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Volume 24 No. 156
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Secondary Ticket Sellers Dealing With Escalation Of Last-Minute Purchases

The market for last-minute ticket buyers continues to escalate in sports, largely through mobile devices, with more young adults making purchases through secondary ticket sites and resale aggregators. During Thursday's session on consumer fragmentation at the ’16 AXS Ticketing Symposium, SeatGeek co-Founder Russ D'Souza told the audience that his firm's data shows that 30% of all tickets sold in sports are now being transacted on the day of the game.  As a result, companies such as SeatGeek and GameTime, two platforms aggregating secondary inventory, play a critical role in helping teams and their ticketing partners sell as many tickets as possible. SeatGeek alone moves up to $2M worth of tickets every day, according to D'Souza.

GATHERING PLACE: The millennial generation is all about getting a group of six to eight friends together and making a decision on how to be entertained on a Friday night, and that is where the aggregators are making headway in the ticketing space, said GameTime Founder & CEO Brad Griffith. In a further sign of fragmentation, GameTime's data shows about 80% of consumers using its system to search for tickets do not use StubHub, the market leader for purchasing tickets on the secondary market. "With the rise of mobile, it's a much different experience ... and it's about how do we make it easy for people to make that decision," Griffith said. "We recognize those age 18-24 have an enormous value to the team. It's what we call 'hyper-fragmented attention,' about getting people into the stadium.” The trends in fragmentation have also provided savvy tech firms such as SeatGeek with an entry into the primary ticketing market. The company has expanded into the primary space through recent deals with MLS club Sporting K.C. and Spectra. The strategy is simple, D'Souza said. "We need to put our tickets where our fans are, in an open system for distribution ... to empower distribution," he said. "We want to invent a pipeline that pushes distribution as far as possible and puts that information in the control of the buyer. [With Sporting K.C.] we're totally aligned with the team to sell as many tickets at the highest prices possible."

Trinchero said success for her company
in the short term is education
OPEN FOR RESERVATIONS: ShooWin, by comparison, which launched in the spring of '16, has a business model tied to purchasing reservations for the right to buy tickets at face value to future college football championships and high-profile bowl games, events where tickets are often in high demand. The company has deals with the Allstate Sugar Bowl and Big Ten Championship, among other events. "We are a way to combat some of the money taken from the secondary market,” said ShooWin CEO Brisa Trinchero. "Our inventory is already earmarked. We are not a ticketing company. Our market is closed before the ticket goes on sale. For us, success in the short term is education, to get fans excited and thinking about being able to get into an event.”