Villanova hasn't been this far outside-the-box to try and sell football tickets since the Grocery Bowls of the 1950s. Though the current promotion doesn't go quite as far as Bud Dudley's brainchild events, it is a unique way to create more ticket buying opportunities for members of the Philadelphia community. The athletics department has signed on with kiosk retailer Redbox to sell tickets for football and potentially other athletic events through their network.
Already, the Wildcats' tickets for games against Richmond this weekend and James Madison on November 10th are available through kiosks being rolled out as part of a trial by the company in the Philadelphia area. The only remaining home game that isn't on offer is the homecoming contest against Towson.
It isn't clear at this time whether basketball tickets will be sold through the service as well.
Tickets can be purchased with a service fee of just $1, the same price as most of the company's DVD rentals. The service fee is a clear attempt to compete with larger ticket sellers like TicketMaster, a subsidiary of LiveNation.
Redbox will also be selling tickets to local plays and concerts.
Villanova is pricing tickets at face value ($15-20 for adults, $5 for kids), though some tickets may be offered at a discount as well. The $1.00 fee, however, will be less than even the amount charged by the ticket sales website on Villanova.com. Buyers can either pick up tickets at the stadium, or print them at home.
The other major advantage may be exposure. Villanova tickets will now be available at approximately 650 locations in the Philadelphia area and will be features prominently on Redbox.com as well. Those locations include many supermarkets (a convenient allusion to the ACME-Grocery Bowl promotions of the past), as well as other ubiquitous retail sites.
Redbox believes that individuals will buy more tickets through their kiosks as an "impulse purchase," which will help create more sales for otherwise difficult-to-sell events. The service aims to help sellers like Villanova to "get the word out" about their events and they expect that these events will benefit from the large retail footprint and online marketing connection with its customers.
Villanova is obviously exploring a new avenue of promoting its sports and to sell tickets and build a local fanbase. It is a little more active than some of the other promotions going on, like local cable TV ads and video running at SEPTA stations. Whether the move is a success may not be possible to determine right away, but the efforts seem to indicate a strong desire to pack the stands.