“The Economics of Ticketing” panel at this week’s Ticket Summit in New York will focus upon the current economic climate’s influence upon today’s ticketing...

“The Economics of Ticketing” panel at this week’s Ticket Summit in New York will focus upon the current economic climate’s influence upon today’s ticketing and related industries, and take a look ahead to 2010, insights that could prove essential to the ticketing professionals who will be attending the conference.

Joris Drayer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Health Sport Sciences at the University of Memphis, will be among the presenters at this week’s panel, and he plans to open his remarks with a review of his research to date with fellow presenter Steven Shapiro, in collaboration with TicketNetwork’s Dan Pullium and Molly Martinez, Ph.D. Drayer and his associates are exploring the world of the ticket broker in an effort to clarify the nature of the resale business. Dr. Drayer’s expertise lies in the business of ticketing, including such areas as price determination, competitive tactics in ticket selling, and consumer perceptions and behavior.

“Frankly, a lot of media portrayals of ticket brokers are sort of negative,” Drayer said in a recent conversation with TicketNews. “[They are presented as] running illegal businesses, or having immoral and unethical…practices of how they acquire and resell tickets. [We will have] unbiased results of what they are doing. We asked questions about how they acquire their tickets, what strategies they use to market their tickets, what strategies they use to get their name out. We have some pretty neat stuff to present so far.” The research team has obtained about half its sample of brokers thus far and is hoping to attract more respondents through this week’s presentation.

As for the economy’s impact on ticketing, Dr. Drayer will focus on options for sports franchises and sports ticket resellers in the current climate: “I’ll start by talking a little bit about [what] teams and the sport market are doing differently. There are a number of different strategies that sport markets can use. They can lower prices, which is kind of a dangerous decision to make. They can do value-added plans, or they can change their whole pricing strategy, where instead of [basing prices] on their organization’s cost, they can price based on demand. So based on that, those are the primary market options you can do in a slowing economy.

“In the secondary market, the options are pretty much the same. Again, you can lower prices, or you can try to provide more value for what you sell. [Some sellers are] offering full-fledged entertainment packages including transportation and hotels. We’ve seen some changes in the product, changing what you sell to try to make it more attractive to people.”

Drayer adds that demand-based pricing remains a good option for resellers as well, but warns that anytime prices are based on consumer demand, facts must be there to back up the numbers. “As researchers, our big theme is making decisions based on data. There’s more stress in this economy in doing your homework and in figuring out how to price your tickets. You can’t do it on a hunch anymore. If you try to estimate demand based on a hunch and your hunch is too low, you can lose out on profit, or if your hunch is wrong on the high side, people won’t buy tickets and you lose out that way.”

Joining Dr. Drayer on the dais will be Stephen Shapiro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Old Dominion University and currently Drayer’s research partner. Dr. Shapiro’s specialty areas of research are financial management in collegiate sports as well as ticketing in both collegiate and professional sports. He has been widely published in a number of professional journals, including the International Journal of Sport Finance, Sport Management Review and Sport Marketing Quarterly.

Also presenting at this week’s panel is James Reese, Ed.D., Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator of the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland. Dr. Reese has many years of experience in the fields of sports management and administration, as well as in sports ticketing. As ticketing administrator for the Denver Broncos, he helped plan and implement ticket sales strategies for Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII.

Ticket Summit 2010 runs from January 13-15 at the famed Waldorf=Astoria in New York City.
The keynote session, “The Economics of Ticketing”, will be held on Thursday, January 14, from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM on the hotel’s Starlight Roof.