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This case raises important issues in market research and service pricing.  A Class A minor league baseball team has started up in Springfield, Massachusetts and – a year-and-a-half in advance of the first game – is planning its first season.  The game dates have already been determined, but pricing decisions remain.  Management is evaluating the findings of a detailed survey of potential season and single-game ticket buyers, hoping to use the resulting insights to help it price tickets and design season ticket packages. But the team marketing director’s conceptualization of his key concerns becomes increasingly complex as he considers the intricacies of ticket pricing and ancillary issues such as concessions.

After your analysis of the case, prepare a response to the following questions:

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1) Evaluate the research survey undertaken by the League Sports Association and by Larry Buckingham, Nor’easters’ marketing director.  Consider each step in the process that led to the findings of the survey.

2) What do you consider to be the key findings of the research survey?  Comment on what Buckingham learned about a prospective customer profile, pricing, and single-ticket versus season-ticket packages.

3) What considerations should the Nor’easters take into account in establishing a pricing policy?

4) Design a ticket pricing plan for the Nor’easters’ first season.  Be very specific, and be prepared to explain the assumptions – especially assumptions of cause and effect – that underlie your strategy.  Should Buckingham offer more than one type of season package?  How, if at all, should ticket pricing vary by package type?  How, if at all, can Buckingham take advantage of consumer interest in grandstand seating?

5) Using the pricing plan you have designed and given Buckingham’s assumptions about concession sales, will the team reach breakeven in the first year?  If not, what options does Buckingham have to reach his target?

In your response to these questions, be as thorough as possible.  In case analysis, you always want to support your answers with a cited source.  In addition, utilize material from the textbook readings in your response.

Post your 5+ page (double-spaced) response to these questions.

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