The first Sports Business Chronicle annual look at the trends/hot-button topics to follow for the next calendar year kicks off today. It’s a project I’ve done the past few years with Forbes and so I wanted to continue doing it with the still new company/website. I personally learn a lot about how the industry is moving forward. Hopefully, you will as well.
We already dove into esports this morning.
Now, for the ticketing business, we asked senior executives: what are the trends/hot-button topics you’re following in the ticketing business for 2018, and what is your big, bold prediction for the space next year?
You’ll find that the two questions for most of these articles are similar — that’s on purpose. Participants could answer one or both questions and were limited to 100 words total (not 100 per question). Below are their emailed responses, which have been edited for brevity and clarity.
To follow the conversation on Twitter, use the hashtag #SBC2018.
Predictions: The future of ticketing has already arrived in the form of identity-based digital tickets. From the safety of knowing who has entered a venue to the personalization of knowing that fan’s preferences, we’re seeing the power of identity revolutionize the live event experience. As we continue to innovate and create new technology in 2018 and beyond, venues and content owners will enjoy even more quality engagement and strengthened relationships with their fans.
Predictions: Attendance will start to increase as the ticketing model shifts to a more open platform and season ticket prices become a reward for bulk purchasing. The risk teams take on with selling individual tickets carries too large of a chance for downturn market conditions such as weather, performance or opponents. Utilizing an open platform also creates an opportunity for retail modeling involving multiple distribution channels and millions of dollars in digital marketing efforts.
Predictions: 2018 will be the year that SeatGeek shows there is a better way to distribute tickets, which will result in some of the largest tech companies in the world getting in on ticketing. We have already seen Facebook take this step, and similar companies to the social networking giant will soon realize how much opportunity there is in the live-events industry. This will result in a win-win-win, where these tech companies find a new revenue stream, teams sell more tickets and, most importantly, fans discover more events.
Trends/topics: Open distribution based on team and league-defined distribution partnerships. Prediction: MLB is the league most in need of open distribution yet slowest to embrace the trend. 2018 is the year that changes.
Trends/topics: There’s a laundry list of hot-button topics in ticketing right now, more so than at any other time in recent memory. Many battles are being waged around how tickets are bought (think fan pre-registration/“Fan Verified”), where they can be bought (anywhere or only on “official marketplaces”), how they’re delivered and if, when and how they can be transferred. Fundamentally, who even owns the ticket (is it even owned by the fan — or is it a license). 2018 will be a pivotal time in the space.