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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.

FC Barcelona and Ownix to create historic NFTs

Barcelona

LaLiga’s FC Barcelona and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Ownix have joined together to create unique digital assets through photos and videos, depicting iconic moments from the Club’s storied history.

With football clubs entering the world of NFTs at an increasing rate, FC Barcelona are looking to set a benchmark in the creation of these types of digital assets.

As part of this strategy, the Club has signed a new global partnership agreement with Ownix, a premium marketplace for NFTs based on the standards of the Ethereum blockchain – a platform for sharing data that cannot be manipulated or changed.

This alliance between FC Barcelona and Ownix will provide a new way for the Club to reach its followers from around the globe, as fans will now be able to acquire and own digital assets that will reproduce unforgettable moments throughout the Club’s almost 122-year history via various auctions taking place throughout the season.

The agreement between FC Barcelona and Ownix is part of the Club’s global expansion strategy and a further commitment to seek out new channels and formats to connect with new generations, while providing a different form of interaction with their fans around the world.

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta:

“Barça has a very large fanbase around the world and is leading the way in the digital domain with over 400 million followers in social networks,” he said.

“Given this scenario, the Club is constantly looking for new ways to connect with its fans, and we believe that creating these NFTs is a unique opportunity to continue growing and consolidating the Barça brand by bringing unique moments that have made Barça fans dream and FC Barcelona a well-known club on every level.”

Ownix CEO Guy Elhanani:

“As NFTs surge, we thought it is important to give those collectors who are Barça fans an opportunity to own a piece of their Club’s history,” he said.

“This new and exciting asset class allows collectors to own things that weren’t possible to own before, and we’re thrilled to offer sports fans an opportunity to spearhead the movement. Our Mission is to bring customers to purchase NFTs, not because they are marketable, but for the pleasure and pride of owning them.”

Manchester City teams up with Qualtrics

Manchester City Qualtrics

English Premier League side Manchester City have announced a new partnership with Qualtrics which will see the leader and creator of the Experience Management (XM) category become the Club’s Official Experience Management Software Partner.

Qualtrics empowers organisations to listen to customer and employee feedback, understand and analyse what they hear, then take action to improve experiences and design new ones, all in real time.

Manchester City and Qualtrics’ new partnership aligns with the club’s ongoing commitment to provide the best possible matchday experience for fans and will allow the club to use industry-leading experience management software to listen to fans’ feedback following each fixture.

From overall matchday experience – to catering, facilities, retail and more – Qualtrics can provide valuable insight and real-time data from fans to help the club shape their future strategic planning and decisions.

The new partnership is also expected to include further activations across wider areas of the organisation in coming months, using Qualtrics’ experience management software to listen to fan feedback and enhance the digital experience for Cityzens across the globe.

Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships Sales at City Football Group, Stephan Cieplik:

“As a club, we are continually working to improve our matchday offering for fans both in-stadium and across our digital platforms for those following across the globe,” he said.

“Through this new partnership with Qualtrics, we will be able to use industry-leading software to gather valuable feedback and insight from those at the heart of our club to help shape future decisions around matchdays.”

Qualtrics President of Products and Services, Brad Anderson:

“With Qualtrics, Manchester City can listen to and understand fan feedback in real time and take action to improve matchday experiences,” he said.

“But fan experience isn’t limited to the stadium — the digital and at-home fan experience is just as important, and Qualtrics will help Manchester City to deliver a personalized experience to their fans wherever they are.”

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