While mobile ticketing has been around for over a decade, its presence is only increasing with some sporting events starting to move to mobile-only ticketing.
In 2019, U.S. Soccer extended a deal with its official ticketing provider Ticketmaster. The deal included plans to use Ticketmaster Presence a platform which replaces paper tickets with digital passes.
Most MLS clubs have been moving to mobile ticketing over the last few years with the Seattle Sounders in 2016 becoming the first MLS team to go fully mobile.
The MLS offers mobile ticketing via the league’s official app and MLS club apps.
There are now many ticketing platforms which offer mobile ticketing.
Australian soccer could use a platform such as TicketCo.
TicketCo was launched in 2013 with an aim to create a user-friendly ticketing solution.
“By providing a frictionless payment journey for the public and a single point of administration for the event organiser, TicketCo is creating the best value for both users and organisers. Through TicketCo organisers can sell both tickets, food and beverages, merchandise and accommodation,” TicketCo said on their website.
Here are the major reasons why Australian soccer should consider a move to mobile only ticketing.
The contactless aspect to mobile ticketing makes the technology extremely important as the FFA will be looking into how to get as many fans into stadiums safely during the pandemic.
TicketCo UK Country Manager David Kenny told fc business of the tracking and tracing ability of the TicketCo platform.
“Our traceability feature can enable football clubs to accurately record the details of everyone who enters the stadium. It works by scanning the ID of the supporter, or colleague when they enter the stadium, via a smartphone or tablet,” Kenny said.
“The information would then be stored accordance with GDPR regulation for the period required by the government for tracing. Once the time frame expires the data would automatically be deleted via an automated process.”
Self-scanning technology for mobile tickets is already in place at the major stadiums in Australia. While it may be expensive for NPL clubs to put this technology in place, it can be integrated quickly.
TicketCo can be integrated into a stadium within two weeks.
David Kenny also believes that the technology is “accessible and affordable to all clubs”.
Convenience and flexibility
Some US colleges have also decided to use mobile only ticketing for their sporting events based on the convenience and flexibility mobile ticketing offers. For the 2020/21 seasons the University of Arkansas and Florida Atlantic University have opted to move to digital ticketing systems.
Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics at the University of Arkansas, Hunter Yurachek said that mobile ticketing options had been successful in previous seasons.
“Whether it is transferring tickets to family or friends, getting the latest update on gameday changes or self-scanning themselves into the event, our fans now can manage their tickets, at their convenience, by utilizing their smart phones,” he said
“No longer do fans need to worry about forgetting tickets at home or in the car. With mobile ticketing, our fans literally have all of the gameday options they need right in the palm of their hand.”
Florida Atlantic University shared a similar sentiment when announcing their move to mobile only ticketing.
“(A) new and convenient way for fans to access tickets to FAU home games directly on their smartphone. Ease and flexibility to transfer tickets to friends and family,” they said.
The TicketCo platform can also be used to live-stream matches with both pay-per-view and video on demand options for TicketCo TV.
David Kenny said that the live streams can be viewed on Apple TV and Android TV.
“If stadiums remain closed live streaming will become a key issue. And once physical crowds are welcomed back clubs can simply host ‘hybrid events’ by selling tickets to the stadium alongside virtual tickets,” he said.
“Introducing a robust live streaming solution now will be a sound long term investment for football clubs.”
Either by using the TicketCo platform or adapting similar technology into its own My Football Live app the FFA could create a single area where fans would be able to access both live-streams and tickets.
This would make it very straightforward for fans to have their tickets or view live-streams for Socceroos, Matildas, A-League, W-League, NPL and the new National second division matches.
The data from mobile ticketing, can tell organisers who bought tickets, who tickets were transferred to and who actually attended the event. This would be useful to help market the game.
The demographics of attendees could be analysed to give the FFA an specific idea of who their audience is.
With several benefits to mobile only ticketing, digital only tickets could soon become a reality for Australian soccer.