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Volume 23 No. 8
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Ticketmaster analytics evolves into Blue

The creation of a new digital marketing agency, Blue, represents a key part of Ticketmaster’s effort to be far more than a ticketing provider.

Blue, which formally debuted in late October after several months of development, will provide traditional digital marketing services such as ad buying and placement, analytics, Web design, social media and email marketing, search optimization, and content development. The agency is a direct outgrowth of Ticketmaster’s Live Analytics operation that for several years has provided fan research and consumer profiling and targeting services. But Blue seeks to take that knowledge a significant step further for event producers.

“We have a whole new vehicle for customer engagement,” said Leo Dalakos, a former Publicis executive who will lead the new agency as vice president and general manager, working from a split operation in Chicago and Los Angeles. “We are now truly a one-stop shop.”

Blue has already begun working with several Ticketmaster clients, including Madison Square Garden and the PGA Tour. Dalakos said he does not anticipate working with teams, leagues or venue operators that don’t also have a ticketing relationship with Ticketmaster. But the overall intent is to create a seamless pathway for a fan from event discovery to ticket purchasing, social interaction about that event, upgrades, and then back around toward the next event.

“This allows us to engage with the consumer at different points in the purchasing cycle, so we’re able to retarget potential buyers that have shown interest in one of our events,” said Andrew Lustgarten, MSG executive vice president of corporate development and strategy.

Blue is beginning with a staff of about 20, split between the two locales, but Dalakos said he intends to expand the agency quickly. Development costs for the creation of Blue were not disclosed. Blue will not necessarily replace clients’ relationships with their current advertising agencies of record but rather strike a more complementary position.

“We have a lot of power behind us with a database of more than 100 million fans and ticket purchasers. That’s a big engine,” Dalakos said.