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Why the three biggest ticketing trends highlight sport’s need for knowledge

Earlier this month I represented PTI at the Ticketing Business Forum in Manchester, an event held to explore the latest trends in the dynamic world of ticketing    .

I counted three key themes over the course of the event:

1) Demand-based pricing for primary ticket sales markets will soon become mainstream in sport

Dynamic ticket pricing hasn’t been used extensively in sport, at least not compared to industries like travel. Improved technology solutions, the cost-of-living crisis and changing consumer expectations will see teams adjust ticket prices based on more factors, including demand, opponent, seat location and, critically, the number of tickets sold.

2) A seamless, omni-channel digital matchday experience has now become a customer expectation

Sports fans have, on the whole, adapted to digital ticketing – in particular in-app or in-mobile wallet tickets – and recognise how much easier it makes the ticketing process. Next step is ensuring the rest of the matchday experience is as seamless, and it doesn’t require using different apps and emails to order food, use Wi-Fi or vote for player of the match.

3) Rights-holders need to think about a fan’s entire match DAY

All sports rights-holders are looking to maximise event revenue by getting fans to come earlier and stay longer. That means their responsibilities are extended beyond the 90 minutes: from home to arena and back, consumers anticipate a continuous, immersive journey without interruption.

What does it all mean?

If you’re a C-suite professional within a sports team, rights-holder, or events venue, I think it boils down to one fundamental question: Do you truly understand your customers?

Inherently, the sports and event industries are disparate and siloed, and at PTI, we’ve spent years helping clients mount this challenge, stitching together the silos and crafting genuine, data-driven strategies that drive sports and entertainment organisations forward.

And using the data generated to drive operational efficiencies, improved customer experiences and revenue generation – rather than just storing it in the data warehouse, gathering dust with seasons old banners and merchandise.

Making the required changes and capitalising on the opportunities they open up becomes a daunting task unless you know who customers are and what they want, whether they’re a season ticket holder, an online streamer, or a once-a-year concert go-er.

And in 2024, without a single customer view, supported by a robust data and digital ecosystem, this is impossible.

For instance, how can your organisation implement dynamic ticket pricing without predictive analytics on preferences and purchasing behaviour?

How can you maximise omni-channel commercial benefits without seamless integration across tickets, hospitality, and retail?

And how can you ensure a frictionless customer journey from purchase to post-event engagement without a cohesive digital technology infrastructure?

The live sports event experience has shown its enduring attraction throughout Covid and the cost-of-living crisis. But there are macro trends, such as increased competition for attention challenging younger generations’ interest and engagement with sport, that require sports rights-holders to create new strategic roadmaps for their business and their customers.

Rob Cutler

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