When you think about fan experience, restroom cleanliness may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But a few recent studies are shedding new light on the importance of cleanliness in the overall fan experience equation. And, as you’ll see, the cleanliness of your restrooms can be a make it or break it element in the way fans perceive the experience you provide at your sporting events.
Having clean restrooms is a bit like having fresh air or water; when it’s not a problem, no one talks about it – but when it is a problem, no one talks about anything else. A German study from 2014 found that the condition of the restrooms in a venue is actually more important than fans’ view of the playing field in determining their perception of an event.
Measuring Perception of Cleanliness in Fan Experience
Restroom cleanliness is a highly subjective topic. One person’s estimation of the cleanliness of a restroom can be significantly different than another’s. A young employee tasked with cleaning a restroom might have a much different standard for cleanliness than a retired fan who is accustomed to having a personal housekeeper. Likewise, a man who strolls in to use a urinal in between plays will have a much different expectation for cleanliness than a mother with more than one child who wait idly for each other to finish up.
In a 2001 study of spectators at minor league hockey events, a group of college professors studied six factors that influence overall fan satisfaction. One of the six factors they studies was the general perception of the facility. What they found was that cleanliness was “an area ripe for improvement.” Of all the controllable aspects of facilities perception, cleanliness was the most noteworthy area where clear action could be taken to positively impact fan experience.
To understand the general perception of the cleanliness of their facilities, management at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA have started sending an email survey to all attendees after every single home game. The survey includes several factors that impact the overall fan experience, and fans are asked to rate the cleanliness of every aspect of Levi’s Stadium – including the restrooms. By proactively and consistently asking fans for feedback about their facilities, Levi’s Stadium has identified a way to stay on top of public perception about the cleanliness of their restrooms – and to quickly respond to any issues as they crop up.
Gender, Restrooms, and ROI
Cleanliness in the fan experience becomes even more important when you segment the perception of different fan demographics. Savvy sports marketers have broken out of the traditional mindset that middle-aged men are the primary consumers for sports promotions. Today, it is widely recognized that targeting women can produce a more significant impact on ROI, as evidenced by the proliferation of pink-themed apparel and high-end concessions across all major sports. Men might be more likely to closely follow statistics and records, but their partners are more likely to make purchasing decisions about apparel, gear, and dining options.
Men can be relied on to purchase a few beers and hot dogs – and they are less likely to be put off by substandard restroom facilities. Women, however, are more likely to purchase new apparel and souvenirs for the whole family. Women don’t mind waiting longer for high-end food and beverage options. They will pay a premium for safer and more convenient parking facilities. And they pay a lot of attention to the state of the restrooms. Poor restroom facilities alone can be enough to influence a woman’s decision about whether she and her family will ever return to a venue again. Women represent the most lucrative demographic in sports marketing today. And clean restrooms may be the single most important factor in improving the fan experience for this important segment.
Considering Cleanliness on the Tailgating Lot
While these recent studies have prompted many major sporting venues to more closely examine the state of their restrooms, few venues have expanded this new fan experience philosophy to the tailgating lot. Here at TGSM, we have discovered that this will change rapidly in the very near future. We contracted some independent consultants to measure the impact of clean restrooms on tailgating attendance. And what we found is too powerful to be ignored.
TGSM’s interactive restroom trailers use a combination of highly-targeted benefits to draw in the demographic segments that are most valuable to sports marketers in 2017. We use a free high-speed Wi-Fi network in conjunction with social networking integrations to attract fans in the Millennial generation. And we use luxurious, impeccable restrooms to attract women and families.
We placed one of our trailers on a popular NFL tailgating lot on the east coast, and here’s what happened. Attendance of women at tailgating events doubled over the first four home games. Word spread quickly thanks to the trailer’s free data network and social-network capabilities. By the end of the season, the attendance of women had more than tripled. And this is only one example. Our trailers consistently provide swift and strong ROI on your marketing dollars. They have proven their results at major sporting venues from every major sports league across the country.
We attract the perfect demographics. We enrich their fan experience in the tailgating lot. And we capture a wealth of anonymous, actionable data about attendees and their social connections. If you are interested in instantly taking your fan experience to the next level, contact TGSM today at (888) 995-2285.