleveland, one prize rose to $33,708, while the charity raised the same amount. Other teams across North America are utilizing this raffling technology. The Tampa Bay Lightning have seen success with their 50/50 raffles offering prizes that consistently reach over $20,000 while donating a portion of each game’s proceeds will support cancer research at a local research center and other local charities. The 2018 NHL All-Star game in Tampa Bay set a record for the largest 50/50 raffle post in U.S. history, $276,104, while raising money to build a state-of-the-art street hockey rink for the community. Many teams have seen their contributions to their charities increase in significantly, especially the Phoenix Coyotes, who saw a 723 percent increase in contributions when compared with using paper tickets in previous years. Overall, this type of raffle offers excitement for fans, creates more awareness about team charities and title sponsors, provides more sponsorship opportunities, and supports charitable foundations. In the NHL’s case, it can provide funding for a legacy project for a mega-event.
Pretend you are the manager of a multipurpose indoor sport facility and wish to capitalize on the revenue-generating possibilities offered by technological advances, such as those employed at Quicken Loans Arena. Consider the following:
1. In what ways can technology increase your ability to enhance revenue production and fundraising for your organization?
2. What revenue-producing opportunities might an electronic raffle provide?
3. How might the nonprofit versus for-profit status of your organization affect how you distribute the proceeds of your 50/50 raffle?
4. How might beacon technology enhance your ability to enhance revenue streams?
5. Detail the benefits and potential outcomes of using your chosen technology to enhance ancillary revenue.
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