After decades of doing business out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Mercury Tickets, a sports, entertainment and transit ticketing company, has announced that it is moving to Indianapolis, Indiana. Walt Alfred, owner of Printing Technologies, has acquired the company’s assets and is moving operations to his headquarters in the U.S. Negotiations to make way for the move were completed a few weeks ago, and the company should be making the physical move over the next several weeks
For more than 30 years, Mercury was a major player in the ticket printing industry, with numerous accounts from major sports franchises, but the company fell on hard times last fall as 85 of its union employees went on strike. Orders were delayed, and the company had to let go of some big accounts.
Though things looked bleak, Mark LaCoste, VP of Sales and Marketing, never gave up on the company. “Mercury has had a good name in our industry for almost thirty years, and I felt someone would come along and acquire us because of our good name and reputation. Finally, we have a new owner who has a background in the ticket printing industry. I’m thrilled.”
Walt Alfred is equally pleased. “We’ve been doing event tickets for some time now, [but] most of our focus has been on point-of-sale tickets. The event tickets, the season tickets work is something that will complement what we do well.”
Both men acknowledge that the road forward to regain accounts will be daunting, but they are up for the challenge. “Our number one strength has always been the quality of our products. We’ve been seen as having quality as high as anyone in the business, [and] we’ve been dependable,” LaCoste said. “We have been considered a price leader as well, and that’s certainly helped us along the way. Going forward, we are trying to provide service as good as anyone else’s service, and we feel like we can provide that.” LaCoste and Alfred also note that the price tag on delivery charges to U.S. clients will be markedly improved now that operations are based in the U.S.
While some staff members will continue to manage the Saskatoon offices, many will relocate to the new location in Indianapolis. LaCoste is pleased that Mercury will take a knowledgeable and experienced staff to their new home. “Bringing on people we are familiar with…will make things seem more seamless. The people side is so critical. They know everything about our client base. It makes sense to have people with that kind of knowledge.”
When asked about security issues in the ticketing business, LaCoste says that security is a priority for ticketing on two fronts. First, the security of the physical operation is a crucial to any ticketer and must be well established. Second, it is important that security features be built into the tickets themselves to protect consumers from counterfeiters. LaCoste is confident that the new Mercury Tickets will maintain the high security standards of the company’s past.
Looking forward, LaCoste is both realistic and optimistic: “We have a challenge ahead…a lot of work ahead of us. A few months back, a lot of people didn’t think we’d be back in business. Now we have the opportunity to service them again. There are only a few companies in this business that do what we do. Having one less company makes it more difficult. Our clients prefer having another supplier because they have another source [for tickets]. Alfred agrees: “I look forward to regaining the confidence of all the fine teams…who supported us in the past, and I expect that we will meet or exceed their expectations.”