Transactional Customer vs. Strategic Partner

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 a major step forward in achieving unit sell-through, revenue maximization, and ticket distribution success!

Let's create a long-term partnership that deliver results.