Call it what you want, this ploy, gimmick (or whatever it is) is a good move.
The immediate reaction by many throughout the Phoenix area when the Phoenix Suns announced that they would "put their money where their mouth is" and offer a money-back guarantee for the team's December 6 game against the Dallas Mavericks was one of mocking disbelief.
"Is this what the Suns have become?" asked fans. The media decries it was a simple marketing ploy to get fans in the seats for their game featured on TNT next week.
The truth is that I don't see how the Suns lose.
The team has been marketed as a group of players that will battle to the final buzzer, that will play an exciting brand of athletic basketball. So far, they have battled in most of their games, but then laid a huge, rotten egg on the road against the Detroit Pistons, another team that is not very good, losing by 40 points. It embarrassed the team and fans were left shaking their heads.
That's where the "genius" comes in.
The team is not terribly exciting, so they are doing something to get people talking about them. Check.
They need to get more fans in the arena. This should get more people out. People like money-back guarantees, especially when there are no questions asked. So, more fans? Check.
With management making this move, it adds a level of pressure on the players to perform. That should increase the energy and effort level, which will make the basketball being played on the court better.
When there is high energy basketball played, the fans get into it. When the the fans get into it, they enjoy the game and the team plays better.
Now, I am sure there will be plenty of people that but a ticket fully intending on getting a refund. But that really won't be too much. Since you have to mail something, even if there are unhappy fans, most just won't do it. Likely the fans that do that would be those fans that normally don't buy a ticket.
What is more likely is that more people come and don't ask for a refund, and there will probably be at least a few that come back who previously were not regularly attending fans. So, a net gain. Never mind the money to be made on in-stadium purchases.
So in the end, they get more publicity, they will get more fans in the seats, the players will feel a need to play hard, a few fans might take advantage, but the team has the potential to have more fans starting coming out.
How exactly is this a bad thing? Sounds like a pretty good business ploy.