This story is probably old news to Bucks fans, but it's new to me and I happen to think it's pretty damn cool...and a smart business move for Bogut and the Bucks. For those who don't know, Andrew Bogut, the Bucks Aussie born big man (insert requisite Crocodile Dundee quote) noticed a lack of attendance and enthusiasm at home games recently and he decided to do something about it. Bogut purchased 100 lower level seats to Bucks home games for the rest of the season, and rather than fill the seats with a bunch corporate stiffs rocking double bluetooth headsets, he gave the seats to diehard Bucks fans.
The best part of Bogut's plan is how he gave away the tickets...he could have held some self serving sweepstakes where he promoted his own merchandise or by hyping a local car dealership, but Bogut was all business. He made these fans earn their spot by holding tryouts (3 rounds) and making fans audition for the group that now goes by Squad 6 (Bogut wears #6). The lucky fans that made it to the end, now get prime seats for the rest of the regular season...but they still have to earn them. Fans in the Squad 6 section are expected to attend every home game, and basically remain standing from tip off until the final buzzer or they risk losing their spot.
So far it looks like Bogut's investment is paying off. Since Squad 6 has been attending games Milwaukee is 2-8 on the road compared to 9-3 when playing in front of the home fans. (are you paying attention Nets?) After a recent trip to Milwaukee, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said this about Squad 6 on Twitter: "Those fans were the most fun fans I have seen on the road EVER. It made the atmosphere 100x better. More P.B.R. for them."
More PBR indeed. We love to hear about this type of stuff at Project Franchise, and once our team takes the field, we will definitely be rewarding our most loyal and passionate fans. Let us know in the comments if you have any specific ideas about how fans should be rewarded.
Also, if anyone knows anyone from Squad 6, send them our way because we would like to talk to them about their experience so far.