Ticketmaster and the NBA have joined together for a lucrative deal that would allow fans and teams to list tickets. While NBA executives may have felt left behind in the secondary ticketing market this new partnership will allow the league to be a top competitor with secondary ticket websites such as StubHub.
The announcement comes as no surprise with Ticketmaster already having deals in place with the NFL and NHL. The NFL began its relationship with Ticketmaster during the 2008 season, and renewed their contract for another five years in 2012. In a Sports Business Journal article announcing the contract extension, the Ticketmaster NFL TicketExchange service was believed to have 20 percent of the market share for NFL secondary tickets.
The NBA looks to chip away at StubHub and other secondary ticketers by providing buyers and sellers a one stop shop for their NBA ticketing needs.
As ESPN’s Darren Rovell announced “The website not only seeks to take business back from secondary StubHub — which became the leader in the marketplace thanks in part to fans going to the eBay-owned site by default — but also seeks to make NBA teams smarter about their initial pricing.”
The NBA and Ticketmaster also aims to bring a sense of security back to the secondary market. With Ticketmaster being the official ticketer of the majority of the NBA’s teams the transfer of tickets is expected to be relatively seamless and secure. “Buyer worry” has always been a problem for customers when purchasing items online. By eliminating that risk of receiving a fraudulent ticket, the NBA’s new secondary ticketing website is sure to set itself apart from the rest.
The league and Ticketmaster are also betting on NBA season ticketholders who skip the occasional Tuesday or Wednesday game to be a big factor in the success of their website, as they should feel more comfortable selling their unwanted tickets the same site they purchased them from.
Currently 24 NBA teams are Ticketmaster clients. The Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trailblazers are clients of Paciolan. The remaining teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, and Denver Nuggets, have their ticketing provided by Veritix, which is owned by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Those six additional teams will all have options to opt in and benefit from the new deal.
Ticketmaster’s new system will allow the buying and selling power to be based and priced by individual NBA teams. Selling tickets on the NBA secondary market will allow prices to be based on the fluctuation of supply and demand per game, per team.
In response to this partnership, the Fan Freedom Project (FFP), an advocacy group with the mission of educating consumers on their basic rights as ticketholders, has questioned whether fans will be able to set prices or will teams have the ability to set price floors, and will fans be locked into using this system.
The NBA’s executive vice president of team marketing and business operations told ESPN,”We at the league believe that there should be no price floors so that the market can dictate what the right price is.” Granger said. However, the decision on whether or not to set a price floor is being left at the discretion of the individual teams. That decision could prove pivotal to the success of sales on the new site with plenty of competion already established in the marketplace it will be interesting to see what teams decide come time for its October debut.