Case: Six Flags
One of the staples of summertime fun involves fast-moving rides, live entertainment, dining, shopping, and quality family time. While the Disney Corporation may be the most well-known, one growing and thriving competitor is the Six Flags group. Calling its operations “family entertainment” (rather than “amusement park”), the company’s website notes that the company’s founder Angus Wynne envisioned “regional parks large in scope but closer to where people lived, making them convenient and affordable.”
The Six Flags chain includes 18 theme, water, and zoological parks scattered across the United States and North America. The sites offer a full range of activities for visitors, including thrill rides, children’s rides, and numerous activities for families and groups of visitors. The company maintains relationships with D.C. Comics and Warner Brothers Products, which allows the organization to include characters such as Bugs Bunny, Batman, the Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman to play roles in visitor experiences, including meet-and-greets, meals, and photograph sessions.
Park location plays a role in how each operates. Those in warmer climates entice visitors nearly year-round. Others, such as the one in St. Louis, re-open in the spring following a winter break.
Each Six Flags location includes discount programs for nearby motels and hotels. Visitors have access to convenient parking and can rest at the shops and restaurants contained in the park. Parades, concerts, and other shows enhance the experience for people of all ages.
The Hollywood Reporter recently noted that, “Theme parks around the world are experiencing a boom. ‘It appears it’s going to be another strong summer for U.S. theme parks, with the big parks in Southern California and Orlando all trending upward this summer,’ says Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider. ‘These are the most popular in the country, and if they are going up, the industry as a whole is going up.’"
The Six Flags chain enjoyed 26 million visitors in 2014. Economic conditions and other trends continue to influence the ways in which families enjoy vacations. With increasing economic activity, the question becomes whether families will try to make visits to places close to home or travel greater distances to savor a wider variety of experiences.
The marketing team for Six Flags and other entertainment venues will undoubtedly seek to use database marketing, sales promotions and public relations to continue the trend of increased theme park patronage.
1. How could data-driven marketing programs, including permission marketing, frequency programs, and customer relationship management be useful to Six Flags and to theme parks in general?
2. Visit sites that review Six Flags. Here are some -- but you can look for more:
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/entertainment/six_flags_america.html (Links to an external site.)
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g41014-d266623-Reviews-Six_Flags_America-Bowie_Maryland.html (Links to an external site.)
https://www.yelp.com/biz/six-flags-magic-mountain-valencia-3 (Links to an external site.)
Your team is the public relations arm of Six Flags America. What steps would you take and what tactics will you use to improve the image of Six Flags?