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 a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Player sentiment up, average age down: PFA releases annual report

Sentiment is well and truly up for A-League players, according to the annual Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) report.

This time last year, only 33% of A-League players felt confident about the direction of their football careers.

According to the PFA’s latest annual report, that number is now 56%.

Of the A-League’s 312 players, 200 responded to the 2020/21 A-League survey, capturing 70% of the current cohort, with the results proving that even despite the ongoing turbulence and uncertainty of COVID-19, the majority of players feel much more confident about their futures within the game.

The report highlights that Australian players actively want to remain in the A-League, as opposed to seeking opportunities overseas.

The key numbers that demonstrate this include:

  • 55% of players said they would like to stay playing in the A-League next season, up from 45% last year.
  • 56% of players are confident about the direction of their football careers, compared to 33% in 2019/20.
  • Only 4% of players would move to an overseas league even if it was for similar money and/or playing standard.
  • Only 16% of players who would prefer to move to an overseas league would only do so if the money and standards were better.

Other highlights of the report include that the average A-League player is getting younger.

Over the last 14 years, the average age of the A-League player has consistently trended upwards.

In 2020/21, however, this changed and the average age trended downwards, dropping from 27.6 to 25.1.

The number of players utilised in the A-League who were aged 21 and under came in at 107, representing 35% of the 300 players who received A-League minutes during the 2020/21 season.

The youngest squads on average belonged to Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, with average ages of 23.6 and 23.9 years respectively.

Another highlight was the fact that of the league’s 312 contracted players, 300 received A-League minutes.

“These reports have been immensely valuable, helping the PFA and the players better understand the industry in which they are employed, monitor the application of high-performance standards, assess technical progress and survey the players’ experience,” PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said of the report.

“For the last five years, we have been able to utilise these reports to formulate evidence-based positions to improve the environments in which our members work through collective bargaining.

“Promisingly, after a period of significant uncertainty, the players have indicated that they are more confident in the direction of their careers and the future of the competition than this time last year, signifying a positive shift in the perception of the A-League.”

The report also highlights the fact that A-League attendances were the lowest ever in the competition, thanks in large part to COVID-19, with an average attendance of 5,660.

Foreign players in the league reduced by 12 to a total of 51, whilst the average salary in the A-League is $136,791.

Access the full report HERE.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

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