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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.”

 

 

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Dig Inclusion makes digital access available for everyone 

For stadiums around the world, infrastructure has been created to cater for people with disabilities, however access to club websites and apps cannot be overlooked. 

In the past, stadiums had been designed so people with disability can still access the venues. As we know with COVID outbreaks, attention has now shifted towards how we get these people into the grounds by using apps and in particular to scan a QR code for contact tracing. 

As we have seen in 2021, the QR system has become a mandatory tool, while at the same time we have seen the need to go with virtual tickets, rather than the printed out copies we had always been accustomed to. 

For clubs and stadiums, they want to ensure that fan experience is at the optimal level, so that means they have to assess the accessibility for disabled people and ways for them to have entry to venues without an enormous amount of hassle. 

This is where Dig Inclusion can help. They are a digital accessibility service who ensures that football club websites and apps are equally available for everyone. 

For clubs, they should be asking themselves whether disabled fans have the same opportunity to buy tickets online as everybody else, while the other consideration should be if news feeds, match statistics, websites and apps are as user friendly as they need to be. 

For digital accessibility, Dig Inclusion takes into account people who are colour blind, dyslexic or have cognitive impairments (including people living with dementia). Through a club’s website or app design process – from the use of font, to language, to colour contrast – are all highly important so nobody feels overwhelmed when accessing a club’s resource. 

For example, if a disabled fan wants to buy some club merchandise, then they will have the same opportunity to browse and make that purchase just like any other person would, with tailored options available to assist anyone who needs it. 

When teams partner with Dig Inclusion, they are there for every step of the way, from accessible testing, research and strategy, to accessible development and content creation, and finally a check on websites, mobile apps, PDF documents and ebooks among some of the benefits. 

All of Dig Inclusion’s services are designed to help clubs keep pace in a rapidly changing digital age: 

Accessible design review: To highlight visual aspects of a design that need to be checked for accessibility, such as colour contrast and positioning. This looks at common accessibility pitfalls and turns this into what would be the ultimate experience for all customers. 

Accessibility help desk: Advice and support from someone who understands the company and what they do, offering fast response times and specialist knowledge for any stucks in the digital accessibility process. 

Mobile accessibility: Helping to get the most out of tablet and smartphone users, with those devices more often used than desktop or laptop. This is very important for disabled or elderly fans who would like to use mobile technology. 

Web accessibility: Advising organisations about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) in an easy-to-understand manner, as design agencies and web developers may find it difficult to grasp or keep pace with updates as they become available. 

Disabled user testing: It’s not only digital content meeting accessibility guidelines that is important, but also making sure that the experience of a disabled person using a product is a good one. 

PDF accessibility: Accessibility guidelines are not just designed for webpages, but anything that a customer downloads is also included. Dig Inclusion can produce PDF documents that go alongside WCAG with equal access as a typical website. 

Video accessibility: When businesses make advertising material, they can be supported with transcripts, captions, subtitles, or audio descriptions that they probably would have not used before on their own. 

Ebook accessibility: Tablets have been a valuable way for people to virtually read books and other publications. An accessible ebook gives all readers instant access to fit their needs, regardless of print disability. 

Dig Inclusion provides ways for clubs to navigate the challenges associated with building an app or website for equal opportunities. To learn more on Dig Inclusion, you can find it here. 

Swan Retail: Promoting clubs through powerful app 

Swan Retail’s software development has seen the creation of FUSE – an app that has all the best fan engagement features in the one place. 

It’s been a mixed bag for Australian audiences wanting to go to live sporting events, as lockdowns and restrictions have not always gone in our favour. 

For sport clubs, they have become more reliant on finding ways to engage with their fan bases via digital, as the typical match day inclusions do not always go to plan, with unpredictable Covid-19 changes. However, what is for certain is that clubs cannot be stopped in exploring ways to promote their team in a variety of ways. 

Swan Retail has identified the demand for digital and online resources, where they have taken their expertise into the sports & stadium area. 25 years’ worth of experience has lended itself towards furniture & homeware, fashion and specialty retail to name a few. 

Swan Retails app, FUSE, encapsulates that a club is searching for when it comes to fan engagement. It is completely branded to suit a club’s identity and includes an immerse news feed to create engaging content that you would see on a social media platform. The only difference here is that the app takes everything from a club and showcases that directly to a fan, rather than trapping it in amongst other competitors.

When a fan uses FUSE, their sole focus is on the team they support. FUSE is the application that integrates quality engagement, offering clubs the chance to interact with their fans, build their brand, reward loyalty and drive sales. 

Available on the App Store and Google Play, FUSE has a host of features to maximise marketing potential: 

  • Build and theme a business app. 
  • Clubs can customise their branding. 
  • Scale up only when clubs need to. 
  • Deploy to iOS & Android. 
  • Potential to be live within four weeks. 
  • Deliver engaging content through the app feed. 
  • Segment, target and deliver content based on purchase data. 
  • Display real-time loyalty points and loyalty account balances. 
  • Wrap and enhance a mobile website. 
  • Harness the power of push notifications. 
  • Drive footfall, sales, traffic and conversion. 

FUSE can bring fan engagement benefits that are developed around loyalty. To build and sustain a fan base, Swan Retail helps to bring promotions to life. The app provides the go-to resource for planning and delivering promotional campaigns, leading to an increased rate of revenue. 

Clubs can bring across their creativity and connect with fans in a more personalised manner, whether it be game day or to provide greater access off the pitch. Swan Retail have partnered with Warrington Wolves Rugby Club, Ipswich Town Football Club and Stoke City Football Club who have already seen the following benefits: 

  • News, events, polls and promotions form the pivotal part of FUSE, making content the app’s bread and butter. This can be implemented further by integrating an online shop, which can be a post of a goal celebration during the match with a promotion applied to the player’s kit. 
  • Push notifications as a regularity can consistently bring fans to the app once they have been informed of new content, rewards and timely promotions that all contribute to driving sales. 
  • Loyalty points can be accrued to make fans feel part of something special and to be rewarded for their support. 
  • A website within the app to collaborate a fans’ online experience by seamlessly allowing them to browse and buy from a store without leaving the app. 
  • Calls-to-action as a way of offering new products such as kit releases and the ability to use redeem promotions and use rewards points. 
  • Custom forms can be created as a crowdsourcing tool to get feedback and insights from the people that make the club tick and learn more about how to maximise profits. 

To learn more about Swan Retail, and to have a read of their case studies, you can find it here. 

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