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SBJ/Oct. 21-27, 2013/Facilities
New company formed to resell tickets for teams on the secondary market
Published October 21, 2013, Page 10
Dan Lefton, Dynasty’s president and co-founder, was most recently vice president of suite sales and premium seating at Barclays Center. His business partner, Dynasty co-founder and CEO Cole Rubin, is the owner of Charm City Tickets, a large ticket inventory house in the secondary market. On its own, Charm City, a company whose title will be phased out after the NFL season, generated more than $30 million in revenue in 2012, Rubin said. The broker has worked directly with 23 NBA teams and 22 NFL clubs and is one of StubHub’s biggest customers, he said.
Since forming Dynasty two months ago, the 14-person company has bought thousands of tickets valued in the millions of dollars from eight major league teams, including the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, Rubin said.
Dynasty’s inventory covers 450 tickets and a suite for every Nets home game at Barclays Center, including All-Access season tickets tied to three-year contracts that Charm City originally bought in 2012. In Arlington, Dynasty bought tickets for seats stretching from the lower bowl to the upper end zones at AT&T Stadium. The broker signed a 20-year, $5 million agreement for a field-level suite at the 20-yard-line that it resells for individual Cowboys games and uses on its own for hospitality, Rubin said.
In the Bay Area, Dynasty bought $2.7 million in PSLs tied to 550 seats at Levi’s Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers’ new facility opening in 2014.
It’s not an unusual situation, though most teams will not talk about it publicly. Charm City, for example, has become one of the Nets’ biggest accounts dating to their days playing in New Jersey, said Fred Mangione, the Nets’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
As a broker, Dynasty is no different than StubHub, Vivid Seats and ScoreBig, three competitors operating in the secondary market. Dynasty, in fact, lists tickets on ScoreBig’s site, Lefton said.
Teams have sold tickets to brokers for many years, said John Walker, president and CEO of Tickets.com and a former senior executive with the Phoenix Suns. But only recently have both parties sat down to talk about strengthening their relationship with some flexibility, he said.
Those discussions revolve around brokers committing to long-term deals where they pay a premium to buy tickets when a team is hot and get a discount when things aren’t going well. That helps the resellers cut their losses and provides guaranteed revenue for teams.
Dynasty did not get a discount for buying in bulk from the Nets, Cowboys and 49ers, but there are other instances where it does get a price break, Lefton said.
The consulting piece is something Dynasty could hang its hat on if it can help teams effectively manage their ticket inventory, Walker said.
Lefton, whom Mangione hired six years ago, met Rubin when Charm City resold tickets for the Nets at their former homes at Izod Center and the Prudential Center. Lefton oversaw the team’s temporary relocation to Newark as well as the All-Access ticket program in Brooklyn.
“What they laid out to me is this is more of a full-service company, and their goal is to educate some of the teams on how analytics can help them,” Mangione said. “Dan knows the ins and outs of ticketing and which teams are struggling.”
It’s something Dynasty officials say is a point of difference over other ticket brokers, through their ability to help teams bridge the gap between the primary and secondary markets using Rubin’s proprietary analytics program to build more effective pricing models.
To date, though, Dynasty has generated 100 percent of its revenue reselling tickets. It is not now consulting for teams, a service it would provide in exchange for receiving more tickets to resell, Lefton said.
Its competitors on the consulting side include The Aspire Group and IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions, two firms that do not resell tickets.
Dynasty can customize resale programs for teams that prefer using league-approved ticket exchanges, Lefton said.