SBJ/June 4 - 10, 2001/No Topic Name

UsherPro merger leaves one standing in ticket management

UsherPro and Season Ticket Networks, competitors in the growing field of ticket exchange, management and group ticket software solutions, have announced a merger that leaves the surviving company almost alone in its industry.

UsherPro had concentrated its previous sales efforts on the venue side of the season-ticket business — working with clients like the Staples Center, Boston's FleetCenter and the Toronto SkyDome, for instance — while STN was working with individual teams and franchises.

"The beauty of this merger is that we didn't have a single duplicate client," said Robert McAuliff, former chairman and CEO of UsherPro, who will hold those same titles with the new entity, Season Ticket Solutions. "We were the same market, however, so now we no longer have to compete with our ad dollars, with our marketing dollars, with all those expenses that similar companies incur just pursuing clients.

"Putting our resources together, we certainly expect to double or triple our market size, and we're definitely going to emerge as the undisputed leader in our business. We'll have more than 40 customers, and there isn't anyone else out there with more than one."

Season Ticket Solutions will be based in Chicago, with several field offices, including Ottawa, the former home of STN.

Joel Milne, founder and president of STN, will become chief technology officer of the new company, and Taggart Romney has been named president of the ticket exchange division.

"We'll keep all the key staff from both companies in place," McAuliff said, "including people on the technology and sales sides, so there won't be any drop-off with our customers."

McAuliff indicated that, although UsherPro and STN had been competitors seeking some of the same clients, each boasted some unique products that will be offered by the merged company.

"For example, [STN] didn't have the corporate solution that we did, the type of things that allowed us to work with someone like Verizon and handle all their tickets," McAuliff said. "On the other hand, STN had a great group sales product, one that really complements our market."

Neither UsherPro nor STN would release financial details of the merger, other than McAuliff's stated expectation that Season Ticket Solutions now could grow into a company with $100 million yearly revenue.

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Staples, Verizon

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