Fan-Friendly Dynasty At One Buc Palace

February 13th, 2017

New England has earned five Super Bowl rings this century, but the Bucs have four titles in the past five years.

Yes, Tampa Bay’s official NFL accolades are in customer service and satisfaction, but they’re still extraordinarily impressive.

The Bucs’ mind-blowing fan success in a 32-team league prompted Joe to find out why the Bucs are best in the business at keeping season ticket holders happy.

The NFL undergoes a comprehensive study of season pass holders annually. Fans of all teams are surveyed in-stadium and online, and every single one is hit with a battery of questions that encompasses the year-round fan experience.

All angles are studied, from how fans feel about food, ticketing, interacting with account representatives, in-stadium technology, entertainment value, gameday experience and just about everything else you could think of.

Per the Bucs, the NFL began its current intensive study of customer satisfaction in 2011.

NFL teams are scored and ranked, and the Bucs have been No. 1 in the league in customer service in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

It’s extra impressive that the Bucs have set the NFL standard while their fans endured a lot of losing on the field. That’s big-time proof that Tampa Bay goes above and beyond.

So what’s the difference-maker at One Buc Palace?

That was an easy question for Buccaneers chief operating officer Brian Ford.

“Our ownership. They are fans first,” Ford said. “They get it. They understand that it’s not just ship off the tickets.”

Ford credited Team Glazer for its “cutting edge approach and cutting edge philosophy and culture.” He added that the Bucs owners are always “listening” closely to fan feedback and  “continually change and uplift what we do.”

He added that one Bucs owner is a season ticket holder of many professional teams across the sports landscape just to study the experience and find ways to enhance the Bucs’ operation.


About 3,500 people work at each Bucs home game, per Ford, and the team employs a “difference-maker” program that runs across the entire operation to ensure fans’ expectations are exceeded.

“How do we greet them? How do we engage them? How do they feel about what they’re getting? Meeting your expectation is not good enough,” Ford explained.

This year’s NFL honor for customer service carried extra weight.

The Bucs weren’t just ranked No. 1 overall. They brought home the gold among regular season ticket holders and club seat owners. The NFL divides its surveys among both groups — premium and non-premium ticket holders.

One element that likely pushed the Bucs over the top in both categories was what Ford called a worst-to-first score in technology of the gameday experience.

Of course, that’s a direct result of the 2016 stadium upgrades that included giant video boards and audio improvements, in addition to various in-game enhancement for fantasy football players.

Joe’s proud of the Bucs. In the brutally competitive business of the NFL, the Bucs’ customer service dynasty is an extraordinary achievement.

23 Responses to “Fan-Friendly Dynasty At One Buc Palace”

  1. BucTrooper Says:

    My ticket guy is awesome. He calls just to say hi and ask how I liked the game. I’d recommend him to anyone looking to become a STH.

    My only complaint about Bucs games are the people in the blue “Sentry” shirts. They are unfriendly, pushy, rude, and generally unpleasant to deal with. I am aware that they are not “Bucs employees” and they are subcontracted, but they can’t be the only game in town.

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    LOL, the NFL don’t listen to very much, or they would have gotten rid of Goddell long ago.
    Are the NFL Owners deaf, can they not hear the fans who Boo Roger every chance they get ?

  3. LakeLandBuc Says:

    So the NFL surveyed all 500 of the Bucs season ticket holders.
    Oh, stop. There are at least 40K season tix sold. –Joe

  4. Tampa Tony Says:

    As a season ticket holder who flies down from NYC for all home games other than pre season games I have gotta say out rep is awesome and if you are on the fence about tickets you should pull the trigger as the customer service end of things is top notch. Only wish the on field product matched it


    On a different story, Victor Cruz has been released. Hmmmmm.

  6. DallasBuc Says:

    I’m sorry but if the product on the field sold itself it is highly unlikely the Bucs suits put forth the effort on gameday experience not related to what is going down on the field. Dubious honor to say the least. Fluffing the Glazers on this point is gratuitous.

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    I’ll take Victor Cruz in a heartbeat

  8. pick6 Says:

    my rep is solid and the team does a good job staying in touch and trying to add value during the LONG offseason. straight up game day experience of customer service is not the best i’ve experienced is pro sports, but as a guy who’s been to at least 2 dozen different NFL\NHL\MLB facilities in the last 6 years or so i guess i’d have to say it’s up there. It’s easy to gripe or take it for granted when you don’t get a chance to experience how other teams handle game day.

    I went to Dallas this year…AMAZING facility, but all of the people working there seemed to have just started working that morning for as helpful as they were capable of being

    food options, craft beer options, amenities\attractions and AV have been a different story and sometimes quite far behind other places i’ve visited, but i assume that falls outside of the “Customer Service” scorecard of gameday experience. thankfully, AV has rocketed back towards being a gold standard in sports, and there’s hope for food and craft beer with Phase 2 of the renovation.

    and this is truly amazing (almost impossible to believe, really) when you consider the product on the field all those seasons. next year is our best chance since this little customer service title run began for the facility and the team on the field to be as highly rated as the customer service experience

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    That’s not actually true. I know you live in Texas (or did?) so I’m not sure if you ever made it to a home game when the Bucs were winning. Staff was always amazing.

    That said, I cancelled my group of season tickets a few years ago. I had a reason, but I can’t remember what it was…so I’m gonna blame it on the uniform change.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    My cousin works at the stadium too. Not sure what she does though.

  11. pick6 Says:


    yes, it’s hard to overlook the timing, with that this huge investment in taking care of season ticket holders coming at the same time as the global financial crisis tightening wallets for fans and corporations regionwide and at One Buc Palace.

    It’s still a noteworthy accomplishment though. The bucs are not the only fan base to lose bigtime ticketholder interest thanks to the most recent recession, bad rosters\coaches\front offices, improved living room\sports bar experience, Fantasy Football, etc. They are the only team that responded with league-leading satisfaction

    until around 2009, NFL games were a product that sold itself and had extremely limited inventory. changing budgets and improving alternatives changed the playing field, and some franchises still haven’t reacted appropriately. They really could ignore the stadium entirely from a financial standpoint, other than the bad optics

  12. tmaxcon Says:

    the high rankings are direct reflection of how welcoming the on-field product as been to opponents and the fact RayJay is a great host to out of town fans. Since GMC has led the defense both opposing fans and teams alike LOVE visiting RayJay the RESULTS speak for the themselves. End the losing culture.

  13. Vic Says:

    @tmaxcon — If you read this you would see that the surveys are only of season ticket holders, so it has nothing with visiting fans.

    Bucs do a very solid job. I’m a low-maintenance fan and sometimes my ticket rep can be annoying with all the love and care, but that’s ok. It’s really a good experience at the games outside of the losing.

  14. Sam Says:

    We’ve been season ticket holders for 6 years now. What has kept us around is that despite the horrid product that they had on the field for a few years there was the Bucs actually valued our business. We weren’t just a number to them. We’ve been invited to several events over the years, and have gotten to meet several players. We’ve been a part of charity events and gotten autographed merchandise contributed simply by asking. Most importantly, if we ever have a question, we know that we will get an answer. Like some of the others have posted, I cannot say enough good things about my ticket guy (and I’ve heard that he’s Joe’s ticket guy as well). He’s gone from just being our Bucs rep to being a family friend.

  15. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m sorry but if the product on the field sold itself

    DING! DING! DING! We have a winner. The most moronic comment not just of the day but this year…realizing we’re only talking a month and half we could probably go back even farther.

    Dang Dallas you’re not even a good troll. That’s just embarrassing. I’m even ashamed for you.

    So your point is that a 26-38 record sells itself. Oh and btw that leaves out a 2-14 sandwiched in those years when the Bucs didn’t rank #1

    The Bucs finished LAST in their division 3 of those four years!!!

    Who the hell are you “fluffing”? Yourself? Your daily hate is tiresome enough but that take was soooo weak it shows you have NO pride. Why don’t you participate on the Dallas blogs and spew your garbage on Cowgirl fans,.

  16. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    IF the Bucs won Superbowls every year there would be less need…DUH!!!

    The Lightning have awesome customer service as well. It hasn’t let up one bit since the team made the Stanley Cup finals. Man you just struggle to give anything in Tampa or connected with the Bucs any credit.

  17. Fred E. Buc Says:

    If you are breaking on the Bucs over this article you are not a fan and/or have not been to a Bucs game in one or more years. Here’s what the Bucs have done for me, an average fan. We travel to one game a year in another city, and I ALWAYS get pre-game field passes and framed pictures made, and we have stayed in the Bucs hotel at their discount rate a few times. I have ALWAYS gotten extra invites to like the Veteran’s practice. When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, devastating to us, not only did the Bucs send gorgeous red flowers lined with silver/organge, but Brian Ford himself also sent us a gameball from the breast cancer awareness game. When I’ve wanted extra tickets to events, I’ve always be able to get them. Sometimes when the Bucs give out freebies like extra tickets I’ve gotten more they offered–I only need to ask. We are lucky to have them here, and we are lucky they do what they do. I”ll say this. My ticket rep is Danielle, and she’s been pretty darn good, always responsive, and before, Kyle Tafelski and Nikki Bowie were class acts. I’ve had two colleagues in the last two seasons…one fan of/from NYG, one from CHI, and BOTH have commented there is NO WAY they’d get that kind of attention as a STH. Finally, I’ve held Rays, Lightning, and Bucs tix, and the Bucs have really emerged as the best in the last few years. I’ve been to DET, ATL, PIT, HOU and ARI, and NONE of them can touch the Bucs gameday experience.

  18. tmaxcon Says:


    I am fully aware what the article stated. Who do you think are making the money off out of town fans and the happiest of all. It’s the season ticket holder getting some cash back. Look at the big picture.

    No More Soft Serv

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    StPeteLackey- you clearly have reading comprehension issues paired with an obsession for me which is altogether weird. Not worth my time to explain something that does not need explanation. You are a strange little old man.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Easy, Stpetebucsfan…you’re feeding the troll…and letting him get you to speak in his language. 😉

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    DallasBuc, what’s wrong with strange little old men? You young whipper-snapper!

  22. Chris Says:

    Season ticket holder since 04. I’ve heard all these awesome stories, but I have to admit my season ticket rep sucks. She is like a robot with her responses and has never gone the extra mile for me. The only thing cool that happened for me, which wasn’t even a season ticker holder thing…a preseason game a few years ago I was randomly selected at the ticket gate to go on the field and wave a flag for pregame. We also got a jersey signed by coach Morris at the time. Which admittedly was cool.

  23. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Chris, if you’ve been holding since ’04, you ought to be getting a lot more attention. How much feedback do you offer? I am thorough in surveys and have written full pages on ghastly things like Aramark’s food/service. I know they respond to that. Some stuff you can ask for too. Like a sideline pass, a pirate ship party, complimentary club upgrades if you are not already a club member. I know some of the reps have “thousands” of members, but you should get more attention that you do. Maybe you should ask your rep for new rep. Good luck.