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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.

Optus Sport to broadcast K League to Australian viewers

Optus Sport has announced they have acquired the broadcast rights in Australia to show South Korea’s K League in 2020.

The deal follows on from their opening foray into the Asian football market, after the telco secured the domestic J.League rights in February.

The premier football competition in South Korea gets underway tonight, with Suwon Samsung Bluewings taking on reigning champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at 8pm (AEST).

Socceroos pair Adam Taggart and Terry Antonis will feature in the contest for the Bluewings.

Optus Sport will be airing two matches every round, live and on demand.

“I know I’m not the only one who’s been staring longingly out the window waiting for live sport to return, so to bring the K League to viewers in such a friendly time zone from this weekend is something we’re really excited about,” said Richard Bayliss, Optus director of sport.

“In light of COVID-19, we have faith in South Korea’s capability to start the K League while respecting societal requirements to keep players and the wider community safe.”

Other Australians playing in the league include Brandon O’Neill (Pohang Steelers), Jason Davidson (Ulsan Hyundai) and Rashid Mahazi (Incheon United).

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Optus Sport reported their active subscription base has only decreased by 0.5% from the start of March to the end of April.

The telco currently has 820,000 activated subscriptions.

AFC delivers new online courses for Asian match officials

The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) match officials have been given the opportunity to complete new online courses, ensuring they remain in sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With world sport currently put on hold, players and now officials alike are looking to keep up their training in order to be ready for when competitions do resume.

The AFC have embraced the use of technology as people are encouraged to stay at home. The introduction of these new courses can be accessed by anyone throughout the continent.

So far, over 300 participants have taken part – including elite men and women referees and assistant referees as well as newly recruited referees who joined the courses, which have focused on theoretical education, online discussions and fitness.

Organised by the AFC Referees Department, the online courses have comprised various topics including laws of the game, video tests, discussion based on case studies and match analysis. Six Referee Technical Educators (RTE), Suresh Srinivasan, Cheung Yim Yau, Niu Huijun, Etsuko Fukano, Awni Hassouneh and Vladislav Tseytlin, have been assigned to lead these online courses in designated zones in Asia.

“It is not a normal period, as most of the activities are postponed in Asia. During this critical period where most people are under lockdown procedure, AFC Referees Department decided to organise the online activities to keep the referees engaged in football,” Ali Al Traifi, the RTE Coordinator, said.

“This is a good opportunity to refresh their memories on the laws of the game and to get them thinking on their interpretation of match incidents. It is also important to conduct some activities for the new elite referees and women referees as well during this restricted movement period.”

The AFC Referee Academy courses are also ongoing with academy educators Farkhad Abdullaev, Hakan Anaz, Sachiko Yamagishi conducting the technical sessions online with academy members from 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively while instructors Alejo Perez Leguizamon and Ravichandran Chappanimutu manage the fitness sessions.

Eleven of the best: FFA create influential panel to address game’s issues

A selection of eleven experienced Australian football figures will come together and advise the FFA’s Football Development Committee (FDC) on matters relating to the growth and development of the game.

The panel, labelled the ‘Starting XI’, is made up of Mark Viduka, Josip Skoko, Clare Polkinghorne, Ron Smith, Mark Bosnich, Paul Okon, Frank Farina, Heather Garriock, Vicki Linton, Joey Peters and Connie Selby.

On a voluntary basis over an initial two-year period, members of the panel will advise the FDC on issues such as youth development, national teams and other technical aspects.

The FDC is chaired by FFA Board Member Remo Nogarotto, with former Socceroo Mark Bresciano and former Matilda Amy Duggan also involved in the committee.

FFA CEO James Johnson believes the panel will make an important contribution to the game, with their extensive football knowledge and past experience.

“Since joining FFA I have made it clear that we will be a football-first organisation that seeks to harness the collective knowledge and experience that our most successful contributors – be they current or former players, coaches, or officials – have to offer,” Johnson said.

“We have had to act quickly to stabilise the organisation during this difficult period. In the background however, we have been moving several pieces to ensure that we continue to do the work which will be vital to launching the future of football in Australia.

“The Starting XI will provide a great platform for eleven of our best football brains to share their insights and ideas with FFA on key matters from grassroots to international football, national teams, player pathways, and the overall wellbeing of the game.

“Having people of the calibre of the Starting XI directly communicating with FFA on a regular basis will be invaluable for the organisation and help to achieve a shared vision for the game.

“We would like to thank the inaugural members of the Starting XI for agreeing to share their vast lived experiences with us, and believe the diverse range of people with world-class football acumen on the Panel will enable us to access a wide range of local and global views to help us drive football forward,” he concluded.

Johnson himself, as well as coaches Graham Arnold and Ante Milicic, are amongst a host of others who will collaborate with the panel.

© 2019 Soccerscene Industry News. All Rights reserved.

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