Power Players: Jake Reynolds
Chief Revenue Officer /
Senior Vice President,
Ticket Sales & Service
Philadelphia 76ers /
New Jersey Devils &
Trusting the 76ers’ process applies to the club’s business operations, too, and Reynolds has generated huge returns for the up-and-coming team. During his first full season in Philadelphia, 2013-14, the 76ers had the NBA’s second-worst average and total attendance and sold barely two-thirds of their available seats at Wells Fargo Center. This past season, the team had the league’s third-highest attendance on the heels of franchise-record season-ticket sales and a full season of sellouts. Reynolds was also a key architect in the 76ers’ historic deal in 2016 with StubHub that moved that company into primary ticketing, and in early 2017 he added a broader executive role within Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment that gives him oversight of the New Jersey Devils’ ticketing operations as well.
Tickets to success
What do you see as the biggest change coming to ticketing in the next year? And in the next five years?
REYNOLDS: As an industry, we’ve taken significant steps over the past few years in gathering data on our fans to gain a better understanding of who they are and their behaviors. The question has been: “Now that we have the data, how are we leveraging it to grow our business?” In the next year, I think you will see significant growth in how teams are utilizing the data they’ve gathered to operate more efficiently, price and target fans more strategically and increase the velocity of the sales process.
Over the next five years, I believe we will continue to see a significant shift in the distinction of what primary and secondary ticket markets look like and how tickets are distributed across multiple platforms. As fans continue to become more sophisticated and hold the belief that “a ticket is a ticket is a ticket,” it will be interesting to watch how ticket markets will integrate and blend to create more open distribution and a seamless user experience.
What market segment does the sports industry need to do a better job with in ticketing and why?
REYNOLDS: Millennials are a key factor to the continued growth of our fan base now as well as the future of our membership business. As millennials continue to take a nontraditional approach to how they’re consuming sports, both in-arena and at home, it’s important that we have the agility to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of entertainment. We are living in a world when people can have whatever they want whenever they want it, so it’s important to understand how their behaviors in sports consumption will shape their future tendencies.
What can sports learn from ticketing in other forms of live entertainment?
REYNOLDS: Broadway has done a fantastic job of creating and monetizing unique experiences for their patrons. As sports teams become more strategic and sophisticated with pricing and maximizing revenues, finding innovative ways to create incremental revenue streams will be paramount to growing the business through nontraditional avenues.
What do you see as ticketing’s role in live entertainment’s battle versus the couch?
REYNOLDS: With the constant evolution in technology, the at-home experience continues to get more sophisticated and “real,” which pushes us to continue to innovate and improve the holistic in-arena experience from the game presentation to food and beverage offerings. With consumers having unlimited options and the live entertainment experience being challenged, a ticket to these events needs to serve as a fan’s pass to creating “can’t-miss” memories and experiences that expand beyond court or ice.