— Patrick Murphy (@UACoachMurphy) February 5, 2013
Alabama softball fans that ordered season tickets had a bit of a surprise when their tickets arrived yesterday. They were expecting the tickets, but probably weren’t expecting to see the person that hand-delivered them.
Head Coach Patrick Murphy.
Every year, Coach Murphy and the Alabama softball players make a point to go out and hand-deliver tickets to the fans that order season packages. Recall that last month we talked about how you create loyalty in your customers by rewarding them after the purchase. Alabama softball fans were expecting their season tickets this week, but having the head coach and team deliver them is the reward.
It’s also an example of how Coach Murphy and the team created something amazing for the people that love them. To the fan, this moment of surprise and delight also validates why they support the program. The fan feels better about supporting the program but also in a way feels better about themselves for supporting a head coach that would do this.
And to clarify, Patrick Murphy is only the 2nd softball coach that Alabama has ever had. Murphy was named the coach in 1998 and was named assistant head coach when the program launched two years earlier in 1996. So he had to literally build not only the program from the ground up, but its fanbase as well. He knows the value of connecting with the program’s fans, and how important they are. The first year of the program’s existence, the average attendance at softball games was 50 people. Today, Alabama’s softball team is among the national leaders in attendance, and in 2011, the program set an NCAA record for single-day attendance at a softball event.
Oh, and winning helps. Last year Coach Murphy led Alabama to its first softball National Championship in school history. Showing your biggest supporters and fans that you appreciate them doesn’t hurt either.