One of the factors that impacts the demand for a product is the availability and price of substitute products. In sports, substitute products are any alternative products or activities that provide entertainment to the consumer, such as watching television, going to an amusement park, or seeing a movie. One way to reduce the threat of substitutes is to directly compare yourself to the substitute product and show why your product is the superior option. The Orlando Magic have taken this direct approach with a recent email campaign:
The Magic have realized that movie tickets are a more affordable entertainment option that games, especially with the current economic conditions. Rather than ignore the issue, they went right to their fans with an option that counters the ticket price issue, and highlighting the better entertainment value that the Magic games offer over going to the movies. Teams are sometimes afraid to take such a direct comparison approach, but I think it can be very effective in acknowledging, addressing, and overcoming the competition.
My only negative comment about how the Magic did this, was that the email takes you directly to their Ticketmaster purchasing page. I understand that they want to convert a sale from this message, but the email alone is probably not enough. A landing page that can go into some more detail on this comparison, tauting the benefits of tickets, maybe with an engaging flash video would probably lead to a higher conversion rate. You have to engage the fans interest before you can monetize, and while the email message is great, its not engaging enough.