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You can't get them to utter "Blackfish" when discussing an 84% tumble in profits. Instead, it's the weather. The Californians. The timing of Easter. They won't so much as mention "Blackfish."

 

But then, their marketing strategy for the last years has been nothing but "Blackfish."

 

Sorry to say, but the timing of Easter fails to excuse SeaWorld's unimaginable decline while every other operator - including those with properties in the same regions open on the same Easter - has skyrocketed. I maintain that they need a shift, and apparently they'll get one. I just pray that this "strategic shift" isn't just yet another rebuttal of Blackfish.

 

At this point, those who trust SeaWorld, visit. Those who trust Blackfish, won't. Honestly. How many people are left "on the fence" at this point? Maybe it's time to do less desperate pleading convincing (which only reminds the public about "Blackfish," by the way) and instead do some repairing and rebuilding with the customers who are willing to visit.

 

I also maintain that SeaWorld needs lessen the "astounding zoological park that Blackfish completely mischaracterized" motif. While I wholeheartedly agree with that view, it's just not going to work as a marketing angle. "For just five times the admission cost of your local zoo, you can come to a really good zoo!" Like... no. That's not going to work. SeaWorld needs to be a family theme park (i.e. shows, coasters, dark rides, flat rides, fireworks, thematic environments, beloved characters, etc) that also offers quality educational animal exhibits, not just a really nice zoo.

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As I've stated, I'd like to see the animals, but frankly, that's not going to happen in this lifetime. It's just not going to happen.

Part of me suspects that they are putting in more rides to cover for the day they won't have the animals.

I follow their social media, and from my point of view, the park should focus on the rescue, and quit with the numbers game of trying to get people into the park by any means necessary. More people on discounted tickets doesn't mean those people are going to buy out the souvenir stand. As a working class kid, I know. The merch is for "other people" and working class people on a ticket discounts don't buy them. Discounts don't bring in revenue.

You can't bring rescue into the limelight by selling tickets to tagalongs when you escort turtles int the sea- it's too much like open water whale watching, it would do more harm than good.

I suspect there will be a day when they just hand the whales over to the protestors, and the we'll have to foot the bill via taxes for 30 really huge funerals when they screw up and kill all the whales.

I suspect the little protesting angels will leave the sharks be, as they are ugly and not cute and cuddly.

I would like to see the Sharks, though.

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84% drop in revenue in 2 years since Blackfish, yet Blackfish is not the issue.

 

They have publicly ignored it, yet internally they are running operations to infiltrate Animals Rights Groups as was posted to this site earlier.

 

The good news is SeaWorld continues to supply me with teaching information for the Marketing classes I teach.  Between, SEAS, The New Kentucky Kingdom and Hard Rock Park I have a plethora of material now.  Keep up the good work SEAS.

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  • 2 years later...

SeaWorld released earnings for the first half of 2017 today. Attendance is down 4% from the first half of 2016. A net loss of $237M includes a $269M goodwill impairment charge for SeaWorld Orlando.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/tourism/sd-fi-seaworld-earnings-20170804-story.html

Earnings report: http://s1.q4cdn.com/392447382/files/doc_financials/Quarterly/2017/Q2/2017-Q2-SEAS-Earnings-Release-for-website.pdf

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