SBJ/20100628/This Week's News

Veritix expands NCAA deal to include other championships, reservations for big events

Ticketing venture Veritix has signed a multiyear deal with the NCAA to provide primary ticketing services for select NCAA championships, expanding a prior relationship between the two sides that provided for paperless student ticketing at the Final Four.

The deal has three primary components: the use of Veritix’s ticketing system for the championship events; the use of the system for advance reservations for high-demand events, such as the Final Four and Frozen Four; and a continuation of the paperless ticketing used the last two years for student seating at the Final Four.

Veritix will continue to provide paperless
ticketing for student seating at the Final Four.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal represents a major win for Cleveland-based Veritix, one of several companies seeking to challenge Ticketmaster’s traditional dominance of primary ticketing business. Beyond the previous Final Four work, Veritix’s presence in the collegiate space to date has been official relationships with Boise State, Texas A&M and Oral Roberts University.

“We’re giving the NCAA a lot of flexibility and the ability to control their own ticketing destiny under their own brand name,” said Jeff Kline, Veritix president. “For us, this certainly represents a major springboard, [as] we see a lot of opportunity in the collegiate market.”

Veritix also has a secondary ticketing component to its business with its Flash Seats platform, but the NCAA remains aligned with Primesport for the secondary ticketing and hospitality segments of its business.

The deal calls for initial implementation at the NCAA’s highest-profile events, such as the Final Four and Frozen Four, and gradual expansion from there to other of the NCAA’s 88 championships. The existing primary ticketing deals for some of those championship events, including some with Ticketmaster, carry various expiration dates.

“The flexibility of their software platform and forward-leaning approach made it seem like a very good fit to put this into full action,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president for basketball and business strategies.

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