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Day 5 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here)-style

Free market, My-Sugar-Na, State Fair, West Allis


Well, it isn't the weather that exclusively dictates the Home Game version of the Milwaukee Mile infield.  I got home from work, thinking that the nicer weather would draw many more to the Fair.  I must have been wrong as the neighborhood was again devoid of traffic, and the James Gang car park tally remains at 34 cars in five days.


Marketing absolutely fascinates me.  This is not the first time that this has happened, but the State Fair decided Monday morning to make Tuesday a day of special promotions, from Two-for-One admissions until 6:00 PM, a discount on Midway Rides and reduced concert prices.  The article says "State Fair spokeswoman Patrice Harris said officials discussed providing a deal early Sunday."

Now, I am not in marketing... I leave that to My-Sugar-Na.  But I don't understand why State Fair has decided to de-value its product.  They already have tons of ways to buy your tickets for cheap in advance, whether from group sales, or in conjunction with sponsors like Potwatomi or the Brewers.  They also announce numerous promotions well in advance.  In my opinion, they undercut their own sponsors (like Sprecher yesterday, and the Scouts on Wednesday. 

Let's say I am planning on going to the Fair during the week, should I patronize Sprecher and get in for $6 on Monday, or go the next day and get in for $4.50?  What about the ticketholders for the Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy and Candy Coburn concert?  Like a sap, you paid $20 a ticket and now the State Fair has just devalued your ticket by letting the Johnny-Come-Latelys in for half that (of course, it is Country music, so you could be considered a sap for paying anything for that ticket!) (That's a joke, people, ease up!)

But I don't get what announcing a major promotion halfway through the run of the Fair adds.  Sure there is some money for the vendors and restaurants (and heck, lawn parkers, too) but from a 50,000 foot view, you're telling people that either did pay the $9 admission, or that did get into the Fair on a sponsor's promotion that they paid too much.  The State Fair thinks a Tuesday admission is only worth $4.50.  If attendance is down due to the economy or due to the weather, then those are market forces that tells you that your admission price for 11 days is too high.

To me, this smells like a panicked overraction to a weekend of bad weather - or else the realization that their pre-Fair marketing wasn't very good.

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