There’s something special about game-day. While high-definition TVs are certainly enhancing the fan experience from the couch, nothing competes with the in-person game experience of sporting your favorite jersey, eating junk food, doing the wave and rooting on your favorite team alongside thousands of other spirited fans. Right?
Realizing that they are battling against the comfort of fans’ homes, teams are putting an incredible amount of time, effort and money into making their game-day experiences better than ever. From installing Wi-Fi within the venue and enhancing mobile apps to offering in-seat ordering and new restaurant options, teams are doing whatever they can to create technologically-advanced, fan-friendly venues that bring fans back again and again. But as teams consider the latest and greatest wow-factors for their venues, why not spend some time thinking about how to increase fan satisfaction even before they get to the venue — with the ticket purchase.
Tickets represent a key starting point for the fan-team relationship, and the ways in which tickets are purchased and managed can make a big impact on the overall experience. A ticketing solution should offer benefits to both fans and your team, and you need to consider if your current system aligns with all of the other enhancements that you’re making. As you continue to augment your game-day experience, consider these four ways that digital tickets can help.
1. Increased security, reduced fraud
How often do fans contact your staff about losing their paper tickets or having them stolen? Do they ever question the authenticity of the tickets they have purchased through you or an external source?
According to the AARP, nearly five million consumers pay for and receive fraudulent concert, sporting event and theme park tickets every year, costing the live entertainment industry an average of $4 million per month. If the wrong people get their hands on your fans’ tickets, or even images of your fans’ tickets, they can easily copy them and slap exact same barcodes onto their own homemade versions. Scammers can then develop multiple fake tickets, selling them to dozens of other innocent fans online or on the streets.
The situation happens more than you think, and paper tickets, along with some forms of e-tickets, are susceptible to being stolen and counterfeited. However, digital tickets, particularly ID-based digital tickets like Flash Seats®, can greatly reduce their worries by allowing fans to manage their tickets through a protected online account. If anything should happen to their tickets, your team can zero in on the issue and address their questions or concerns quickly.
2. Battle the hassle outside of your venue
It would be strange for you to encounter people outside of a big retail store, offering to sell you the same products you can get inside for double the price; however, this occurrence is anything but unfamiliar for fans attending concert and sporting events.
While ticket scalpers have become more organized in the last decade, taking their operations online, fans continue to encounter them outside of venues on street corners. Unless they are actively shopping for tickets before the game, fans probably prefer to avoid being hassled by scalpers, who want to sell them tickets that may or may not be authentic. Even worse is the situation where fans actually purchase tickets from scalpers for a hefty price, only to find out that the tickets aren’t real. When this occurs, there’s often little you can do to help.
Digital tickets make it much more difficult for scalpers to scam your customers. In the case of Flash Seats, tickets are distributed directly to fans’ online accounts, which have fraud measures in place to prevent anyone from stealing them. Fans never receive a paper ticket; rather, they enter the venue with their personal ID or the Flash Seats mobile app, making it nearly impossible for scalpers to get their hands on a physical ticket. Additionally, if your fans are educated about your digital ticket policies, they will know to question the authenticity of the tickets that scalpers are pushing outside of your venue.
3. The convenience factor
Paper tickets may seem easy enough to manage, but the trouble starts when fans try to share them with friends, family or clients. Who wants to drive across town to drop off extra tickets or wait for guests outside of the venue?
You can incentivize fans with the coolest giveaways and venue upgrades, but anything that offers them more convenience will ultimately win their loyalty. Digital tickets provide fans with the ease and flexibility they need on game-day, when they have many other things on their minds like transportation, parking, finding a place to eat, getting to the game on-time, etc. With Flash Seats, fans can transfer tickets to others online, only needing the recipient’s email address. Their friends will receive an email, prompting them to create their own Flash Seats account and register a form of ID to enter the event. With this option, everyone in the group can enter the venue at their own leisure.
4. More data, better communication
For teams, the greatest aspect of digital tickets is, by far, the data — lots and lots of data. With Flash Seats, teams like the Cleveland Cavs, Houston Rockets, Detroit Lions, etc. know exactly who buys, resells and forwards tickets, helping them uncover a pool of new prospects to deliver promotions and campaigns to. Unlike paper tickets that can be given away or resold into the unknown, teams that follow the digital ticket trail can leverage powerful insights and act on them.
So how does having more data benefit fans? Beyond personal information, digital tickets can provide you with input into fans’ purchase habits, ticket utilization, venue entry and more. Teams can use this data to create personalized communications that will help retain season ticket holders and fans. For example, if you notice that a season ticket holder is reselling or transferring many tickets, maybe they aren’t working with the right game package. If you see a non-season ticket holder purchasing a lot of tickets on your resale marketplace, reach out to them to see if they’d like to select a game package. You can also send them targeted updates about venue lines, parking, seat upgrades, rewards programs and more leading up to games. Ultimately, the more focused and relevant your communications are, the better your fans’ experiences will be.
The opportunities to maximize your relationships with fans are endless with digital tickets. You’ll uncover interesting trends and a pool of new fans that will help you improve the organization’s bottom line. Best of all, fans will be delighted with the ease, flexibility and convenience that digital tickets provide to them, making their game-day experience even more memorable.