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Spotlight Ticket Management: Transparency for corporate ticket purchases

By Alfred Branch Jr.

In today's economy, with corporate budgets squeezed and belts being tightened, what should companies do with their event tickets? Some companies spends hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars on sports, concert and theater tickets to entertain clients or reward valuable employees, but often these tickets go unused or businesses struggle with determining the value of such assets.

Spotlight Ticket Management Solution believes it has an answer to those issues. Spotlight allows companies to track the return on investment (ROI) for the event tickets they buy, and creates a transparent, centralized online hub to properly manage them.

At best, companies might have plugged these tickets into an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of them over the years, but in many cases they did not even do that much, which is why the assets were often underutilized.

"We've taken what has been a clunky, unworkable situation and made it more efficient, because like any corporate asset, tickets need an ROI," Tony Knopp, co-founder and president, told TicketNews. "Oftentimes, the original goal for these tickets gets lost over the years, and since corporations use tickets to help drive business, or retain business or reward valuable employees, this information must be tracked."

Founded by former StubHub executives Knopp, Joe Greiner and Aric Haut, the company estimates that 43 percent of corporate tickets go unused each year. So, for example, if a large company spends $1 million on tickets, $430,000 is being wasted each year. Spotlight hopes to raise the percentage of used tickets from 57 percent to at least 78 percent to 85 percent.

Spotlight offers companies the ability to customize dozens of reports to track tickets, and also sets up an internal ticket request site, where employees can place orders for tickets. The company does not own tickets, but allows businesses to work with StubHub, TicketLiquidator or other ticket resellers to obtain tickets.

Knopp, who also spoke recently to CNBC about Spotlight (see video below, which was conducted when Spotlight went by its former name Corporate Events Group), said that companies sometimes make the mistake of simply canceling event ticket purchases without fully understanding how valuable those tickets can be in potentially boosting their bottom line. "The economy has been hard on everybody, so sometimes companies just react," he said, but added that properly managing the inventory could save a company from headaches, and offer branding opportunities and other benefits. The cost of the solution is typically about 1 percent of the cost of what a company spends on the tickets.

More than 1,000 corporations and several professional sports teams are currently using Spotlight to manage ticket inventory, and the company recently raised $2.5 million in private financing to help grow the business.

TicketLiquidator is a sister company of TicketNews.

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