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Examining the Secondary Market
This summer, I had the pleasure of speaking as
the Keyn...
of 1


Published on: Mar 3, 2016

Transcripts - NAATSODec14

  • 1. Follow us on Twitter @NAATSONews Examining the Secondary Market This summer, I had the pleasure of speaking as the Keynote at the National Association of Ticket Brokers in Las Vegas. One of my colleagues in the collegiate space raised an eyebrow when learning of it, wondering why I would want to speak directly to the secondary market. The perception of the secondary market, especially in college, is not a good one. It is an image of slimy guys standing on street corners, trying to sell tickets with barcodes that have already been scanned through and ripping off gullible fans. Troy Kirby This is not the secondary market of today, which is a more sophisticated sales distribution channel that the majority of college athletics is not using, but should be. The secondary market has the ability to fix several of the issues concerning revenue dips by teams, as well as move the assumption of risk in not selling large blocks of tickets off of the plate of athletics departments and into the laps of secondary resellers. By utilizing secondary market resellers correctly, a college athletics department can also build a database of new customers who are buying on the market as well as control what seat inventory goes on the secondary market overall. Consider the options available to most athletics directors: They can either have an in-house sales staff or give up a large portion of their potential revenue to have a third-party sales staff. Both are great alternatives to past efforts of relying on two ticket managers to sell 60,000 football tickets per game. The secondary market can serve as yet another revenue stream for major college athletics departments, especially when crafting a consolidated deal which designates one official reseller. Not only can the athletics director guarantee a specific amount of revenue, in the form of a huge lump sum payment, be placed in department coffers prior to gameday, but they can also designate pricing measurements to ensure that major discounting does not occur nor price gouging on the secondary market with those blocks of tickets being sold. Unfortunately, there are two major obstacles to the inclusion of the secondary market consolidation deals being welcomed in college athletics: Fear and misinformation. The fear is that the secondary market reseller will cause turmoil with fans looking to buy single game tickets at a low, reasonable price. The misinformation is that those who are reselling tickets at astronomical prices are legitimate resellers. This is why a consolidation deal for secondary market reselling is viable for an athletics director to consider. It breaks apart both major obstacles quickly. First, no reseller wants to upset customers and actually makes every attempt to offer tickets at a reasonable price considering market conditions. Second, those selling tickets at astronomical prices are only able to do so because there are no consolidation deals in place, meaning that anyone and everyone has the ability to resell the athletics department’s tickets without any major consolidated reseller offering large blocks of tickets at a reasonable price, thereby making the astronomical price offering completely against the set market conditions of the asking price. Why would someone buy something at a higher price if there are ten other offerings at a much lower one? I was more than happy to educate my colleague in the collegiate space about the reasonable secondary market issues and how the marketplace can help athletics departments overall. Unfortunately, old bias seems to win out over the actual truth that most resellers are merely working a distribution channel efficiently, in a way that can help funnel revenue from selling to ticket buyers through digital avenues. Some of these avenues would cost a college athletics department millions to procure and add more employees that the budget cannot pay for. Secondary market consolidation deals will happen. It will take time and just needs an innovative athletics director to assume the risk of ridicule from their peers. The secondary market doesn’t have a great image to college athletics, but neither did a third party out-bound sales staff structure. What was once shunned is now part of the norm. Secondary market consolidation deals will occur and should, as they are one major way to inject a new revenue stream that prevents seat inventory from rotting on a college football game day unused. Troy Kirby is the director of ticket operations at UC Davis and President of NAATSO. AThlETiCS ADMiNiSTrATiON NACDA | 45

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