Testing Facebook Ads to Sell Out Arenas

Elite SEM Case Study: San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs: Satisfied Elite SEM Client

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Case Study

The San Antonio Spurs, started in Dallas in 1967, joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976, becoming the league’s 25th team. The Spurs have gone on to win 21 division titles, 6 conference titles, and 5 NBA championships.


The team wanted to efficiently boost individual ticket sales throughout its 2015–2016 season. They also wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the types of ad creative and brand messaging that work best.

30x Return on Ad Spend /// Cost Per Conversion -35%


The San Antonio Spurs partnered with digital marketing agency Elite SEM to run simple link ads, testing different creative and messaging options to increase individual ticket sales during its 2015–16 season. Spurs marketing manager Jordan Mandelkorn notes, “Facebook advertising is unique because if the ad is relevant, people tend to treat it like content.” Each month, the team tested different creative elements in its ads, including exciting images of its star players and the team’s logo. They also tested various messaging, including information specific to particular games and dates, and notes relaying the urgency of purchasing tickets in advance of more popular match-ups.


The San Antonio Spurs had a great 2015–2016 season, winning a division title in an arena that was successfully filled with fans. Between October 2015–May 2016, the team’s Facebook campaign also achieved a 30x return on ad spend and a 35% decrease in cost per conversion.

“Elite SEM is an instrumental partner in developing and growing our digital ticket sales strategy.”
Jordan Mandelkorn, Marketing Manager

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Posted on

July 6, 2016

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