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Volume 23 No. 13
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SeatGeek turns 10 with eye on global growth, primary ticketing play

Ten years ago SeatGeek launched as a groundbreaking search engine that disrupted the opaque ticketing industry by offering consumers a way to see which deals on the secondary market offer the best value. 

 

In the decade since then, the New York-based company has evolved into a major player in sports and entertainment by making deals with iconic global sports brands, partnering with high-growth companies and leagues, and expanding into the primary ticketing market. 

SeatGeek’s partners now include the Dallas Cowboys for primary ticketing for NFL games and events at AT&T Stadium and The Star, as well as the New Orleans Saints and NBA’s Pelicans. The company created an open ticketing network for Major League Soccer that allows third-party websites and fans to freely sell tickets to games. 

SeatGeek is now the primary ticket platform used by 35% of English Premier League soccer clubs, and the company has outposts in the U.K., Israel, Netherlands and Italy, where it’s looking to expand its presence in ticketing for sports teams and venues.  

“When I look back on the past 10 years at SeatGeek, there’s been several big, cool product and customer innovations that we’ve ushered in that have been adopted and embraced by the industry for the betterment of the fan,” said SeatGeek co-founder Russ D’Souza. 

Primarily, D’Souza is proud that SeatGeek pushed the ticketing business to be more competitive and transparent for fans. He’s also proud that variations of SeatGeek’s first innovation, Deal Score, which allows fans to determine which tickets offer the best value, have essentially been adopted by its competitors.

SeatGeek’s move into mobile ticketing in 2013 sparked additional investment in the company, which has now raised more than $150 million since its inception. “Mobile was an afterthought before then, but we wanted to become the app known for buying tickets,” D’Souza said.

SeatGeek’s open ticketing platform is another innovative product that gave the company access to the primary ticket market, D’Souza said. 

Doug Dawson, the Dallas Cowboys’ vice president of ticket sales and service, said the team went with SeatGeek as its primary ticket partner when the NFL opened its ticketing system because of the company’s focus on mobile and its creation of Deal Score. 

“The Cowboys want to be industry leaders in using technology, and the mobile tech they developed was easy to use and they easily transitioned us from our previous ticket partner,” Dawson said.

SeatGeek through the years

2009

September
SeatGeek launches at TechCrunch 50.
December
Launches Deal Score to sort tickets by value instead of price.

2013


December
Acquires FanSnap, a search engine for live event tickets.

2015

November
Launches SeatGeek Marketplace, giving fans the ability to sell their tickets directly on SeatGeek.

2016

July
Moves into primary ticketing through a partnership with Major League Soccer and Sporting KC.
August
Launches SeatGeek Open, which provides teams with open distribution to sell their tickets in more places.

2017

April
Acquires primary ticketing technology provider TopTix for $56 million.
October
Launches SeatGeek Enterprise, the primary ticketing arm of the company, with more than 400 clients across the globe; partners with Facebook to sell tickets directly on the social media site.

2018

March
Joins NFL’s open ticketing ecosystem.
April
Partners with Dallas Cowboys and Manchester City FC; becomes naming-rights partner to home of the Chicago Fire. The company plans to keep the deal, despite the Fire’s planned move.
June
Takes ticket-buying directly into the Snapchat app.

2019

July
Latest team partnership signed with Austin FC.