The National Association of Athletic Ticket Sales & Operations (NAATSO) is the first and only college ticket association. NAATSO launched into the spotlight in mid-June with its inaugural convention at the NACDA conference in Orlando from June 17-19. Over 100 attendees representing 87 schools nationally were on hand for the organization that gained over 200 members in just its first year.
Dovetailing the Collegiate AD’s conference made sense given NAATSO’s objective of making ticket offices and ticketing professionals more of a priority within a school’s Athletic Department and operating budget. Expectations are high for next year in terms of conference attendance, membership growth, and sponsor participation. What may surprise many is that in many cases a collegiate ticket office is a relatively small operation given the amount of ticket inventory and dollars it controls. Perhaps NAATSO can change all that.
Troy Kirby, founder of NAATSO and current President, feels strongly about the organization’s goals and potential impact. He commented that, “the secondary market at the college level is so young. It’s like a toddler with gold. A ton of larger schools are looking to develop secondary market relationships in the right way. Our two panel discussions on the secondary were packed, and attendees created a great discussion between DTI, our sponsor Ticket Galaxy and David Young of RCN Capital.”
Future NAATSO events will continue to incorporate the secondary market with added attendance by ticket brokers and other industry players. Ticket brokers and schools interested in developing and fostering influential relationships can use NAATSO as a way to achieve these goals. Industry participants such as TicketNetwork, Ticket Galaxy, RCN Capital, and many others can potentially establish meaningful partnerships via NAATSO and its growing member base. It remains to be seen how much NAATSO can change the role of a ticket office at a school and its interaction with the secondary market, but it appears as though there is interest in pursuing this further and finding out what opportunities are ahead.
The next NAATSO conference is from June 14-17, 2016 in Dallas, TX.