London 2012 Tickets: Pricing Strategy

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To: Dr. Judson

From: Jessica Feldman

Date: March 3, 2013

Re: London 2012 Olympics


In 2005, to the delight of millions of English citizens, London won the rights to the 2012 Summer Olympics. London had previously hosted the Olympic games in 1908 and 1948, while bidding on the 1992,1996, and 100 games. In 2012 London had decided to stage the games in East London, a disadvantaged area that never fully recovered after being heavily bombed during World War II. Upon receiving this news, the people responsible for executing the games new they had a long road ahead of them. Building six new large venues, and upgrading and expanding East London’s transportation links to include a 12-car subway shuttle was the responsibility of the Olympic Delivery Authority while the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) was responsible for staging the games. Paul Williamson was hired by the LOCOG as the Head of Ticketing, and he soon realized that pricing tickets was a large endeavor in itself, with many challenges.

The Trade-Offs

Chris Townsend, Williamson’s boss and the Commercial Director of the LOCOG, made sure Williamson never lost sight of their ultimate goal, maximizing ticket revenues and attendance. Williamson also had to adhere to the pressures from the Head of Public Relations and Media, Joanna Manning-Cooper who stated, “We are billing these as ‘Everybody’s Games,’ which means the majority of tickets have to be at prices the public can afford.” Conforming these conflicting goals was a virtually impossible task.

Williamson knew there was no way to please both sides seamlessly, but he knew that he must price tickets in a way that negatively impacts either side the least. In order to maximize revenues, ticket prices should be as high as demand will allow. At the same time, Williamson has to consider what the public deems as reasonable, in order to remain consistent in making these games “everybody’s games.” As if...
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