Don't over-combine sports packages

One commonly held misconception in the world of fundraising is that more means more. The tendency is to add to an auction lot until it is bursting at the seams with value. And while it does make sense to round out packages, there is a point at which adding more to a package does not result in a higher sale price.

Nowhere do we see this proven more consistently than with sports packages. All too often an organization will take all of their various sports donations and put them into one mega-package, only to see it sell for the same as just one of their experiences would have on its own.

For example, one year a client had a behind-the-scenes experience with the San Francisco Giants for four people that sold for $3,400. The next year they decided to add 49’ers tickets, Sharks tickets, Oakland A’s tickets, and Stanford Football tickets to the same Giants package. The combined mega-package sold for…$3,600.

Would these people overpay to see the Oakland A's? Don't bet your auction on it.
Would these people overpay to see the Oakland A's? Don't bet your auction on it.

Sports fans are often rabid – the word “fan” is derived from “fanatic” after all – but about their team or their favorite sport. Just because someone is a baseball fan doesn’t mean they are necessarily a football fan or a basketball fan and so on. Combining a bunch of experiences that they aren’t necessarily interested in into one auction lot doesn’t change their perception of value.

Put another way, if a buyer is willing to spend $3,000 on a Giants experience, adding a bunch of other games for teams they don’t care about isn’t going to magically increase their maximum bid. And it certainly isn’t going to maximize the potential of your donations.

Furthermore, the hope that the different sports fans will bid each other up doesn’t yield results, either. Each fan has their own perception of value for the single component they are interested in – which is always less than the value of the package as a whole.

If you have a bunch of different sports experiences donated to your auction, do you and your donors a favor and keep them separate. You’ll make more money, make your donors happier, and you might even get some valuable data on your bidders’ sports preferences.