Bleak sports ticket scenario painted



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Renewals will be hit hard in the US Image: New England Patriots

A bloodbath is coming in sports ticket, suite and sponsorship renewals.

A ‘Tweet by Tony Knoop, Chief Executive, TicketManager’ read, “Renewals are a trailer of economic pressures. Decisions are made long before the impact shows up to the team – which is contract end date. For 15+ years, we’ve had a unique seat at TicketManager where we see what companies are looking to buy and renew in sports and entertainment. This coming renewal season is already spoken for – and it is going to be a rough one for the majority of teams and venues. The worst we’ve seen since 2008-2010.”

TicketManager is a leading event and guest management platform that empowers companies to make client entertainment easy and drive greater return on investment (ROI). It offers convenient and simple tech to manage corporate sports and entertainment tickets, create exceptional guest lifecycle experiences and reports on the effectiveness of all engagement in realtime.

TicketManager is based in Calabasas, California (US) with six offices globally managing and automating more than 30 million invitations, registrations and tickets every year.

The ‘Tweet by Tony Knoop, Chief Executive, TicketManager’ further read, “Unfortunately, the coming wave of non-renewals isn’t due to team performance, customer service, or even demand. It’s emotionless cost-cutting – like what we just saw at ESPN. Stalwart customers are cutting back on tickets. Honestly, that’s been okay for our business as we’re adding new customers who want to keep their tickets and use us to justify doing so. But even those new customers are usually just trying to hang onto all the tickets they can. It’s a long way from 2015-2019 where we gained new customers who were expanding their holdings aggressively.”
 

So what Teams are Getting Renewed?

1) ‘Can’t cut ’em ever’ teams

“You know them and so do I. The biggest names and most embedded in their community. The legacy teams – Yankees (the Major League Baseball [MLB] team New York Yankees), Celtics (the National Basketball Association [NBA] team Boston Celtics), Lakers (the NBA team Los Angeles Lakers), Spurs (the Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur F.C.), Eagles (the NFL team Philadelphia Eagles), Chiefs (the NFL team Kansas City Chiefs), Knicks (the NBA team New York Knicks), and Braves (the MLB team Atlanta Braves). If not one of ‘those’ teams, you’re in the conversation – whether you believe it or not.”
 
2) Teams Willing to Bet on Themselves

“Companies are demanding one year terms from all vendors. Teams doing so are getting renewals, but at the heavy cost of giving up multiyear contracts. It’s a bad choice to have to make. Sports buyers understand the multiyear dynamic. Procurement/Finance executives being introduced to the process to do the cutting, however, don’t care. In fact, they’re paid to break that practise. Consider a 1+3 renewal. Something to help get through ‘the now’ with a compromise on the second renewal.”

“Procurement needs wins. So even if you renew them, give them a win they can hang their hat on. “
 
3) Teams Allowing Resale

“Companies told they can’t resell while they’re going through cost-cutting are pissed.* Trust me, they tell us like it’s our fault too. One under-performing team told a customer who was about to burn 600 tickets for a game, “tough luck”. That deal is up next year. I can tell you from being in the room, that’s not going to go well. Teams can stand on whatever silly principles they like but are it worth losing the customers over?”

“This renewal season is different. For the first time since 2008-2009, there is competition. Companies are going to cut good and valuable inventory. They are mandated to and it is already decided. They’ll give reasons, but it won’t matter. Either you’re on one side of the cut line or the other.”

Like the old saying goes – ‘When running from a bear, don’t be last’.

“Hopefully, the teams adapt quickly- something they’ve never done in the past.”

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