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StubHub’s push to be a more customer-centric company took on a new dimension with the recent hire of Jill Krimmel as general manager of Major League Baseball, the NCAA and other sports for the ticket resale marketplace. Previously with Walmart for more than a decade, Krimmel oversaw several categories of online merchandise sales for the retail giant. A regular attendee of San Francisco Giants games, she now will lead the implementation of a new, third contract term with MLB, and will likely be a key figure in the ongoing maturation of collegiate sports ticketing.
Mobile will continue to drive change in our industry and provide a better experience for the customer.
General Manager, MLB
On the evolution of the ticketing industry: The ticketing industry is on the fast track to change. Seeing content rights holders literally open up their marketplaces and also figuratively open up to the idea that we can do ticketing differently, and better, is both exciting and challenging.
On what sports and ticketing can learn from retail: I’m obsessed with the customer. What is the customer going to buy? When is she going to buy? At what price will she buy? We learned to be precise, and to tailor the shopping experience very specifically to each customer, even in the broad world of Walmart. StubHub has been doing this since day one, making the fan No. 1. And we’re obsessing about how to make that customer experience more efficient, intuitive and relevant.
On what can be expected in the new MLB-StubHub contract term: Deeper relationships. We’re looking to connect with the clubs in a more strategic way than ever before. We’re digging into ways we can leverage the synergies of each club with StubHub, thinking about things like marketing, ticketing strategies, sponsorship and of course data. We see significant opportunity to share best practices and work together more efficiently and seamlessly to not only improve the bottom line but also continually improve the customer experience. While we are collectively focused on getting more people to baseball games, we’re also committed to collaborating on ways to customize the partnership in the local markets, and think about ways we can leverage our sponsorship assets to do more with the clubs.
On the biggest misunderstanding of secondary ticketing: There are still some outdated practices in our industry where we’re stalled. Some are making it harder on the customer to access events, like putting up roadblocks to prevent the exchange of tickets, for example. We don’t see it as much in sports as we do in other genres, but no one really wins with that approach.
Wilson Sporting Goods has a rich 103-year history in Chicago with the venerable company recently moving to its new headquarters in downtown Chicago after spending two decades in offices near O’Hare Airport.
The 90,000-square-foot space at the Prudential Plaza was designed by Gensler Chicago and houses some 400 employees over two floors that are connected by an open staircase in the center of the building. The space encourages collaboration, with an open floor plan featuring workstations, and studios and conference rooms for each Wilson product line.
“Just having been there a month, you can hear a vibe in the building,” said Mike Dowse, president of Wilson Sporting Goods. “It is not as subdued. There is more interaction that speaks to the workstations we have built.”
The company’s new headquarters is also located across the street from Chicago’s Millennium Park, which has tennis courts and softball diamonds, providing a convenient testing ground of sorts for some of Wilson’s products.
The downtown location also gives the company access to many players in pro sports who travel with their teams to the city. “The teams stay downtown so it is easy access to come visit us and give us feedback on our products,” Dowse said.