Talking Tickets 10 January 2020


I got some really nice notes from a few of you this week with your goals and ambitions for the new year! Thanks for sharing!

I’m continuing to run my special giveaway of an INTIX registration until Monday, January 13th at noon eastern. I’m partnering with my friends at Booking Protect to give someone a chance to get into INTIX this year for FREE! So share this newsletter with friends and colleagues to get another chance to win!

We will also be dropping a really cool anthology in the next few days called, “What matters in tickets now?”

I’m in DC all week but will be in NYC all week the week after. So if you are in NYC the 20-24, let me know and we can grab a drink.

I’m not confirmed yet, but I’m looking at my first international trip of 2020 to Vienna for the Football Business Spring Summit. I have to work out my schedule, but this looks like a great event and friend of the podcast, Bas Schnater, is definitely going to be speaking and hosting a workshop the next day.

Let’s talk some tickets!

1. Newcastle United has an attendance problem:

This is an interesting podcast because it covers the way that Newcastle gave away loads of tickets to try and change the atmosphere at their stadium.

It seems that the fan base is disgruntled with ownership, but I always wonder how much that would change if the team were doing well.

As a Spurs fan, Daniel Levy gets stick no matter what is happening on the pitch.

For all of us, this example bears paying attention to because if they are successful, it could show a path for using comps or discounts when a team needs a boost or using them in a way that also is a value add for season ticket holders.

I’m still not a huge fan of discounts in many cases, but I’m also always willing to look at new approaches to selling seats and getting people into the building.

2. Jets have the “first” influencer marketing program in pro sports?:

There are 3 things I want to point out here.

First, the Jets don’t have the first influencer marketing program in pro sports. If y’all remember, just a few months ago Man City got their knickers in a bunch when it surfaced that they were using influencers to try and sell out Champions League matches.

Second, none of these metrics amount to much because they are all fuzzy numbers that equate to easy to measure but not meaningful. “Engagement” and “buzz” aren’t adding money to the bottom line.

Third, working to make their games more family-friendly is likely a wise business decision. The commute back and forth to a Jets or Giants game is grueling and as the at-home experience becomes better and better, offering incentives to get people to come to games is going to be more and more necessary.

3. Should the arts be a right?:

This is an interesting story from the UK where MP Tracy Brabin writes about making the arts a right for folks.

In the US, this seems like a crazy idea…I’m certain.

We have become so disconnected from the idea of the arts as a way to gain perspective on new ideas and to understand people different than that the idea of shared art forms probably seems nuts to many of us.

In my travels around the world, I’ve seen the power of art to transform, connect, and explain.

While the idea of the arts as a right is likely to be met with some resistance, since all of us reading this have a connection to tickets and the arts in some way or form, we should be excited about this conversation taking place anywhere in the world because I think exposure to the arts is the first step in creating a healthier arts economy.

4. Baseball’s last celebrity?:

I feel like I’ve written too much about baseball the last few weeks, but then I saw this story and it got me to continue thinking about the state of the game.

I’ve got a podcast posting next week with former baseball sales executive and current professor of sports marketing, Ken Troupe, and we talked about baseball always picking to point out that their revenues are increasing.


It reminds me of a lot of retail companies that were still showing strong returns until they weren’t.

The idea that Derek Jeter might be baseball’s last true superstar isn’t as far fetched as it seems.

Despite strong revenues and attendance numbers that don’t look all that bad if you don’t look at the real turnstile count, baseball is sitting on a marketing problem. I mean, I live in DC and you could get NLCS tickets for under face value on the secondary market.

It seems to be me that baseball needs to really focus on relevance and accessibility, there is just too much inventory and too many games for the game not to focus on driving folks to go to multiple games a year and ensuring that storytelling is at the heart of the baseball fan’s experience.

5. StubHub has a waiting room to manage demand:

I know that I am sharing a case study from Queue-It. As the kids say, “don’t at me.”

But as I was reading this, I wanted to highlight how the secondary market continues to find ways to improve the customer experience and innovate around making it easier to spend money.

I know that Queue-It works with platforms on the primary and the secondary market, but I like the way that the technology is being used to manage demand and improve the buying experience, especially for high demand events.

In APAC, if I am not mistaken, the relationship between venues, content producers, and StubHub may be more symbiotic and holistic, but I really just wanted to take the time to highlight the necessity of putting the customer and their experience at the heart of all of your decisions.

Because I think that is maybe one of the most important things you can do.


What I’m up to:

I had two podcasts this week:

One with Frederic Aouad of Stay 22. We talk customer service and our upcoming panel at INTIX with Guislaine Bulman and Simon Mabb.

The second was my annual talk about College Football Championship tickets with Corey Gibbs. 

Come see me at INTIX in NYC on 20-23 January.

Want to kick off 2020 right? Why not have me work with you and your team on your 2020 strategy? “The Whiteboard Workshop” is the foundation of my work with clients and it is a full day along with 90-days of follow up with me that focuses on setting you up to focus on the right goals, the correct actions, and having the most impact for your business. 

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