On April 6, 2012, the NFL and Ticketmaster announced that the two organizations had signed a five-year extension on their popular “NFL Ticket Exchange” site. Ticketmaster, a subsidiary of LiveNation Entertainment, hosts several ticket exchange sites for various sporting and entertainment organizations. Launched in 2008, the NFL Ticket Exchange has more than quadrupled in size. It is also currently the only official ticket exchange of the NFL. Additional ticket exchanges include a site for the NHL (which serves as the official ticket exchange for the league), various NBA teams, several college football bowl games, and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, Phoenix Mercury, and Seattle Storm.
The NFL Ticket Exchange allows fans to buy and sell tickets to upcoming games, while ensuring that the tickets will be authentic. NFL Ticket Exchange ensures authenticity through validation from Ticketmaster, in conjunction with each ticket being re-issued “with new bar codes through TicketFast®, Ticketmaster’s electronic ticket delivery system.” Similar to other ticket exchange sites, like the perennial powerhouse StubHub, NFL Ticket Exchange exists in a free market mold, allowing fans to set their own price for the resold tickets.
A partnership with the NFL is particularly lucrative for Ticketmaster, as the NFL holds the top ranking of “most attended domestic sports league in the world.” The average attendance at a NFL game is around 67,000 fans.
“Together with the NFL, we’ve built a tremendous asset in the NFL Ticket Exchange as the safe, secure and convenient destination for NFL fans to buy resale tickets,” said Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster in a press release. “We collaboratively worked together to enhance the terms of the extension resulting in improvements for fans, the league, the teams and Ticketmaster. We can’t wait for the next five years to expand on this successful model and take the NFL Ticket Exchange to new heights for fans.”
Like Ticketmaster, the NFL released a statement hinting at a strong future of collaboration with Ticketmaster and Live Nation. “We are looking forward to building upon the success of our Ticketmaster partnership,” said Neil Glat, the NFL’s senior vice president of corporate development, in a statement. “Ticketmaster has proven that our ticket resale product has benefitted our fans and clubs. NFL Ticket Exchange provides our fans a secure, guaranteed and convenient way to buy and sell tickets using Ticketmaster’s TicketFast secure barcode technology. We are excited to work with Ticketmaster to make the fan experience even better.”
Ticketmaster, whose merger with LiveNation in 2010 created a host of criticism and a federal investigation, remains one of the top five eCommerce sites in the world. It currently maintains a presence in 19 countries and its site receives 27 million unique visitors every month. With the continued additions of ticket exchanges adding to Ticketmaster’s already large inventory, it seems reasonable to believe that at some point in the near future, Ticketmaster might in fact top the list of the top eCommerce sites in the world.