Transactional Customer vs. Strategic Partner: Prolific 1 Develops Ideal Distribution Relationship
Six questions all teams must ask secondary market consultants before entering partnerships
For many years, the secondary market has been viewed and treated as a back-end channel of underground entrepreneurs gauging the temperature of buyer tendencies and trying to score big by buying low and selling high. Purchases were made through traditional methods of season ticket purchases, group ticket packages, mini plans, and single-game on sales. For far too long, these buyers were “undercover.” Teams and venues had no true idea of who these buyers were and what it was they were trying to accomplish. It was a challenge to identify and weed out “the good ones” vs. “the bad ones.”
Over the course of the last five years, the landscape has changed.
The transactional opacity of traditional secondary market buyers has decreased through the advancement of large secondary consolidators. Teams and venues have begun to change their approach in dealing with these consultant and distribution companies and have demanded a level of transparency in these investments. The days of the rogue reseller trying to purchase under the radar and hide their identity is slowly coming to an end.
Partnerships have blossomed. Teams and venues have since been working directly with vetted, successful, major distribution partners to maximize revenues, attendance, and marketing value. Sales dashboards are shared in real-time; market trends are detailed in daily and weekly calls; presentations and investments are made at a very high level. Establishing market control and maintaining pricing integrity are top priorities of companies such as Prolific 1. The level of transparent interaction between partners is an integral part of making it a success.
For those teams and venues looking to form a true partnership with a distribution consultant, ask these six internal questions before beginning the vetting process:
- What are my goals for ticket sales across all my different sports? Can my partner help me achieve these goals for all these programs?
- To promote a healthy and robust primary and secondary market, what is the ideal size of my secondary market? Can my potential partner help me access this number and show me why this is beneficial?
- What is the distribution plan for the inventory, and where is the inventory sold? What customer service is provided?
- How important is sales data to help achieve pricing maximization on a game-by-game basis, and can my partner supply this information in real-time?
- Will my partner assist me in distributing tickets for events the athletic department may be required to buy and help me get revenue back for them? (conference tournaments, bowl games, NCAA tournament)
- Will my partner supply me good feedback and insight into ticket sales and serve as an extension of my department to make sure all customer needs are met?
- Answering these questions will allow your team/venue to begin formulating a plan and selecting a distribution partner. Take time to determine what is best for your particular situation. Poll your peers, ask for referrals and call on them, and meet your prospective partners in person. Understand the technologies your prospects currently have in place and what technologies they are currently developing or investing in to help their business.
Selecting the right strategic distribution partner is major step forward in achieving unit sell-through, revenue maximization, and ticket distribution success!
Published by ALSD
Converting Secondary-Market Sales to Primary Customers through Distribution Partnerships
Recently, I was visiting a National Hockey League (NHL) partner on the west coast. After a quick meeting regarding our business with them he offered me a tour of their arena. I have always been a student of the “Stadium/Arena sales tour game”, and quickly welcomed the chance to see the ins and outs of an Arena I had never been in before. Our partner gave a very informative tour, highlighting the pros and cons of each seating category and accessing my needs as if I were a potential new customer for him. He answered questions professionally and eloquently and was not pushy at all. Now this was probably because my company already distributes seats in his arena or maybe that is just how he has perfected his pitch. Either way, it was a very well put together sales tour.
Working within ticketing, this was definitely a highlight for me as we very rarely get to experience the perks of our purchases. We analyze margins, upside and demand and then combine those factors with our own data and analytics to make a buying decision for the potential resale value on ticketing marketplaces.
I knew the margins that these seats generate and as a past primary market seller I always catch myself thinking about the upsell potential of those buyers who attend and sit in our seats. I view these customers as “fish in a barrel” for the aggressive primary seller. I asked our partner “how many of our “customers” he has converted into full season or package buyers”? I was very surprised when he looked at me with an awkward expression on his face and told me that it was not his practice to “poach” our customers. I told him I certainly respected his ethics, but our business model does not necessarily work like that. As partners, part of our job is to drive traffic to your building. We do this by offering a price that a customer is willing to pay for a specific event or game and then make the buying process as seamless and easy for them as possible. What our primary partner then does with that “free” lead is up to them. I recommended to him to approach these buyers on a game by game basis, let them know they partner with a ticket distribution company and then explain to them the benefits of upgrading into a larger package. This should be an ongoing practice for him. He knows that he will potentially see new customers every game and all should be viewed as great opportunities for him and the organization to capitalize on.
As sellers, we all get caught up in finding that new industry, that new company, making the most outbound calls, setting the most appointments etc. How do we stay on top of the leaderboard? I would argue that capitalizing on in stadium guests that paid a potential premium to go to one game should be close to the top of each primary seller’s target list. The offering of these leads is another example of working together to achieve similar goals and keeping your building full while maximizing every revenue opportunity available!
Written by Eric L., Business Partnerships
Published by ALSD