SeatGeek CEO Jack Groetzinger has been named to the Sports Business Journal “40 Under 40” list for 2023, honoring up-and-coming executives for their achievements in leading their companies to new heights. The 38-year-old has been with the company since its launch in 2009, alongside college friend Russ D’Souza, who also remains with the ticketing company.
Other honorees in 2023 include OVG Hospitality President Ken Gaber and AEG Sports SVP of Soccer, Business Operations and Business Development Tom Braun. D’Souza himself was a 40-under-40 honoree as well in 2019.
“We are a technology company. We exist to build software. I love that part of my job,” Groetzinger said, accentuating the word “love.”
SeatGeek, which initially launched as something of a search engine for those wanting to find tickets to live events across multiple ticket resale marketplaces, has expanded dramatically in the last decade. Much of this new business has been growth into the primary ticketing market, where it competes with giants like Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster and AEG Worldwide’s AXS for market share.
Its most recent high profile sign-on client was the PGA, but other recent deals for SeatGeek include Major League Baseball (MLB) and Paciolan, the largest ticketing company in college athletics, and a primary ticketing deal with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. The company showed remarkable success in 2022, announcing 16 new premier partnerships, including the Utah Jazz, Baltimore Ravens, United Soccer League (USL), New Mexico United, Florida Panthers, and two football clubs in the UK, Leeds United and Watford F.C.
It was partially due to that new competition (and the struggles that any company trying to break in finds in the current ticketing industry) that landed Groetzinger among the witnesses testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January alongside Live Nation CFO Joe Berchtold and others.
“It was an amazing opportunity,” Groetzinger told SBJ of the January visit, which afforded him the opportunity to both highlight issues he and others feel are central to the competitive imbalance in the ticketing ecosystem, as well as sharing his belief that the ticket buying experience for consumers should be better. “It’s an issue I care a ton about, and obviously deeply influences our work.”
SeatGeek has raised more than $400 million in venture capital financing to date, including a $238 million round at a $1 billion valuation announced shortly after a planed move to being public via a SPAC merger was called off at the last minute.
Last Updated on June 27, 2023