How SeatGeek can manage socially distanced ticketing

SeatGeek offers a platform that can help with ticket allocations, where socially distanced seating would be used for returning fans.

SeatGeek offers a platform that can help with ticket allocations, where socially distanced seating would be the first step towards welcoming fans back – for competitions such as the A-League.

Founded in 2009, SeatGeek is a mobile-focused ticket platform based in New York and provides assess to tickets for live events, whether it be buying or selling.

With a wide range of sports covered, SeatGeek is trusted by clients around the world and has already been working with UK-based Premier League and EFL Championship clubs about how to navigate through this tricky time.

SeatGeek engaged with their UK clients and created a series of tools that enable football clubs to reintroduce fans to stadiums safely and effectively – social distancing seating plans, demand-based algorithms and online sales tools just some of the products and services.

“There were two key areas to our response to dealing with our clients’ needs across such an uncertain landscape,” Peter Joyce, Managing Director for SeatGeek Sport (EMEA), said.

“First of all we needed to engage in high levels of communication across our client group to enable all of us to stay well informed and share ideas. 

“Secondly we needed to quickly investigate how we could build enhancements to our software functionality that would assist a new way of staging football matches and sports events with more restrictions required around the sale and distribution of tickets, as well as the methods of entering stadiums on match-day.”

Clubs who are looking to drive their sales activity online have been benefited by the introduction of Pod sales functionality. Underpinned by SeatGeek’s rules-based enterprise software platform, SeatGeek clients have maximised their seat inventory by allowing fans to purchase in their approved social bubbles, with parameters included to allocation definitions, meaning that contiguous seats are sold together. 3D Digital Venue is a SeatGeek partner who have engaged with a range of clients to offer their visual seat mapping tool to further add to its functionality on offer.

In the summer pre-season leading up to UK football seasons getting underway, several SeatGeek clients were chosen to host events that would test the new features that are being planned to roll out.

Brighton & Hove Albion FC welcomed Chelsea in a pre-season friendly in front of 2,500 supporters at the Amex Stadium in August, while Middlesbrough FC were one of the first 9 EFL clubs to host a league fixture with fans during September. 1,000 supporters were allowed to be in attendance at The Riverside Stadium for their home game v AFC Bournemouth.

“The football community as a whole has been dealing with such an uncertain landscape when it comes to planning our matches leading into this season, but we were delighted to be selected by the EFL to stage one of the first round of games with fans coming back to stadiums in September and we were pleased with the handling of the game,” Lee Fryett, Head of Commercial & Ticketing at Middlesbrough FC, said.

“We were able to work closely with the team at SeatGeek who have provided excellent support as have other partners involved in helping us stage the game.”

In Australia, the A-League and W-League seasons have been confirmed to start on the same date of Sunday 27th December 2020.

In the two months leading up to the season start, there is the potential for more trials of socially distant seating measures that can be implemented, where restrictions are slowly being eased across the country.

“There has been a huge amount of work and planning covered in a short space of time to react to the challenges that have been presented and it has been encouraging to see a whole range of partners and clients come together to find solutions,” SeatGeek’s MD, Peter Joyce said.

“With the sharing of best practice and the launch of the Adapt tool kit, we’ve produced a range of functions and services that will provide real value to our partners as they look to leverage technology, with mobile ticket entry becoming a key component of the recently successful test events conducted at many of our SeatGeek supported venues.” 

Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Australian Professional Leagues confirm official collaboration with eToro

eToro and A-Leagues deal

Ahead of the upcoming weekend of A-League Men and Women, the Australian Professional Leagues have announced a three-year sponsorship with trading and investing platform eToro.

eToro is now the Official Trading and Investing Platform of the A-Leagues, where their branding will appear on the back of all mens’ playing jerseys for the 2023/24 season, as well as on all the substitution boards across both the Isuzu UTE A-League Men and Liberty A-League Women competitions. In an example of the digital presence they will have, eToro will take ownership of the ‘eToro Assist of the Month’ and all transfers or trade editorial throughout the season.

Founded in 2007 is committed to help you invest, share and learn. Boasting over 33 million users from more than 100 countries, eToro allows everyone to invest in a simple and transparent way.

eToro has already built a significant global sponsorship portfolio – including English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish Liga ACB and UK Premiership Rugby.

With the A-Leagues welcoming great crowds across the opening rounds, this deal promises to promote further fan engagement.

“We are delighted to announce eToro as our new Official Trading and Investing Platform partner for the next three years,” APL’s Commissioner Nick Garcia said via a statement:

“With attendance and viewership records already broken in the Liberty A-League Women, and the Isuzu UTE A-League Men kicking off with a bang, we are ready for an incredible season of A-Leagues football. eToro has a long standing connection with football globally and we look forward to developing our long term partnership.”

eToro Australia Managing Director Robert Francis explained how they will connect with the A-League supporters.

“We are inspired by the strong sense of community within the A-Leagues’ fan base that reflects eToro’s focus on community, collaboration and shared knowledge,” he added via media release.

“Following the success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and as part of our mission to empower everyone to take control of their financial destinies, we are excited to be supporting both male and female teams.

“We hope to inspire more people to explore investing as a way to secure their financial future. We are looking forward to attending the games and enjoying some great football.”

Technology companies are a huge addition to Australia’s sporting landscape and with the worldwide appeal that eToro has, this will promote the A-Leagues even further.

A-Leagues Independent Chairman Stephen Conroy on how the APL will evolve post-World Cup

Stephen Conroy - A-Leagues Chairman

For Stephen Conroy and the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), it has been a time of significant change.

In his new role as Independent Chair, Conroy has recently seen the departure of former Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend, leaving A-Leagues Commissioner Nick Garcia and KEEPUP Managing Director James Rushton to lead the APL.

Ahead of launching the 2023/24 A-Leagues season, it has proved to be a very busy period for the APL in amongst the CEO change – with the reversal of the Grand Final decision, announcing the brand-new U-Nite Round to take place in Sydney, confirming the sale of Perth Glory and identifying the preferred bidder for the Auckland licence.

After bidding farewell to the APL’s inaugural CEO, the focus has shifted to restoring faith in the A-Leagues fanbase – as the men’s and women’s World Cups need to be the kick-starter for football in Australia.

Speaking at Melbourne Victory’s Chairman function at AAMI Park before the Round 2 match against Newcastle Jets, Conroy reflected on a whirlwind period for the APL and football as a whole.

“It’s an exciting time coming off the back of the exceptional performance of the Matildas,” Conroy said.

“The standalone women’s round for the Liberty A-League was hugely positive with the record crowd and atmosphere we saw at the Sydney Derby.

“You’re seeing the enthusiasm with 1.6 million Australians and two million New Zealanders watching the two respective nations play.

“In funny because people almost forget the Socceroos and how well they did at Qatar – we talk about 2006 and the Golden Generation, but genuinely the performance in this tournament was absolutely stunning.”

The record attendances and memberships have been a huge plus for Conroy and the APL, particularly for women’s teams with numbers reaching unprecedented levels.

“As an example we’ve already seen Melbourne Victory go past 20,000 for memberships, so that’s a huge tick,” he said.

“With record turnouts and memberships, we are getting the sense that it is really happening now for people around the country in football.

“There’s so much in front of us at the moment.”

An integral part of the APL has been KEEPUP, which has recently undergone a revamp to split A-Leagues content into its own site.

Conroy outlined the digital strategies behind KEEPUP which has been a major inclusion since the APL’s inception.

“KEEPUP was launched when we unbundled from Football Australia – recently people might have been wondering why the app has morphed back into A-Leagues,” he said.

“In the rush to unbundle, we didn’t own the rights to call it the A-League app, but now we’ve got that sorted.

“What we will now start to see is a more rich product and this turns eyeballs into bums on seats or viewing on TV.

“KEEPUP’s mission is to drive people to watch the game at the ground, through free to air or streaming.”

Conroy also linked back to the numbers we saw from the Women’s World Cup, and how that will be a motivator for future growth of the A-Leagues.

“For all of us that went to any of the World Cup matches, part of it was needing to download the FIFA app,” he said.

“As we saw earlier, there’s 1.6 million Australians who want to watch a game of football – so we’ll be sitting down with Football Australia to work out how to succeed together.

“What we want to see is which team people want to support, get them to more games in-person and turn more casual fans into fully-fledged members.”

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