At the Arizona Diamondbacks, we have become known for using the acronym FAWTSY, which stands for “Find a Way to Say Yes,” an appropriate description of our approach to customer service.
But in a season as challenging as this one, we also live by another phrase that is equally important – Find a Way to Win, Even When We Lose. Anytime a team begins the season with a club record for payroll, expectations are high and frustration can set in when the product on the field does not meet those expectations.
As president and CEO, I constantly remind our dedicated staff that we need to make sure our fans have the same great experience even on a night when their favorite team loses.
It starts with the ticket-buying experience. Fans that purchase online can print their tickets at home and show them at the turnstiles without worrying about waiting in a line at will call and wondering if the tickets will be there. Once at Chase Field, parking should be smooth, with numerous options and at reasonable rates.
As fans walk across the Gila River Casinos Plaza, we want them to become excited in the same way we enjoyed the walk to the gates of Disneyland as a child. On some days, that means live music playing at Game Seven Grill and ushers answering questions our fans may have.
Once they enter Chase Field, we want our fans to be able to grab a free copy of D-backs Insider, easily find their seat, and engage with the team through the At the Ballpark app. They should expect a clean environment, free from disruptive fans, and enjoy in-game entertainment appropriate for families.
When it comes to concessions, we want our fans to take advantage of the Value Items we have created. That includes hot dogs, corn dogs, popcorn, Pepsi or milk for just $1.50. And we offer the least expensive beer in baseball — $4 for 14 ounces.
This is just a sampling of the elements we’ve put in place to make sure that when fans leave our ballpark, they feel like the team has won, regardless of the score. Our market research has shown that on a given night, fans don’t necessarily remember who won, but they do recall if the overall experience was positive.
We know that we cannot control wins and losses. In the long run, our fans expect a team that will contend for the postseason and we work tirelessly to deliver on that promise. Five division titles in 17 years is evidence of that; no other team besides the Yankees has reached the postseason with greater frequency.
But we know this for certain – every touch-point and interaction with our fans must be a winning one – an experience that will make them want to come back.
Considered by many to be among the leaders of the game, D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall has turned the organization into a model franchise within the sports industry and throughout the business world during his eight years at the helm of the club. Hall focuses the organization’s efforts in five areas he has called the “Circle of Success” – fan experience, performance, community, culture and financial efficiency – each of which has seen tremendous growth during his tenure. The success of the franchise during Hall’s tenure has led to numerous honors, including ESPN the Magazine tabbing the D-backs as the top Major League franchise in 2013 and sixth overall among the 122 professional sports franchises in the publication’s Ultimate Standings, which is based on eight categories on and off the field.