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ScoreBig works with teams, venues and brokers to move unsold ticket inventory

By Alfred Branch Jr.

Launched late last year, online ticket provider ScoreBig has joined a crowded — and highly competitive — ticketing landscape, where fans are becoming increasingly savvy in looking for deals on event tickets. But, there's one thing CEO Adam Kanner wants to make clear about his company: It is not a ticket inventory discounter.

"Discounting is dangerous for the sports and live entertainment industries," Kanner told TicketNews, in part because it can hurt an event's brand, and facilitate a race to the bottom in regards to pricing.

Instead, ScoreBig seeks to preserve a brand's reputation by shielding the source of tickets from the fans who bid on them. The company works a bit like Priceline.com by allowing fans to make offers for tickets, which the provider can accept or reject.

While fans can essentially set their price for tickets, they cannot request specific seats, only general sections. That move further helps to keep the identity of the ticket source a secret, thus protecting a ticket's face value. "ScoreBig doesn't disrupt the live entertainment brand or cannibalize full price sales," Kanner said.

"There's a huge capacity of tickets that go unsold, partly due to price and partly due to a lack of awareness about the event," added Kanner, who oversaw direct marketing for the NBA. The Los Angeles-based company has 55 employees, many of whom — in addition to senior executives and financial backers — have extensive backgrounds in sports and event ticketing. "And, that's where we come in. If you want a deal, but have some flexibility, we are a good source."

Estimates vary, but as much as 50 percent of event tickets go unsold each year, and ticket prices for some sectors, such as concerts, have risen by more than 60 percent over the past 10 years. So, businesses like ScoreBig can help by offering fans a chance to find some deals.

The key for ScoreBig is its relationships with various sports teams, venues, theaters, promoters and even ticket brokers, none of which the company will disclose. Those ticket providers offer otherwise unsold inventory on the free, membership-based site and ScoreBig and the provider share the revenue generated from the sale.

Currently, ScoreBig lists more than 550,000 tickets for more than 1,500 events. After a fan bids on a ticket, and the provider accepts it, no other fees are imposed.

Though Kanner will not disclose who ScoreBig is working with, he said the company has relationships with representatives of "all aspects of the live entertainment industy" and also with the "vast majority" or major ticket brokers in the U.S. "We work with everyone who has unsold ticket inventory," he said.

"We are one channel that hasn't existed before in this industry, but we're just one channel. We're not looking to disrupt the other existing channels," Kanner said.

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