Plugged In: Jill Krimmel, StubHub
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.
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On the biggest misunderstanding of secondary ticketing: There are still some outdated practices in our industry where we’re stalled.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.