Mark Cuban Declares That NFTs Can Change The Ticket Game: Maybe? Maybe Not?

2. Mark Cuban thinks that NFTs are a potential ticket disrupter:

Key Points:

  • My concern here is that with NFTs we have to be careful that they fit into our strategy. 
  • Strategy before tactics. 
  • Research, segmentation, and targeting is where you start.

We’ve discussed my crypto portfolio in the past…I’m up 20% for the year so far! #Winning! 

I mention this because I don’t want to come off as some sort of Luddite. In truth, I imagine that in most instances, I’m far ahead of my peers in embracing new technologies and approaches. 

But my question with NFTs and cryptocurrency as a tool to drive ticket sales and ticket revenue is are we doing a good enough job of mastering the basics before we start jumping into second level tools and ideas? 

In a lot of cases, the past few months of NFT mania and crypto-collectibles have felt a lot like trying to get rich off of Pokemon Go! 

I haven’t gotten into the basics of post-pandemic ticket selling a lot yet because there hasn’t been a lot for me to really see or point to over the last few months. You know, a pandemic and all. 

As we are seeing the States open up, Australia and New Zealand largely back to normal, and many Asian countries throwing big concerts and events, I will be able to return to the topic with data and real examples. 


I was chatting with a couple of friends recently from two different teams. We were discussing an interesting topic: who will our customers be after the pandemic?

The implication is that the market for tickets has probably changed due to the pandemic. 

The second level of thinking is that even if the same market exists, the value proposition might be different. 

On a third level, don’t make assumptions. 

My concern is that too many organizations are going to run back, throw open the doors, and pretend like everyone just took a nap. 

I don’t think that is a wise decision because in many cases, the underlying processes and businesses may have needed attention before the pandemic. 

Prepare for a very controversial statement. 

My view is that marketing needs to drive sales, not vice versa. 

What do I mean by that? 

I mean that the way that I learned marketing and sales, marketing leads the sales department and is a huge part of the marketing mix. Ideally, showing up in the areas of promotion, place, and being able to feedback intelligence on product and price. 

This is why I hit on the difference between Market Orientation and Sales Orientation regularly. 

As I’ve mentioned before Sales Oriented organizations can get a little too comfortable with discounts. They also seem to say price is the big issue more than Market Oriented businesses. And, I’ve yet to meet a Sales Oriented business that wouldn’t crush their quota with a few more products to sell. 

In businesses everywhere, sales operates independently of marketing or drives marketing. 

These businesses almost always underperform on profit. 

Back to NFTs and the disruption of ticket sales. 

My concern with this is that you can let tactics drive everything you do. Put the means before the ends, if you want. 

NFTs are potentially great. 

They are also maybe not great. 

As with everything, context matters. 

We really have to see the long-term habits and actions that form over a season or a few seasons before we can safely say that NFTs are changing ticket sales. 

It is great to experiment with all kinds of new tools, technologies, and ideas, but never lose sight of the basics and the SMART objectives that your organization should be guided by. 

As an aside, an interesting idea is that NFT and cryptocurrency could be a replacement for gambling!? This could mean that some of the attention that folks were giving to sports will shift permanently or was never really about sports to begin with. 

Not the craziest idea I’ve ever heard of. 

But habits and behavior are why I continue to harp on research. 

Right now, sales teams are being thrown together to sell with an emphasis on activity.

But now is a great time to take a step back and do some diagnosis to help set yourself up for success. 

The old model of ticket sales wasn’t all that effective in a lot of markets anyway. You only have to look at the number of young sales reps that were churned through annually to see that something about the way that sales was being taught wasn’t working. 

How do we reset our sales efforts? These three steps to start. 

  • Research: We may still be a little ahead of getting any real great information from our research, but we can track consumer sentiment, feelings, and watch the behaviors that we do have the chance to see take place. 
  • Segment the market: Most segmentation conversation focuses on the ridiculous idea about demographics. Segmentation based on demographics often ends up being a waste of time. You segment based on behavior, specifically using a tool like the one I use called the Meaningful/Actionable grid. 
  • Target specific segments: I was chatting with some folks at a few teams and leagues around the world to talk through the idea that when you segment based on behavior, you can often identify specific customers that you deal with. The point I wanted to push further was that when you look at behavior, you get out of these predetermined verticals like “churches”, “schools”, or “little league”. Then you get into actions and that opens up the world to you. So make sure you spend some time on targeting because looking at the behaviors in your market often opens up opportunities for you to expand your business and your verticals in a very natural way, building off of your current successes and people’s behaviors. 

Start with those three steps. This opens the door to positioning after you’ve targeted because you likely aren’t going to be everything to everyone. And, as you move to start selling, you can have a better understanding of where to price your product, how to create products that will overcome reluctance in your customers, and where to sell and promote your tickets.

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