SBJ/November 14 - 20, 2005/Marketingsponsorship

RazorGator still dealing, this time securing Rose Bowl tie

RazorGator last week continued its active dealmaking by landing a coveted sponsorship with the Tournament of Roses Association that makes the secondary ticketing acompany the preferred travel partner for the Rose Bowl, this year’s BCS national championship game. RazorGator will also establish and operate the official fan-to-fan ticket exchange for the Rose Bowl.

The one-year Rose Bowl agreement is the latest in a flurry of deals for Beverly Hills, Calif.-based RazorGator. In the last four months, the company has completed sponsorships with the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and has purchased Sports Tour Classics to expand its profile in corporate sports travel services.

RazorGator expects to broker ticket sales for between 5 to
10 percent of the stadium’s seats.

RazorGator, rather than establish a profit-sharing system with teams and events for secondary ticket market sales, offers up-front, guaranteed money in the form of traditional sponsorships, estimated to be worth in the low seven figures each.

Through the new Rose Bowl deal, the company expects to broker ticket sales for between 5 and 10 percent of the stadium’s 92,542-seat capacity for the Jan. 4 title game. To that end, RazorGator purchased 2,500 tickets at face value for its corporate travel sales, but will buy and sell many more through additional contacts. Other marketplaces such as eBay and StubHub will also conduct secondary ticket sales for the Rose Bowl, but will not enjoy the official blessing from the Tournament of Roses held by RazorGator.

“This is a huge coup for us, being so deeply involved in a premier event like this,” said David Lord, RazorGator chief executive. “We would have done a lot of ticket sales for the Rose Bowl on our own anyway, but now that we’re officially aligned with the game, it’s going to be a great test for us, and another indicator on how far the secondary marketplace has evolved.”

The RazorGator deal joins one the Tournament of Roses Association made in September with The Ticket Reserve, which has established a futures market for 2,500 tickets to the Rose Bowl. In that deal, fans can buy and sell options for every Division I football team, with the options corresponding to the two participating schools in the game being valid for Rose Bowl tickets. Options for every other team are worthless once the game’s participants are named on Dec. 4. But in the meantime, the options are bought and sold like stocks, with those for top-ranked USC and Texas predictably fetching the highest prices.

The Ticket Reserve and RazorGator deals are the first entries into the secondary ticket market for the typically reserved Tournament of Roses Association.

“We’re very optimistic,” said Mitch Dorger, Tournament of Roses chief executive. “We’d obviously been approached by a lot of people over the years. But our ticket allocations have changed a bit this year, since the game isn’t the typical Pac 10-Big Ten matchup. So we have an opportunity to provide some additional services to our fans and not have it be just a broker and eBay situation out there.”

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