SBD/Issue 185/Facilities & Venues

Ticketmaster Making Big Change To Organizational Structure


Ticketmaster is making a significant change in its organizational structure tied to its clients' ticketing and marketing needs, including more than 100 big league sports facilities. In a letter e-mailed Tuesday to the firm's ticketing partners, Ticketmaster President Nathan Hubbard announced the firm has gone through a reorganization that eliminates the geographic model of client representation and switches to a new model based on sport and building type. Ticketmaster has formed five new client segments in a vertically aligned model: Core Ticketmaster, tied to multipurpose venues with a variety of nonsport content; NBA/NHL teams and arenas; stadiums and outdoor sports; arts and universities; and small venues and attractions. Instead of one Ticketmaster executive being responsible for serving several sports and entertainment facilities in one region, there will now be a group of general managers dedicated to each of the five segments. Hubbard could not be reached for comment this morning in Ticketmaster's L.A. offices. It is too early to tell exactly what the changes mean for sports facilities and their season-ticket holders, but one veteran arena manager said the reorganization makes sense for his building. "I don't know enough yet, but the theory is good," said American Airlines Center President & CEO Brad Mayne. "Instead of someone handling diverse-type accounts they will be similar in nature."

WHAT LIES AHEAD? The changes come about six months after the Department of Justice approved the merger of Ticketmaster and event promoter Live Nation, a deal valued at $2.5B, and could be a sign of further layoffs as the two entities continue sorting through consolidation, according to industry sources. In media relations alone, Live Nation spokesperson John Vlautin and Ticketmaster spokesperson Hannah Kampf have been laid off in recent months, leaving a void in that department, said a company insider with knowledge of the recent moves. In the e-mail letter, Hubbard said the changes were made after responding to clients' suggestions for how to better meet their needs and those of the marketplace. "We will be deliberate and measured in these steps, but we expect you to begin reaping the benefits of this effort right away -- we've all got tickets to sell," Hubbard said. In '09, the year the merger was announced, Ticketmaster sold 140 million tickets. The new company is known as Live Nation Entertainment.

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