Detroit Pistons Use Promotional Seat Covers to Make Money Off Empty Arena
Anyone familiar with the National Basketball Association will know that the Detroit Pistons have enjoyed two periods of admirable consistency—the 1986 through 1990 campaigns when they averaged 57 wins and won a pair of league titles and the 2002 through 2008 journeys where they advanced to the conference finals each year and pocketed a third championship. Since the end of the latter era, though, matters have not been running on all cylinders for the Pistons, who have not captured a playoff series (or game, in fact) and have registered only one winning record.
Residing in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, the ballers, despite the Jan. 29 acquisition of All-Star forward Blake Griffin, might not earn a postseason berth this year either, a sad possibility for management as the club contests games in the brand new Little Caesars Arena. Though the team has bolstered its average attendance rate, the Pistons are still struggling to compel consumers to cough up cash to catch them, meaning empty red seats stand out on television broadcasts. To downplay that eyesore, the organization last night debuted thousands of matte black seat covers featuring the logo of Michigan’s own Art Van Furniture.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) February 12, 2018
Though they are likewise not enjoying a solid 2017-2018 sojourn, the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings have no such problem drawing spectators to the nearly $863 million facility. Because of that, perhaps, Art Van has aligned itself only with the Pistons, who, per the Detroit Free Press, at 81.8, rank 29th out of 30 teams in percentage of available tickets sold.
“It gives us a chance to monetize inside the arena,” vice president of public relations Kevin Grigg said of his employer’s partnership with the furniture hawker, whose namesake, 87-year-old Art Van Elslander, died Sunday.
The aforementioned publication noted that the covers appeared on seats situated along each sideline and stretched to the top of the lower bowl, where, Grigg said, they will remain for the foreseeable future. The union between the Pistons, who have generated only five sellouts from 30 home games this season, and Art Van makes for an interesting analysis of athletic success, or the lack thereof. Following a fast start after they added Griffin, who had spent the first seven-and-a-half years of his pro career with the L.A. Clippers, the team has dropped three straight and sits three games behind the Miami Heat for the last playoff invitation.
— Will Burchfield (@burchie_kid) February 13, 2018
Call me a naysayer, but I do not see them qualifying. Regardless of my thoughts, though, they have, through the deal, admitted that their play is not likely to draw sellout crowds. In other words, as Grigg put it, they have to stay afloat somehow. On the other side, the agreement appears as if it is a win-win for Art Van. Obviously, the company’s representatives want for the Pistons to do well so that more spectators will see their establishment’s logo and so that, perhaps, the team could add more covers, but even if the franchise has to settle for also-ran status, the average crowd of 17,182 at Little Caesars Arena will have thousands of reminders that Art Van markets furniture. That’s definitely something for the Warren-headquartered entity to build on as it adjusts to life without its founder.