The Phoenix Suns and your friendly neighborhood Suns blog Bright Side of the Sun have partnered up to send underprivileged kids to a Suns game on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Two weeks from now!
These underprivileged kids will be identified by Suns charities and community service groups, made up primarily of kids who live in challenging areas and/or whose families don't have the kind of money it takes to have a night out at a Suns game. That's probably 90% of the kids in this city, actually.
The Suns are organizing the event, getting the tickets out to the kids and their chaperones and making sure they have a great time at the arena.
All we, at the Bright Side, have to do is generate the donated tickets from among our vast reader base. Easy right? LOL
When the Phoenix Suns approached me with the idea of using Bright Side to generate ticket sales, I was immediately skeptical and initially dismissive.
I don't like selling things, especially when that thing is not in the best interest of the person to whom I'm selling. That's the big reason I'm not stumping for our custom T-shirts anymore.
Short digression on T-shirts - feel free to skim/skip
For years, I've put off trying to do anything about occasional requests to represent Bright Side around town and around the world in the form of a crappy T-shirt, because I knew it meant I had to do all the work only to find out they didn't want that T-shirt.
Then this summer I finally had time to digest the requests, and convinced myself that if people wanted to rep the Bright Side who am I to take it from them? So, with the help of another blogger, I designed a throwback T-shirt that made me proud. Unfortunately, despite promises from various legal corners (including SB Nation's) that it was perfectly fine to use a former player's silhouette for profit, that player's Foundation insisted otherwise. So, to play nice, we took it down after two days. Since then, I've tried to create a replacement design, but nothing has been good enough. All this effort because some people told me they couldn't live without a Bright Side T-shirt to call their own.
Hundreds of fans voted on designs. I can count on one hand how many actually purchased the latest designs they voted on. And that was even after I promised a pair of lower-bowl tickets to one of the purchasers!
The offer still stands, by the way. I made the offer and I'm sticking to it. Lower bowl tickets of your own to the November 14 Suns game to a proven purchaser of a Bright Side T. Unfortunately, not a single person has taken me up on it. Not one person has posted a pic of themselves in a Bright Side T so the tickets might go unused.
But hey, no skin off my back.
Back to this ticket drive
It's a great offer:
- Donate $16 of your own money to send a kid who has relatively nothing to a Suns game on November 14.
- And for those who donate $160, you not only send 10 kids to a game, you also get a pair of lower-bowl tickets of your own for the same game!
Great offer, right?
Sure it is. It's a wonderful offer. I thought the whole concept was a no-brainer. We get 200,000 readers a month. Surely, .05% of them would jump at the chance to throw a few bucks out there, and we could easily generate 1,000 tickets.
Still, I warned myself and the Suns it might not go as well as we all hoped. Parting with one's own money when there're little to nothing in it for them is often a deal-breaker.
The Suns want to sell tickets. Duh. They'd rather fill up the arena with purchased tickets - at full price - than with giveaways that don't generate revenue unless the folks buy concessions.
If I hate sales so much, why would I waste dozens of my precious hours stumping for the Suns when I get absolutely nothing out of it except a knot in my stomach? I'm clearly not very good at it. I have to fight this feeling that I've let people down because we're "only" at 377 tickets after three weeks. That's awesome and will make for a fun night all by itself, but it's not nearly what I hoped.
11/2 Update: 474 as of Monday morning. Keep em coming!
I hate asking for money from people. I hate asking you guys and gals. Please accept my apologies if you've been made to feel put out by all this stumping. It's not my favorite thing to do in a day.
Heck, I haven't even asked my immediate family to donate yet! And when I sucked it up and asked a few friends who I knew had money to spare, I got exactly what I expected: hearty head nods and promises, but very little purchase. I just happened to ask them in the middle of a three-day drought of total ticket purchases, so I know by totals that they didn't act on my request. That's fine. I don't really care about that, except that I invested some of my precious time on nothing. And the thought of having to remind them to buy, that this is the final week to purchase, makes me cringe once again.
So why waste your time and my time with all this gibberish?
I know you've got better things to spend your hard-earned $16.00 on than a donation to a sporting event played by team you're more often disappointed in than not.
Back to the Bright Side
Because it's not about you. And it's not about me. It's about the kids.
Sure, the Suns are making money on this. Robert Sarver's pockets are lined with a few more singles for every ticket you buy.
But this night is all about the kids, and that makes all my efforts and your donations worth it.
For a mere $16,00, you can potentially change a kid's life for the better.
Think about your own childhood and teen memories. Was there a concert you attended, a sporting event, or another big event of some kind that was so outsized compared to your day-to-day life that you still smile in memory of it? It could be a family vacation too. Or even a day at the State Fair.
Every memory that makes you smile is a building block to a happier life. It's something you keep in your back pocket to pull out on a particularly bad day to make it a little better.
That's what makes this ticket drive worth it.
These tickets are aimed at kids who need more smiles in their lives. And they can bring chaperones (family, teacher, etc.) to share the experience with.
For me, personally, it's about the idea of looking up at a section of the arena on Saturday, November 14, seeing it full of happy, rowdy kids and their guardians, and knowing that I did that. WE did that.
We've already generated 377 tickets (as of Friday afternoon). If we don't sell any more than that, that's okay. I'm already proud. That's almost a full section right there!
11/2 Update: 474 as of Monday morning. Keep em coming!
That's my smile. That's my memory for my back pocket to pull out on a bad day. That's my story to tell people about why I do this blogging thing.
So when I say this is the most important thing Bright Side has ever done, I mean it. Give yourself a smile. Give a kid (or two, or ten, or more) a smile. Be a part of something bigger than you. Give yourself a story to tell, that you helped send hundreds of kids to their first Suns game.
If you think I'm asking you for your money because I'm getting something tangible out of this, you're not reading very closely.
If you think I'm putting you out with this request, making your life worse in some way, close out this article and move on to the recap of last night's game or something. Go ahead and continue partaking in this free site, and don't worry for one more second about me asking you to part with anything. I won't do it again (until next year's ticket drive).
But if you see that it's pretty cool to make someone else's life better. If you see that maybe you're not going to miss that $16.00 as much as you might initially think. If you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself for a nominal investment.
It's you that I'm talking to.
Donate now. It only takes a few minutes, and then you won't be mad at yourself for procrastinating any longer.
Here's How It Works To Donate
- You click this link to donate: Suns.com/brightsideofthesun
- Follow the links, and use the code 'SUNS' when prompted
- Make sure you select 'Suns Blog Bright Side of the Sun $16 donation' when prompted, then follow the prompts, pick the number of tickets you're buying, and make the payment
- Provide the payment method, and voila! you're done
- You will get a confirmation email directly from the Suns
*If you donated 10 tickets, you will get a separate call from a Suns rep to discuss your free pair of lower bowl tickets. You can use them yourself, give them to anyone you want, or donate them as well. Your call!