Why the Golden Ticket Is A Digital One in Sports

It’s game day. You are standing in line waiting to get to your seats on the 50-yard line, when suddenly you realize you forgot your ticket.

If this scenario occurred 15 years ago, you would have missed the game. No ticket, no entry.

Today, although the same rules apply, the difference is that you probably purchased your ticket online. At this point it is as common to receive a ticket on a smartphone as it is at the box office.

The progression of technology today has created opportunities for information to become readily available at our fingertips. When comparing the overall effectiveness of electronic tickets to paper tickets, the latter has a higher chance of being lost, stolen or copied, causing problems not only for the owner of the ticket, but also for the issuing venue or organization.

All companies and organizations that incorporate electronic ticketing receive monetary compensation and valuable information to help them better evaluate and serve their clients. The data received can give insight to the buyer’s interest, purchasing patterns, and loyalty to specific brands, which can lead to effective marketing tactics. These companies and their partners, such as Ticketmaster, find buyer information through associated links attached to the user’s email address, internet cookies and web beacons.

Ticketmaster announced last October through a press release, that it was partnering with the NFL, using the ticket provider’s application programming interface (API) named Presence for the 2018-2019 season.

“Our industry has fundamentally always been plagued by issues that are at the core of ticketing, which are anonymity and fraud,” Justin Burleigh, Ticketmaster’s Chief Product Officer for North America told CBS News in June.

The API scans the electronic ticket to see if it has been scanned yet at the venue. If the ticket has already been scanned, another fraudulent ticket with the same number will not be allowed entry. This system enables event staff to prevent duplicitous activities from succeeding. Features like these are some of the advantages of using third-party ticketing systems.

The ability to gather data about the fans coming to the arena is not as readily available with physical ticket purchases. Data, such as attendance numbers, demographic of overall consumers, and total revenue from the event can be collected, managed and stored efficiently through third-party ticketing systems.

Jared Smith, President of Ticketmaster’s North American Operations, said through a press release that the company’s ticketing system provides its partners, such as the NFL, a way to obtain statistics and information on its fans, creating innovative tools to better serve them.

“Ticketmaster Presence will help create smart venues and give fans easier, safer ways to attend events,” Smith said.

Not only does electronic ticketing reduce the chances of losing a ticket, but can also save all parties involved money. Many third-party e-ticket sites offer opportunities to purchase tickets to live games, musicals, and concerts at discounted prices. There are several websites including StubHub, that act as a broker for sellers and buyers to procure tickets.

StubHub, which was acquired by eBay in 2007, was founded in 2000 and is one of the largest companies in the market that offers individuals a way to sell and buy tickets to sporting events, shows, and concerts. A year after being founded, StubHub made its first major deal with the Seattle Mariners of the MLB. This partnership with the sports team would only be the beginning of its partnerships with sport organizations. Today the company has partnerships with the MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS among other organizations.  According to its website, it has more than 16 million visitors per year.

According to the United States Census Bureau, an estimated 95 percent of Americans own either a smartphone or cell phone. Last year, 60.2 percent of internet users worldwide purchased products online. Thanks to e-commerce and an attachment to cellular devices, purchasing and retrieving tickets through e-ticket companies can be done at the touch of a button, and is only expected to become more prevalent.

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