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Navigating the Maze of Stay-to-Play Policies in Youth Sports Events: A Balancing Act of Value and Experience

The world of stay-to-play as it pertains to policies in youth sports events, is about more than just the games or events. The sports tourism industry has become a strategic minefield based on the give and take of policy vs. revenue (and sometimes greed) or the industry's stakeholders.

Ultimately, the primary goal should be to deliver value. But here's the twist: value isn't just a one-way street favoring event owners; it's a complex highway where the needs of consumers, hotel partners, and event organizers intertwine. Let's break down this conundrum, shall we?

Understanding the Stay-to-Play Conundrum

The stay-to-play policy in youth sports events is like a tightrope walk, balancing the event owner's need for revenue (hello, hotel room nights!) and the consumer's quest for affordable, quality accommodations. It's a delicate dance between making a buck and not pissing off your customers.

The Revenue vs. Volume Dilemma

When event owners prioritize revenue by hiking up hotel rebates, they inadvertently crank up the price for consumers. What happens next? Teams and their entourages turn into accommodation ninjas, seeking out secret, cheaper lairs. This not only messes with the volume of room nights (a big no-no for event success) but also leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

The Consumer's Quest for Value

On the flip side, consumers aren't just looking for a place to crash. They're after the holy grail of group rates that balance cost and comfort. But throw in a hefty hotel rebate, and the whole process becomes as confusing as a referee's call in a heated game. High rebates can lead to a lousy buying experience and equally grumpy hotel management.

Exploring the Options: A Playbook of Strategies

  1. Lower Rebate - No Stay to Play: This option is like the underdog team that surprises everyone. Great for consumers, offering lower hotel rates, but it's not the MVP for event owners. Why? It doesn't pump as much value into the event, leaving the teams and athletes feeling a bit shortchanged.

  2. High Rebate - No Stay to Play: Here's the tricky player. It seems like a win for the event organizer with its promise of big bucks, but it's a bit of an illusion. Teams often try to sidestep the high costs by finding alternative stays, turning this strategy into a swing and a miss for real value.

  3. High Rebate - Stay to Play: Now we're talking mainstream. This strategy scores for both event revenue and filling hotels, showing off the event's value to the community. It's like the star player that consistently delivers, but beware: too much markup can still drive teams away. It's important to understand your consumer and set the ROI to the level in which it generates event success but delivers value to the consumer.

  4. Moderate/low Rebate - Stay and Play: The dark horse of strategies. Often misunderstood and underused, the stay-and-play method gets a bad rep as a cash grab. But when done right, it ensures hotels credit room bookings to the event, showcasing its market value. It's like playing a strong zone defense, ensuring fair play in the hotel booking game with room for everyone to operate.

How can Tournkey support?

Key Factor: Tournkey is a strong strategic partner in the Stay-to-Play Game

Tournkey isn't just another player on the field; it's the coach who helps you strategize the best play for your event. Here’s why partnering with a savvy player like Tournkey is crucial:

  • Expertise in Balancing Act: Tournkey understands the nuances of each model. They can help event organizers navigate the tightrope between maximizing revenue and keeping consumers happy.
  • Customized Solutions: Just like a coach tailors their game plan to the team's strengths, Tournkey customizes stay-to-play models to fit the unique needs of each event.
  • Long-Term Value Focus: Tournkey isn’t just about scoring short-term goals; they’re in it for the long haul, ensuring the event's success year after year.
  • Market Insight: They bring a wealth of knowledge about the hotel industry, helping to predict and manage market dynamics effectively.

The Endgame: Finding the Sweet Spot

Ultimately, the goal is to find that sweet spot where everyone wins – event owners, consumers, and hotel partners. Each of these models has its place, but it’s about selecting the right strategy for your specific event. With Tournkey as your strategic partner, you’re not just playing the game; you're setting the rules.

Conclusion: A Game of Strategy and Balance

In the end, implementing a stay-to-play policy in youth sporting events is less about sticking to a rigid playbook and more about understanding the game's dynamics. It's a balancing act where the key to success is finding a strategy that delivers value to all players involved – a task that requires insight, flexibility, and a touch of strategic genius. And remember, with a partner like Tournkey, you're not just playing the game; you're mastering it.

So, lace up those strategic boots, and let’s make your next youth sports event a winning play in the stay-to-play league!

Tournkey Team
The Tournkey Event Ecosystem is a powerful series of tools designed to elevate your event’s profile while improving your event’s productivity and participant experience.