Ticketing Version 2.0 Webinar: Key Takeaways

As venues start opening their doors to fans again, the big question is how do we fill the stands and sell out without “selling out”? We recently sat down with industry experts to discuss their strategies and what they’ve learned about ticketing.

Didn’t catch the webinar? No worries, you can catch the full thing here and check out the key takeaways below.

Bridging the gap

Ask anyone in Sports Marketing, and they’ll tell you that “disruption” has been the leading theme of the last 18 months. Some leagues lost an entire season, while other leagues are just starting to ramp up as restrictions lift. Going into the start of the 2022 season, there’s one hard-hitting goal across the board: sell more tickets.

But, with all of the disruptions, innovations, and new product offerings introduced over the last two years, it’s apparent that some of our traditional ticketing models & products may need a revamp. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to ticketing in 2022, but our panellists have laid out strategies & skills that will help you find your “sweet spot”.


The fans coming out of the pandemic are not the same as the fans that went in. Their entertainment needs and “comfort with commitment” have shifted - and who can blame them? Teams and leagues have done a phenomenal job over these last 2 years creating new products, new methods of engagement and new ways to reach their fans; but this also means shifting expectations.

Today, sports marketers are forced to look at their consumers through a different lens - not only is there the existing generational divide that we’re contending with but there’s the need to make “casual fans” take the leap and purchase - without diminishing the value offered to season ticket holders. The key learning is that there are different categories of consumers, and the name of the game is being flexible enough to provide the right product for the right consumer. For some fans, the iconic “season ticket” is something that they’ll always love, but for other fans (especially the ones that have tasted the sweet ‘flex ticket option over the pandemic ) they’re looking for more freedom. Let’s break the “season ticket” down and think of it in the context of B2B vs B2C, where the same product offers very different value to fans.

B2B: Season ticket packages continue to be extremely advantageous. There are few other opportunities where a sales exec can sit with a customer for 3 hours and revel in game-day energy and nostalgia together. Your B2B consumers are still excited about season tickets and expect these exclusive perks to outweigh those of single tickets.

On the B2C side, however, there is a lot more competition for entertainment. The pandemic pushed people to take up new hobbies, get outside, and reevaluate how they spend their time. Things like recreational activities have seen exponential growth, forcing fans to reconsider their commitment to attending every game when their time is split between different forms of entertainment.

The answer? Flexibility and understanding that the “either-or” options of the past don’t hold up like they used to. Provide flexible, diverse options so that you can maximize your purchasing audience and help fans get to as many games as they want. At the same time, you’ll need to re-evaluate the value of your season tickets so that you can avoid alienating these buyers. Perhaps your season-ticket holders see the most value in an ‘exclusive- community’ experience. In that case, you can play around with ideas similar to a “country club” where your season ticket fans get exclusive access to a clubhouse.

Beyond ticketing products & fan behaviour, the last two years have brought about immense technological change. From digital ticketing apps to a completely ‘contact-less’ venue experience, many of the tools adopted during the pandemic are likely here to stay. It’s important to educate your fans so that they can feel confident using them. There might also be fans that aren’t comfortable jumping on the digital train. Develop a streamlined support process to try and help them get there. If digital still doesn’t work for them, be flexible once again and have alternate options so that these fans don’t get left behind.


For many in the live entertainment industry, 2022 is the year to make up for losses, but make sure to keep sight of the values & experiences your fans have come to expect and love. Authenticity is what keeps fans coming back season after season, and it’s your doorway to forming connections that span generations. Strive for touchpoints that are natural and make sense for the fans you are trying to reach.

The key to authenticity lies with 2 foundations: -
Knowing your audience well
Having clear values that are actioned not only in the way that you speak to fans but also in your internal operations

Hitting authenticity out of the park relies on you knowing your audience well - which you can accomplish through data collection and segmentation. Collecting first-party data ensures that you can build a robust fan profile with data that your organization owns. Sports fans today are incredibly diverse; to pull in your more “peripheral” audiences, you’ll need to understand how to deliver a fan experience they value.

For example, today’s audience hits a wide spectrum of areas to engage, and ways to “surprise and delight.” For some fans, facilitating community through platforms like Discord, or Facebook hits all their right buttons - the ability to chat with like-minded fans, while ragging on their biggest rivals. Other demographics of fans might still be looking for those tangible, personal connections like hand-written cards, or a direct line to a rep they know and trust. Knowing your organizational values and the values of your fans will allow you to reach out in a way that feels natural & trustworthy.

The second piece to authenticity is “practicing what you preach.” It starts with your people. Whatever goals you have as an organization, you can’t do it without your team at their best. You are better equipped to give your fans a positive experience when your crew is getting the same. Be sure to keep in mind that people can always sniff out when things aren’t genuine and that includes company culture. Authenticity is not a marketing strategy or trend, it is something to prioritize as an organization that will yield prosperous results for everyone.

Perfect the Basics

We know there is a lot of flashy new technology to get excited about, but don’t forget about executing the basics. The “little things” often forge the foundation of the fan experience.

Depending on your audience, the goal may not be to “get fans to every home game” but instead, “making sure they have a 10/10 experience each game they go to.”

This starts with simple things like making sure that fans get that perfect game-day hot dog or extra cold beer. These are the things that ultimately bring fans back to the stands - the smells, tastes and excitement in the stadium that cannot be replicated at a distance. When the in-person basics are done right, you can re-capture the fans that have gotten comfortable with the “broadcast at home” experience. Show fans what their living room atmosphere is missing.

Technical and infrastructural basics are also incredibly important, especially today. Invest in your in-stadium wifi, your fan apps and in educating staff AND fans. If you’re pivoting to more digital touchpoints, it’s wise to find tech where you are building out a partnership rather than a transaction. There is nothing worse for a fan than missing out on a great game day experience because of technical difficulties.

Tech cannot be the hurdle to getting fans in the doors. Making sure that these technical pieces are tested, tried and true are worth the investment and will pay for themselves in the long run.

While all of these might seem incredibly hard to execute at the same time, they all boil down to truly understanding your fans and having a core value system drive your decision-making. Be authentic and inclusive, and your fans will turn up! It’s also important to understand that this is a long, constantly evolving process and you’ll need to get started if you haven’t already.


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