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Pricey! That’s What Watching Sports on TV is Going to Become! Also, UX v. Ticketmaster!


What did y’all think of yesterday’s webinar? 

Let me know by replying to this email. 

Check out the growing Dave shop. New offers and opportunities will be coming now that I have a technical issue fixed. 

Also, I’m doing my first in the new series of monthly webinars on brand management for professional service firms. This is probably good for the folks that are here that sell into the industry and not directly to ticket buying customers. 

June 15th at 1 PM Eastern! FREE! 

To the Tickets! 

I. Ticketmaster v. the UX design team:

I’m in awe of how great this is. 

The Big Idea: It isn’t illegal to be a monopoly in the States, but using your market power to harm the market is…

This visual representation of what is going on with Ticketmaster and the way a customer experiences the service is pretty eye-opening. 

Most people have a hard time putting their finger on the real impact of monopoly power, but this is a strong visual tool to help see the influence. 

What does this mean for folks?

  • Friction will make people abandon their carts. 
  • High prices will make it harder for more artists to make music a career. 
  • Less competition means that there is less incentive for a better user experience. It also means that there is likely to be less incentive for better marketing practices to deliver for smaller venues and artists. We can call it a doom loop. 

Why have things gotten to this point?

  • Lack of competition means there are no incentives to creating a better customer experience. 
  • Lack of regulation means that there is no hope of true competition in the current environment…unless you count the secondary market. (This is why the allocation system in the UK is so important.) 
  • Vertical integration of the ticket ecosystem means that there are more chokepoints to squeeze people in all parts of the supply chain and purchase path. 

II. Royal Opera House wants to license its brand to create new revenue streams

Danger ahead! Danger! 

Focus on the revenue first: That can be a loser’s game. 

Why is this happening? 

  • There’s a cost of living crisis in the UK that is being driven by Brexit’s impact, COVID’s hangover, and global inflation trends. 
  • Funding formulas have been changed with the arts receiving less direct government funding. 
  • Changing habits that were started during the lockdowns and have continued. 

What can be done?

  • You have to start with the broader market. Just looking at where you can drive revenue or charge more money is going to be a loser’s game. The biggest challenge almost every organization is dealing with is the need to drive folks into the top of the funnel. 
  • You should do an audit of your business, but begin with your strategy. 
  • Don’t get so focused on revenue that you miss profits. Don’t get so focused on revenue now that you lose sight of some of the other aspects of your mission. Remember the ultimate question: “What does success look like?” Let it be your guide. 

Licensing a brand, a few pointers:

  • Be selective of who you partner with. 
  • These kinds of partnerships can be winners because both brands bring their good stuff to the relationship and leave behind any of the bad stuff. 
  • Make sure you have an out and performance protection. 

III. Scott Galloway looks at sportsbiz

People matter. 

The last paragraph matters the most: I’m a dedicated Spurs fan and I’m a Spurs fan due to the people I’ve met in the UK that were pushing me to pick Spurs. 

I also have learned the game of football through learning the game with the boy. 

Our whole family has our trip to Wembley to see Spurs v. Chelsea. 

I threw this one in this week because I think we have to remember that there are economic challenges people are dealing with, folks that are still struggling to come back from COVID due to whatever health issues they might be dealing with, and behavioral changes. 

This applies to everyone. 

Somethings to think about when you are putting together your plans for the next season or a new performance:

  • What does success look like? Let that question be your guide.
  • Do you know who your customer is? 
  • Have you figured out what your non-customers are doing? 
  • Why are people picking us over the alternatives? 
  • How are we showing up in the market? (What Brand Codes do we use?)

This is kind of the crux of the webinar from yesterday, but I’ve learned you can’t share an important message enough. 

IV. It is going to be expensive to watch sports

Paying the full price is likely to change people’s habits. 

We’ve seen buying behavior change pretty quickly when people have to pay full price for a service. 

What does this mean?

  • The challenge of awareness and getting people involved could grow. 
  • Tickets will become more difficult to sell because your top of funnel awareness will decline. 
  • You’ll see prices rise…and that likely has a knockon effect in attendance. 

V. Links:

The Wall Street Journal looks into Taylor Swift’s tickets

This piece looks at the issues on the resale market, at on-sale, and the drivers of spec tickets, newbie sellers, and more. 

The Guardian looks at the phenomenon that this tour has captured. 

The BBC is looking to renew the emphasis on its brand

The language. 

The focus. 

These are good guideposts for focusing on your brand. 

The DC Soccer Club is hosting a ‘Futbol Fiesta’

I’ve been on the board for 18 months. We’ve rebuilt the organization from the ground up. 

We are hosting our first “gala” type event and if you are in the area…come out. Or, support the organization any way you can. 

Let’s talk about “privates”

This is an amazing article about artists doing private gigs! 

You’re welcome! 

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