Just as the sports world is evolving, so too is the role of the ticket office which can better support the commercial needs of sports clubs and the demands of fans.
The younger generation of fans expect to be able to manage everything online and want a slick, mobile, online ticket buying experience from a single portal to meet their self-service needs. The use of digital ticketing technology means the ticket sales process is becoming more streamlined, freeing up employees to work on more value-add activities.
Commercial departments within clubs are therefore increasingly looking to the ticket office to provide extra, innovative revenue opportunities outside of the traditional channels of sponsorships, retail and media. The ticket office is no longer seen as simply an administrative function - it has become part of the match day experience.
So how do you make the most of your enhanced ticket office to improve commercial outcomes and help secure the long-term success of the club? Here are a few ways our customers have been using the TALENT ticketing platform to drive growth:
1. Proactive selling that uses mobile technology in high footfall areas
Imagine the scene: your ticket office team actively selling tickets in malls, university campuses and high streets - processing orders on an iPad with instantaneous mobile fulfilment, and capturing the imagination of the public. This combines traditional retail methods (high-footfall, discounting, engaged sales people in situ) with new technology, and it can be a powerful way to generate new sales and bring people into the fan pipeline.
After a couple of sessions to become familiar with the process, we’ve seen customers achieve single day sales of up to £13,000. For clubs that don’t sell out every game, every empty seat is lost revenue and this could be a great way to increase income.
2. Upselling hospitality packages and experiences
Many clubs employ a traditional hospitality sales team, involved in active outreach, repeat bookings, lead generation and pipeline management. Increasingly though, hospitality packages aren’t just for corporate customers, but also for birthday parties, high net worth fans, celebrations and for instances where standard tickets have sold out. Combine this with supplementary income streams such as mascot experiences and sports schools or camps, and you have a wide range of revenue streams. These can be maximised further with a combination of well-targeted upselling and proactive sales. This can be achieved both through ongoing conversations with the fan base, as well as via outreach and more traditional marketing / lead generation activities, collaborating with the hospitality sales teams where appropriate.
3. Managing off-season events in-house, generating more non-seasonal income
There are a limited number of match days each year, barring a successful cup run. As such, off-season events such as concerts, Christmas parties, comedy nights or even matches for different sports, can be a great way for clubs to boost income - and each requires ticketing to help garner revenue. Many of our clubs host such events, using Advanced's TALENT ticketing platform and CRM systems to drive maximum uptake with focused marketing and selling.
4. Group sales and bookings, and community outreach
Having specific resources dedicated to making group sales and bookings is sometimes viewed as something of a luxury, which is a shame, considering the results it can bring in. With vastly improved options for fan self-service, resulting in time saved, there is an opportunity to initiate or enhance a group sales channel at your club.
Transforming the ticket office team from an inbound customer service to an outbound sales resource isn’t a trivial change, but there are innovative ways for these employees to increase group attendance. For example, a pre-event tournament for young players, combined with group purchase incentives and increased wet and dry sales.
Community outreach needn’t be limited to simply selling either. There are numerous ways to provide additional value. The ticket office is freed up to spend more time providing guidance to fans on ticketing topics, promoting the game on social media, and helping those that really need their assistance in order to attend events. Such activity can engender closer relationships with fans and foster more engagement in the longer term.
5. Providing better business intelligence can drive commercial strategy
Ticket office staff are, in many ways, closest to the fans. Their knowledge and experience, combined with the wealth of information available from the ticketing database, is bound to be of use to the decision-makers when deciding on commercial strategy.
Historically, the CEO of a sports club might come to the ticket office and ask “How many have we sold for the next game?” Today, a data-driven club can find out much more. They can see exactly who’s bought tickets and which season ticket holders haven’t renewed. They can also directly compare year-on-year sales performance and report what the fans coming to the kiosks are saying about the prices. They can also measure the potential of additional offers such as a 10-game package for the latter half of the season.
These qualitative and quantitative insights could be instrumental in securing long-term revenue and with less time required for day-to-day activities, there can be more focus on these valuable analytics.
In our next blog, we will be discussing the common and unique challenges faced by clubs from different sports, and the benefits of a fully configurable ticketing system.