Power Players: Patrick Ryan
Ryan and his Houston-based firm have been trusted advisers to dozens of teams — including the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros — and entertainment entities for more than a decade, helping them manage ticket distribution channels and develop pricing strategies. Under Ryan’s guidance his company also has been an active player in an accelerating industry trend whereby teams reduce their activity with brokers in favor of consolidated relationships with firms such as Eventellect. That was most recently typified by the company’s new, multiyear partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Tickets to success
What do you see as the biggest change coming to ticketing in the next year? And in the next five years?
RYAN: Over the next year I expect to see the continued trend of the hottest events being hotter than ever contrasted with the colder events being even colder. That will continue to be highlighted and addressed via more sophisticated use of the secondary market by teams. Currently every league is becoming more focused on ticketing strategies and in five years we are going to really see those play out and there will be some clear winners and losers.
What market segment does the sports industry need to do a better job with in ticketing and why?
RYAN: I think fixing the “holes” in sections of stadiums where there are big price breaks is a bigger issue than some realize. There should be and will be a collective effort to better fill stadiums logically. Sometimes three price tiers are better than 30.
What can sports learn from ticketing in other forms of live entertainment?
RYAN: Live Nation’s $20 Summer Concert Ticket promotion is brilliant and one of the leagues should take a page from that playbook. Are they leaving some money on the table? Yes. But are they getting incremental sales? Yes. Are they getting people excited about the concert season? Yes. Are fans buying other tickets besides the $20 ones? Yes. Clearly the pros outweigh the cons in this promotion.
What do you see as ticketing’s role in live entertainment’s battle versus the couch?
RYAN: Ticketing has gotten more complicated in a lot of ways over the past 10 years. However, as technology improves there are ways for it to become simple again and that simplification will be key in fighting that battle.