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Most Brand Extensions Fail, but SITix has a Path Forward!

SI Tix has a new business model and is looking to disrupt the resale market:

Big Ideas:

  • Most brand extensions fail because there isn’t enough value from the new business for the brand to carry any way. 
  • SITix.com could find themselves in a position where there are paths for them to buck this trend. 
  • The key idea is to look at the platforms that are involved and the network effects that can be created. 

Mark Ritson said that the great thing about the internet is that everyone had an opinion about the Coca-Cola and Ronaldo story, even if it wasn’t informed. 

Same goes for SITix.com. 

People are throwing out theories and ideas about this from all angles. 

For me, with my training as a marketer, it is a pretty simple story. This is a brand extension. 

And, in most cases, brand extensions fail because enough value isn’t created to justify the attention of the market and the strength of the brand in another area isn’t enough to win it significant market share in a new market. 

Examples I’ve shared this week to highlight the challenge of a brand extension include:

  • The Ferrari fighter jet
  • Victoria Secret’s move into athleisure
  • Bic’s perfume

This isn’t to say that SITix will fail because the angle of opening up $10 transactions using Venmo gives them a big opportunity because tremendous amounts of spending moves through the platform. 

A big opportunity here is in the form of lessening the friction in the purchase for folks that are splitting the cost of tickets. 

There are probably big opportunities there. 

There is also the brand of Sports Illustrated. 

One of the reasons the brand extensions listed above failed is because their core business has little or no connection to the core business that created the strong brand. 

In this instance, the brand and the new business do have a much stronger alignment. 

Does that immediately translate to business? No. But it isn’t an entirely blind leap. 

The real opportunity for SITix.com comes in how do they combine their advantages to create a new opportunity in the market? 

There are a few ways, let’s point out three of them right now:

  • They can use better more contextual email marketing to drive sales. Most of the email marketing we see now is easy to skip over. Creating a richer customer profile or using the Sports Illustrated brand, database, and traffic to focus on building a strategy that hits at this specific audience could create an opportunity. That’s thinking of SI as the platform around which additional business help it expand its value. 
  • Providing unique value through the Venmo partnership. If you are the only ticket seller that takes Venmo, you can do some really cool integrations there. Especially if the brand can pull off some unique partnerships. Then, you can offer that first to Venmo customers. Think of this as Venmo as the platform with brands around it to drive value. 
  • Creating a new pool of opportunity. Like Tony Knopp points out in the article above, customer acquisition is expensive and, I think, only Vivid is offering any sort of loyalty program currently. There’s potential there. There is also likely to be different opportunity in the B2B market or the fan reseller market that could be tapped now as well. 

Again, a lot of these potential avenues are going to take a few months to uncover. 

But having been really great at partnerships in my time in the secondary market, having a partner like Venmo opens up the door to many cool activations. And, recognizing that the Sports Illustrated brand may be less valuable than it was 5 years ago is one thing, but it is still valuable and if you play around with the brand as a platform…it can open up some serious opportunities.

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