These are classic founders’ first words. What would happen if. What would happen if I didn’t have to call every restaurant to find out if they still have tables available – OpenTable. What would happen if I didn’t have to worry about late fees and I could watch any movie, anytime I wanted – Netflix. What would happen if I could buy any book, or really anything, right from my living room – Amazon.
We all know the behemoth of Amazon today, but I can still remember the first time I tried the same day delivery service. I placed an order at 10:00 am and when I got home at 5:30 pm, there was my package. On my doorstep. Thinking of the logistics, planning, and execution required to make that happen I thought of someone seeing color television for the first time. I couldn’t even comprehend how that happened. And to think, they’re planning on having drones whizzing by our heads dropping packages everywhere.
Amazon created a fundamental shift in the way people shop. They started with a simple question about placing online orders for everyday items. But when you change behavior, it opens the door to a new world of potential.
Experience asked that same question a few years ago. What would happen if fans of live sports and entertainment could upgrade where they sat and how they engaged with an event? The market’s response was incredibly positive, as we’ve grown to support 15,000+ events at over 300 properties across the United States.
When you change behavior, it opens the door to a new world of potential.
Now, our partners look to us to solve more of their pain points – selling last-minute seat inventory, attracting new audiences to events, converting casual fans into season ticket members, retaining their most loyal fans for a lifetime. While we’ve built products to solve these particular issues, we always ensured our technology seamlessly worked together to make a bigger business impact.
Back in 2012, when we began working with the Boston Celtics, our technology delivered seat upgrades, VIP experiences, and merchandise to fans. This season, the Celtics introduced Experience Fluid Ticket™ technology, the only season ticket technology that adapts to a fan’s life.
Let’s look at how this is working for Dana, a loyal, multi-year season ticket holder.
He loves going to games, but like all fans, sometimes life happens and he can’t attend. In early November, Dana used the Return Tickets feature to give his tickets back to the Celtics in exchange for $100 credit. He then used most of that credit to upgrade his seats at the next game. He applied his remaining $14.50 in credit toward exclusive t-shirts and paid for the rest of the balance on his credit card.
Dana returned seats to multiple games that he couldn’t attend (seen below the timeline) and used that credit toward upgraded seats, merchandise, and additional seats for friends (seen above the timeline). Dana’s fan experience is forever changed now that he can apply the investment of his season tickets toward true gameday personalization.
In fact, Dana’s overall spend with the Celtics increased by 21% in the first few months of the season – building toward the 78% year-over-year increase in lifetime value we’ve seen with Celtics fans who use Experience technology.
Most importantly, the seats that Dana returned have been purchased as seat upgrades for new, paying fans.
Fluid Ticket technology enables a team like the Celtics, for the first time, to actually create inventory by selling the exact same seat twice at the same event.
Fluid Ticket technology unlocks inventory that can be delivered through Experience Pass®, Experience Pass One, seat upgrades, or through primary sales channels. Our products work together to drive up to a 7x increase in gross revenue, as they impact more fans with the technology they love.
It’s funny that this all of this started with a simple question about enhancing the fan experience. “What would happen if?” Not unlike a direct-mail DVD service or an easier way to buy books online, our products and services have evolved to broaden the impact for our partners. To think, we’re just on the cusp of seeing what can and will happen to the fan experience when we continue to push the future of live event personalization.