Miked Up: Want Higher Attendance, Nuggets? Here’s How.

The chips, the drinks, the ice are all out..but no one is showing up.

The front office is nervously looking at the clock and their cell phone, wondering what time it is and when people are going to arrive.

Why is no one arriving?

For the third straight season, the Nuggets’ attendance dipped from the previous year. In 2015-16, Denver was last in the league with just 577,898 fans coming to the Pepsi Center — an average of 14,095 per game. It was just 73.6 percent of capacity. Only Philadelphia and Minnesota had a lower percentage at 73.2.

Denver hasn’t had numbers that bad since the late ’90s when the team was still in McNichols Arena.

Meanwhile, neighboring Denver Broncos are top of the class in:

  • Hometown crowd reach (defined by Nielsen Scarborough as a percentage of the metro population that watched, attended, and/or listened to a game in the last year);
  • Television ratings (per Nielsen ratings);
  • Stadium attendance based on capacity reached;
  • Merchandise sales (per NFLShop.com);
  • Social media reach (a combination of Facebook likes and Twitter followers based on the team’s metro area population).

So where is the disconnect?  With Denver being the second fastest growing city in the country, how do the Nuggets not capitalize on this influx?

Fixing this challenge is top of mind for Denver’s executives:

Wait….Come grow with the Nuggets

Did Coach Malone just sneaky have a good idea there???

Since the legalization passed, when one hears of growing nuggets in Coloradoit is easy to think of the skunk aroma that seems to never be far away in today’s Denver.

Many reports account the legalization as the primary motivating factor for the 8,000 18-35 year olds that move to Denver on a monthly basis.  In this past election week, 5 more states equally passed legalization laws.  The trend continues nationally.

Maybe the Nuggets should just hitch their wagon and grow with Colorado, per Malone’s suggestion?

What?  Don’t turn your nose up at me like that, reader!  I am being serious.

There are the Milwaukee Brewers.  Why can’t there be the Denver….Nuggets?  Hear me out..

Hooking your team name to a city’s industrial reputation is exactly how Denver became the Nuggets in the first place (albeit gold vs green).  The bold marketing shift would absolutely garnish national attention for the franchise.

PT Barnum famously penned the phrase – “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”

Can you imagine the retail sales?  ESPN coverage?  Watercooler talk nation wide?  Tell me one single other idea the Denver Nugget marketing team could come up with that could compare with the national mindshare that would gravitate to the franchise…go ahead, I’ll wait.

Furthermore, you wouldn’t even have to change the team’s name, branding.  Interesting enough, the Nuggest could even coincide the rebrand with Nike taking over the NBA uniform contract in the upcoming 2017-18 season.

Nike to become uniform, apparel provider for NBA

Practically doing your job for you at this point, Tom Philand (Chief Marketing Officer for the Nuggets).

Listen closely – A way to get national attention, increase your retail sales, gain subculture popularity, AND likely fix your attendance shortcomings?

Mull this over and get back to me.


This article originally appeared on