TicketCity, the nation’s fourth-largest secondary ticket company, is exploring new and unusual avenues to take its business to the next level. On January 1,...

TicketCity, the nation’s fourth-largest secondary ticket company, is exploring new and unusual avenues to take its business to the next level. On January 1, the ticketer sponsored the first TicketCity Bowl between the Northwestern and Texas Tech (won by Texas Tech), and during the game it showcased its first ever television ads.

The television spots emphasize TicketCity’s focus on personalized service from real people as opposed to servers, and feature a TicketCity staffer petting a puppy, eating pudding and even performing the Heimlich maneuver. The spots can be found currently at Ticketcity.com and one can be seen below.

Founder and CEO Randy Cohen is proud of the ads and has seen good response to them. “We are probably the first broker in the secondary market that actually owns their own inventory to have a real commercial. It was a lot of fun putting this together and trying to grow and dare to be different.”

And Cohen believes in the message the ads are trying to convey. “Remember the old days when we got to talk to people? That’s the point we’re trying to drive home. Our people are the difference.”

The bowl game sponsorship was an idea Cohen said the company had kicked around for years. “We always wanted to do a Bowl but could never find the right deal.”

Established as the Dallas Football Classic in 2009 and approved by the NCAA in 2010, the TicketCity Bowl pits a Big Ten team against one from either the Big 12 or Conference USA on a rotating basis. The event found a home in Dallas’ Cotton Bowl Stadium following the 2010 relocation of the AT & T Cotton Bowl Classic to Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Dallas Football Classic was on, with naming rights still available, and Cohen and his Austin-based company saw a good fit with a local event.

While TicketCity has shared sponsorship for a number of other Bowls, including the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, this was the first Bowl to bear the TicketCity name. But, the move to have a company-named Bowl was not always easy, nor did it guarantee profits. As Cohen explains, “There’s a lot of risk that goes on when you take the challenge of these Bowls. I don’t think it’s a money maker. It’s a loss leader that helps you to brand your company.”

Cohen and his team took full advantage of these branding opportunities through the use of smart, funny TV commercials that ran throughout the game.

As for TicketCity’s future directions, Vice President of Marketing Amy Carpenter sees promise in the partnerships the company has built in recent years. “We’ve had tremendous success and growth with a lot of the partnerships we’ve built with schools and Bowl games, and of course the TicketCity Bowl. In general, partnerships are a focal point of our business moving forward, a significant growth avenue.

Carpenter believes the company’s focus on personalized service sets it apart from its competition and also sees its potential as a solid foundation on which to build future business. “We’ve had a strong customer base on the phone in recent years, and our growth is coming to the online world. Our goal is to keep that personal touch, keeping service personal in an online environment.”

As for Cohen, he sees the company’s future clearly and simply: “To infinity and beyond.”