Sports June 22, 2009
By Brian Kebel
Over the past decade, the secondary ticket industry has become a booming market, built mostly around the sale of tickets to sporting events, concerts and Broadway shows. Because of this, many organizations have begun partnerships with secondary ticket companies in order to get their hands on a portion of the profits. This is especially true for professional sports franchises, and, more recently, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The NCAA’s latest venture into the secondary ticket industry occurred earlier this month when it teamed with Ticketmaster Entertainment and its TicketExchange program to sell College World Series (CWS) tickets. As part of the deal, the NCAA will share 10 percent of every ticket resold through TicketExchange with Ticketmaster.
Other than baseball, the NCAA also has partnerships with secondary ticket companies for sports like football and basketball. However, these partnerships have different monetary arrangements, depending on the company. StubHub, for example, creates deals with individual NCAA schools.
According to Sean Pate, Head of Corporate Communications at StubHub, “Schools are not on revenue share deals, only sponsorship. Each school receives an annual fee in exchange for marketing and branding assets.”
StubHub currently has partnerships with 14 NCAA schools, including USC, Wisconsin and Alabama. Their roster tends to change annually, as deals either expire or are not renewed. But, “over the course of the last 5 years, we’ve worked with nearly 30 different NCAA schools to serve as their official resale platform,” Pate said.
Although the NCAA’s involvement with secondary ticket companies is in its early stages, Pate sees lots of growth potential. He estimates that ticket sales for college sports are about a quarter of professional sports in terms of volume.
In fact, Pate can already see ticket sales for college sports catching on.
“As the brand grows and more people recognize the benefits of secondary access, sales continue to grow,” he said.