Talking Tickets: 3 January 2020

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I do this ticket newsletter each week. Sign up for it and receive it no matter what, free here!

Happy New Year!

What resolutions? Goals? Ideas? Anything you are working on or thinking about in the new year? Send me a note and let me know!

Booking Protect has been generous enough to offer up an INTIX registration and an INTIX trade show pass for a lucky subscriber to ‘Talking Tickets’!

How do you win?

Two ways: one, you are getting this newsletter, so you are already entered.

The second way to get another chance to win is by getting folks to sign up for this newsletter by sharing this link. (Through the magic of technology, I can track your link and who is encouraging folks to sign up! Like magic!)

I’m going to run this contest until Monday, October 13th and draw the winners on Monday morning. So share this far and wide!

I’m in DC this week and I may even make an appearance at the Wizards game tonight, depending on how my son’s report from school is.

Let’s talk tickets!

1. David Stern passed away: 

Without David Stern, do we have the sports business economy that we have today? I’m not sure.

While you can search for any number of articles on people’s memories and stories about dealing with David Stern, I think this piece from Larry Stone sums my feelings up pretty well.

But we can’t argue that he was a champion of the NBA and helped turn the game of basketball into a global game.

To have seen the 1992 Dream Team is to have seen basketball stand there with the biggest rock tours in the world.

The NBA’s moves into China, India, and other international markets would not have been possible without the groundwork that David Stern laid.

2. Endeavor acquires majority in On Location Experiences:

Follow Tony Knopp on Twitter for a few interesting Twitter exchanges on this deal because as Tony says, the valuation seems high.

In reading through this piece, it obviously looks like Endeavor is going to keep pushing down the road of we can continue to squeeze more and more money out of fans and experiences.

Is this true?

Time will tell.

To me, this is a deal that doesn’t make a lot of sense because I can’t see how the numbers add up. The Super Bowl is big business, but is there really almost a half-billion dollars in revenue from other events right now?

What do you think?

3. Hatti Simpson decides to take in tons of theatre in 2019:

I know Hatti from my European travels and we got a drink at INTIX in Dallas last year, but I really was intrigued by her Twitter thread that she posted earlier this week talking about her experience seeing 46 shows outside of her venue last year.

As I was reading through her review of her year, I remembered this article on experiential marketing from the week before Christmas and I thought the thread really highlighted the fact that none of us are just selling a ticket, we are selling an experience and we miss out if we don’t really capture that.

As a kicker, Holly Mulcahy shared this piece about the original subscribers to the Denver Center and their experiences.

To me, the experience is everything. Don’t believe me? Go back and listen to my conversation with Danny Frank on my podcast where we talk about the power of the experience and how everything we do is included in that experience.

4. The Huffington Post UK takes a look at ticket fees:

This is another story that I didn’t get a chance to share heading into the holidays because there was so much going on and it was the holidays. (If you haven’t heard from me, I’m back in the office…so I’ll get back to you in the next day or two.)

Even if most of us know the game of the fees and why they take the form that they take, it is still pretty amazing to see it spelled out so clearly.

This piece is especially interesting when you pair it with the deal that was struck between Live Nation and the DOJ around the consent decree and the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster when the two companies merged in 2010.

What is interesting to me is that as soon as this deal was announced, all of a sudden Live Nation came running out with “opportunity” around raising prices even more…considering that there are so many tickets that go unsold.

To me, the biggest opportunity is still in finding ways to market and sell tickets more effectively at points all along the value curve because there are just so many unintended consequences that come from maximizing revenues in only one area or not maximizing the experience for all guests.

But…I’ve also been told I focus too much on customers, so what do I know?

5. MLB’s small-market teams claims for not spending are being questioned:

We’ve seen a few very big deals this off-season in Major League Baseball.

We’ve also seen MLB promote how much money they are making.

What we haven’t really seen is anything that would tell us that fans are going to come back to MLB in 2020.

All of these stories, minus the huge contracts for guys like Rendon, Strasburg, and Cole, seem to point to the fact that MLB thinks it can continue doing what it has done.

In reading through the article above, I came away with the sense that MLB would be served by a commissioner or an executive or advocate that was focused on the game, the fans, and growing the game because it seems that revenue is king…despite attendance heading in the wrong direction and fast.

From ticket prices, to attendance, to merchandise prices, F&B, training folks on discounts, on and on…baseball has many issues to be addressed.

But, I’ve said it on many occasions, I love baseball and I want to see it succeed…so Rob Manfred, give me a call!

What I’m up to:

I’m working on fixing the podcast with Greg Turner and I should have a new episode up this afternoon, but check out the podcast archives.

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

Check out my blog post with things I’m going to be paying attention to in 2020.

I also posted a little exercise I learned from friend of WCG, Chris Brogan, called “MY 3 Words” you can learn more and find mine here.

As I’m easing my way into 2020, I’ve been reviewing David Allen’s Getting Things Done method. If you feel overwhelmed or are trying to be more organized this year, check it out


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