Inwego connects with the ‘subscription economy’
Experience says its Inwego subscription-based ticketing service that’s now in six cities is growing solidly because it’s filling a gap for casual fans who want to attend a wide range of events.
The Atlanta-based company launched Inwego in that city in late 2016 with sports only, but has since expanded the product to five other markets and added more events. Users pay a monthly rate to Inwego and get access to events in a given city — everything from sports to concerts and local events such as art festivals.
Experience launched the service because it sensed a changing pattern among consumers who wanted more flexibility and convenience when it came to attending events, according to Junior Gaspard, the company’s president and CEO. He says the service has helped introduce casual or even nonsports fans to games in a way that helps teams trying to get new fans in the door.
Gaspard didn’t disclose financials but cited the rising number of cities it serves as evidence of the program’s growth.
“We saw continued change in the economy and just subscribers in general. A lot more fans are interested in access as opposed to ownership,” said Gaspard, a member of the Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 class of 2018. “The way consumers are thinking about things with the subscription economy with the Spotifys and Netflixes of the world, we saw that happening.”
In addition to Atlanta, Inwego is in Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Tampa/St. Petersburg and Washington, D.C. Participating sports teams include the Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Braves and Arizona Coyotes. Inwego offers multiple tiers and the cost varies by city because of cost of living. In D.C., for example, access to one event costs $19 a month and escalates to $39 for three and $59 for five. Atlanta’s similar tiers are $15, $35 and $55.
Users sign up either on Inwego’s website or its app. The service lists the available events in a user’s given city around five days before the event happens, and the user clicks on a link to get one of the available slots. Users can request to sit together with other Inwego members at the same event. If users are going out of town for an extended amount of time, they can pause their account for $5 a month or cancel the service for free.
As the original Inwego market, Atlanta is one area that is seeing the most growth. Gaspard said Experience continues to find new types of events for its subscribers to attend, listing a grilled cheese festival as a recent example.
Experience structures its deals with teams by figuring out which games teams want to make available for Inwego and then determining a price per ticket that works for both sides.
While not disclosing specifics, Gaspard said Inwego will launch in a couple more cities in 2019 before scaling up to a significant extension nationally in 2020. He foresees growth for the service not just in big cities but also in smaller areas like college towns. Experience is mainly marketing the product via digital/social media and influencers.
“There’s clearly 25-50 DMAs that make sense and we have in the mix, but we think there are opportunities with collegiate partners in college towns,” Gaspard said. “Think of all the things going on in a college town, from performances and concerts to sporting events; all these things, we see some opportunities.”
Gaspard said if a subscriber shows an affinity for a certain team, Inwego will work with that person to highlight more traditional options for them like season tickets, which reinforces why sports properties are starting to align with the service.
“It’s not one of those cases where we ever see it as a a replacement product,” he said, adding by way of example: “Somebody who is a millennial and used it for five years, now they make a jump to having a family, so now a traditional season ticket might appeal to them.”