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SeatGeek – The sports ticketing platform which continues to take on the world

Founded in New York in 2009, SeatGeek is a prominent mobile ticketing platform that allows consumers to buy and sell tickets across sports and other events in the US market.

The company has partnered with different organisations around the US since the platform was launched, including Yahoo! Sports and various MLS teams around the country.

The service has recently moved into other markets, including the UK, after acquiring Israeli ticketing software company TopTix in 2017 for $56 million.

SeatGeek’s acquisition opened up the service to an international market, as TopTix’s primary software application, labelled ‘SRO’, combined perfectly with SeatGeek’s mobile applications and market place ability.

SRO gives sports clubs a world class software application to manage areas such as memberships, ticketing, reporting, corporate hospitality, marketing and so forth all inside a singular web-based user interface.

“We all thought it was a very good fit – what SeatGeek would bring to the table to work alongside the SRO software platform. We felt it was a great opportunity to build a global offering that could really drive a change in the market at a significant level and we have enjoyed strong growth over the past two and half years,” SeatGeek’s managing director for Sport across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Peter Joyce told FC Business, earlier this year.

When the acquisition of TopTix occurred in 2017, SeatGeek only had one English Premier Club partnered with the company, West Bromwich Albion. Two years later, the platform is now used by seven Premier League clubs in the 2019/2020 season, which represents a 35% market share across the league.

The clubs using the service are Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Leicester City, Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

A further seven clubs are clients from the EFL Championship. Those teams are Derby County, Stoke City, Middlesbrough, Reading, Bristol City, Charlton Athletic and West Bromwich Albion.

The UK Sport headquarters has recently doubled in staff numbers with SeatGeek now having 430 employees and eight offices in different locations around the world.

Joyce believes the company continues to improve its reputation in the UK sports market.

“Ticketing software in UK sport has tended to work in five-year cycles when it comes to the systems and software products available and I think we’ve turned heads over recent years.

“New suppliers can come and go and there can be a swing in a certain direction from time to time. SeatGeek and the SRO software solutions have certainly enjoyed excellent growth over the years and our challenge is to build on a very solid platform and client base and take it to the next level.

“Alongside winning significant new business over the past two years we have also re-signed every club (7) who have come up for re-contract in that period and this demonstrates a client base that are enjoying working with SeatGeek and the SRO software platform. Technology is changing rapidly as we all know and there’s a demand for ticketing providers to keep pace with those ever-changing requirements and continue to grow and evolve.”

Central to SeatGeek’s success is the technological superiority the company has over its competitors. Legacy ticketing systems are generally known to manually report, overwork staff and be inflexible when it comes to configuration of events.

However, SeatGeek’s SRO service provides those in charge with extensive control across their organisation. This includes the most customisable rules-based engine ever created, with clubs also given valuable services for those using a powerful Application Program Interface (API). This gives third party providers the chance to build in tools that provide analytics, CRM, data, dynamic pricing and so on.

Fans praised the SeatGeek’s SRO platform last season, when the service was in use for a series of semi-finals and finals at Wembley Stadium. Over 95% of all tickets were sold online using SeatGeek’s online applications with not one complaint received. Instead, hundreds of positive comments were left across social media regarding the ease of the sales process.

Joyce claims SeatGeek will continue to grow and adapt in the future, using the impressive technology that is accessible.

“We will continue to listen to the market’s requirements; build for the future and one club at a time grow the footprint of our SRO platform to deliver an excellent all-round ticketing experience for as many clients and fans as possible.”

 

 

Frasers Property Australia leased with major sports brand Puma

Frasers Property Australia will have a new fresh look in Melbourne’s South East, with a leading sportswear company partnering up with them.

Frasers Property Australia have agreed to a lease with PUMA which will see the brand represented on a 23-hectare Industrial Estate, in the suburb of Braeside in Melbourne’s South East.

That Estate is the company’s third building tenancy in the development, with this lease being another bold move.

The German sportswear manufacturers PUMA will be on a seven-year term which comprises of a 14,110 sqm warehouse, 442 sqm office and 112 car spaces.

Upon completion, this large facility will be worth around $25 million. With ASX listed entities IVE Group and GALE Pacific also providing expansion with buildings in Braeside’s Industrial Estate, it is sure to boost the popularity of the area.

When the PUMA warehouse is up and running, key features will include energy efficient LED high bay lighting with motion sensors and a control system, 100kW roof mounted solar photovoltaic system providing renewable energy and a rainwater storage tank connected to the landscaping irrigation system and main office amenities.

This stunning development will be at Braeside Industrial Estate, located on the corner of Governor Road and the proposed Mordialloc Bypass.

Plans are underway and construction is set to being by the end of 2019 – it is hoped that the new arterial will significantly improve transport links to the area will be significantly improved to assist visitors.

As for when PUMA will ideally be moving in, their new warehouse on Canterbury Road should be ready by mid-2020.

Football streaming versus the national second division – where to next?

Online streaming continues to be a popular choice for football fans around the country, but have we been better off since these services have changed the landscape?

The EPL is exclusively on Optus Sport to stream for $15 a month whilst other Major European leagues, as well as the A-League, W-League and FFA Cup, is on Kayo Sports for $25 a month.

Telstra also offers a service for streaming Socceroos and Matildas games on the My Football Live App, as well as giving fans of the A-League, W-League and FFA Cup another alternative streaming option.

At a local NPL level, significant progress has also been made in this area.

A recent initiative was introduced this past season by NPL Victoria and other NPL associations around the country, with all senior NPL games live streamed on Facebook and YouTube. This in turn has increased the visibility of the local game and given fans the chance to stream games on familiar online platforms.

Football Victoria recently posted record audience numbers on their YouTube and Facebook streams for their Grand Final Triple Header broadcast on September 15. Some of these figures were up 32% on last year’s spectacle, highlighting the appetite for the local streaming coverage.

While the implementation has been successful, there are infinite possibilities for growth through these digital platforms.

I’m sure those who are in charge of the creation of the proposed national second division will be looking at various options to find viable streaming options which will grow the game.

Could that body invest heavily in producing a streaming service that will charge a subscription fee to fans?

Or is it more suitable to keep costs lower, give out the service for free and expand digital advertising across the board, with the associated revenue making it a viable solution?

It certainly is an interesting debate, without knowing the finer details.

Maybe NPL clubs such as South Melbourne or Heidelberg United can put the onus on themselves to find a partner to stream their games (or do it themselves), when the second division is up and running.

They may try to strike a deal similar to that of Los Angeles Football Club in the MLS. LAFC secured an agreement with YouTube TV in 2018, as not only a sponsor of the team but a streaming partner. 30 of LAFC’s 34 games are streamed on the paid subscription service in 2019, available to those in the Los Angeles area. Pre-existing media deals that have been secured by the MLS are not affected by LAFC’s deal with YouTube TV. The streaming partner does not produce the coverage of the game by itself, instead partnering with the MLS and LAFC. Content produced for the service includes pre and post-game shows and other LAFC related content.

Traditional NPL clubs could package archival footage in a similar type of setup, giving fans of the team more value for their dollar. Advertising revenue could then be generated for themselves or split with the streaming partner.

These are all possible alternatives, as it becomes increasingly hard for traditional media companies (such as FOX Sports) to shell out money for sports broadcasting rights.

If FOX Sports’ current attitude towards the A-League is any indicator, the chances of them investing in a national second division are not very high.

Sports such as Basketball have taken the hint and are seeking out other viable options.

Last week the NBL announced they are in a partnership with Facebook to live stream 52 NBL games into America. This was a significant announcement for the NBL as Facebook will pay a fee to stream the games, something that they have struggled to garner domestically from traditional media outlets.

The NBL will broadcast a number of games on ESPN and SBS VICELAND this season in Australia, sharing the advertising revenue with both of these partners.

Games will also be available to stream on SBS ON DEMAND, as well as the NBL TV streaming service which is a model the national second division will be considering.

The NBL TV model gives fans access to all games live streamed for $5 a month, with full game replays and NBL Classics on demand.

It’s time for those in charge of the national second division to find the right balance for football. The streaming waters have been tested this season with NPL associations around Australia, but the decision makers will have to do their due diligence and find the right model for the future of the game.

Filopoulos hails success as Football Victoria sets broadcast audience record

The 2019 Senol Grand Final Triple Header at AAMI Park last Sunday drew record audience numbers for a National Premier Leagues Victoria live-stream event.

A statement from the Football Victoria can be found here:

The showpiece of Victorian men’s and women’s football attracted a milestone reach of 111,122 people and 78,515 views across the NPL and NPLW Victoria’s Facebook and YouTube platforms. This compares to a total reach of 96,357 and 53,079 from 2018, up 13.2 per cent and 32.4 per cent respectively.

2019 Broadcast Numbers

 

Engagement was an impressive 58 per cent for the NPL Promotion/Relegation Playoff match between Dandenong Thunder FC and FC Bulleen Lions (reach 39,753 / views 22,860), a commanding 77.3% for the NPL senior men’s Grand Final between Avondale FC and Bentleigh Greens SC (reach 62,086 / views 47,973) and a remarkable 83% for the NPLW Grand Final between Calder United SC and FC Bulleen Lions (reach 9,283 / views 7,682).

This year, the broadcast was hosted by Michael Zappone and featured NPL coaches and players Scott Miller, Moreland Zebras skipper Cam Watson, former Socceroos Sasa Ognenovski and Goran Lozanovski and former Matildas Melissa Barbieri and Kate Gill.

Match commentators featured emerging callers from Football Victoria’s media network such as Chris Gleeson, Joey Lynch, Bryce Ruthven, Katie Lambeski, Brandon Galgano, Damir Kulas, Josh Parish and Steve Curtain.

Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos said all NPL, NPLW and selected NPL2 matches were broadcast weekly in 2019, promoting many clubs across the state. He said the Senol Grand Final Triple Header broadcast was a high-quality production, backed by a high-quality line-up and well supported by SBS’ promotion on its The World Game platform.

“To see so many viewers tune in throughout the day was a fantastic endorsement for football in Victoria. We have clearly struck a chord with fans across the NPL and NPLW competitions in this state and the fan base continues to grow,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“The quality of Victorian football, week in and week out, is well worth watching and it was also very satisfying to see comments from fans tuning in from as far away as Scotland. We very much thank SBS for their support in promoting it as well,” he said.

“We’re also working hard to grow crowd attendance on the day as we keep building on this marquee event on an annual basis. There’s no doubt AAMI Park is the showcase venue for football in Victoria and it’s a huge opportunity and honour to showcase the best of our state’s NPL and NPLW competitions each year.

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