SBJ/Feb. 10-16, 2014/Facilities

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  • Phone friendly: Braves roll out big mobile ticketing push

    Don Muret
    The Atlanta Braves are pushing their fans to adopt full mobile delivery of tickets for home games this season at Turner Field.

    For the first time, Braves season-ticket holders and single-game buyers can assign tickets to their smartphones to be scanned at the stadium gates for entry to the ballpark, said Derek Schiller, the team’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.

    This year, the Braves, in conjunction with Ticketmaster, their ticketing provider, have expanded their Braves FanPass digital program to provide greater convenience for fans and to cut down on the expense of producing paper tickets, Schiller said.

    Braves fans will be able to store their tickets using Apple’s Passbook app.
    Last year, FanPass allowed fans to print tickets at home or load the tickets’ value to a credit card that, when swiped at the gate, produced a seat locator tab. The advent of mobile delivery eliminates the credit card option, which the Braves saw as a bridge to mobile, Schiller said.

    The new version of the FanPass system works for both iPhones and Android devices. There are multiple ways to deliver tickets to those mobile devices, including Ticketmaster’s Account Manager system for season-ticket holders and MLB’s At the Ballpark mobile application, Schiller said.

    Through FanPass, season-ticket holders can also forward tickets to friends and family and post tickets for resale directly from their Account Manager function on their mobile device. They can also use the print-at-home option to produce a paper ticket.

    Single-game ticket buyers can have tickets delivered to their mobile devices when buying Braves tickets on a computer or through Ticketmaster’s mobile application, Schiller said.

    The ability to store tickets in Apple’s Passbook application is another option, he said.

    As part of the push for mobile adoption, the Braves have notified 2014 season-ticket holders that if they elect to use paper tickets produced by the team for all 81 home games, they will be charged a fee of $250 an account, Schiller said.

    “We think it’s enough to make you motivated to use our mobile delivery method,” he said. “We’re trying to wean everybody off paper stock.”

    The Braves started digital ticketing two years ago and saw 25 percent adoption among season-ticket holders, Schiller said. Last year, the number grew to 50 percent as the team tested mobile delivery among employees using complimentary tickets at the gates.

    “This year, it’s a full rollout and the sky’s the limit; we think we can get to 75 percent adoption,” Schiller said.

    For Ticketmaster clients alone, the Braves have been one of the most aggressive teams for using mobile for fulfillment of season tickets, which ultimately builds on their ability to capture greater customer data compared with using paper tickets, Ticketmaster President Jared Smith said.

    The technology should cut the Braves’ cost to print tickets in half this season, to $60,000, Schiller said.

    Elsewhere in MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in tandem with Tickets.com, their ticketing provider, announced a digital upgrade for season-ticket holders, providing many of the same services as the Braves.

    The new platform, TDC ProVenue Ticketing, is being used this season by 17 MLB teams. Tickets.com is a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media.

    > POINT MAN: Former Comcast-Spectacor and Philadelphia Flyers executive Peter Luukko has joined his old friends at Pointstreak as a company investor and advisory board member.

    Luukko knows the Greater Toronto-based company well. During his tenure in Philadelphia, Luukko signed deals with Pointstreak to use its scoring and statistical systems for the Flyers’ community rink program and operate its 50/50 raffle technology at Wells Fargo Center.

    The ties between Pointstreak and Luukko’s old employer extend to Front Row Marketing and Paciolan, two Comcast-Spectacor entities that have deals with Pointstreak to sell sponsorship of raffles and use the technology to help colleges’ fundraising initiatives.

    Pointstreak principals Scott Secord and Kevin Lovitt approached Luukko about joining the board to help them make further inroads in the sports facilities industry and grow their overall business.

    “I certainly believe in their products,” Luukko said. “We had great success working with Scott and Kevin in Philadelphia, and this is technology that can certainly grow.”

    An official announcement is expected this week during PacNet ’14 in Newport Beach, Calif. The event draws ticketing representatives from throughout Paciolan’s 500-plus college and pro sports accounts. Luukko plans to attend the conference.

    Don Muret can be reached at dmuret@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @breakground.

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