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Ohio University (Ohio) has decided to implement Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement’s  ticketing, fundraising, access and email marketing solutions. Jim Schaus, Director of Athletics at Ohio University, said:

It’s exciting to partner with an industry leader in Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement to launch a new system that creates a user-friendly experience for our fans.

Working with Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement will help us in our goal to improve the overall experience for our fans at events and online, and continue our efforts to provide the highest level of customer service.

Ohio launched Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement’s online ticketing system on July 1 to efficiently sell tickets to all athletics events and process donations in real-time at OhioBobcats.com. The eCommerce site is a one-stop source for fans and donors to purchase tickets, select seats from a pick-your-own seat map, easily make donations and manage accounts online. The online box office integrates with Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement’s fundraising system to seamlessly process donations for the Ohio Bobcat Club Annual Fund.

To adopt digital ticketing and print-at-home tickets, Ohio will implement Access Management, a digital ticketing solution, to provide fans with print-at-home delivery methods to streamline the process of ticket fulfillment. The Access solution allows fans to bypass will call lines and quickly enter each venue upon arrival. Ohio will also look to expand its digital ticketing technology in the future to provide mobile ticket delivery and mobile scanning at a future date to be determined.

Additionally, Ohio will utilize the PACmail email marketing solution to expand its communication and broaden its marketing reach to season ticket holders, donors, fans and students. PACmail will enable Ohio to tailor segmented messages to instantly reach season ticket holders, donors and fans to increase awareness of ticket sales, fundraising opportunities, promotions and upcoming events.

Michael Stephens, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Operations at Ohio University, said:

We are excited to implement new technology powered by Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement and provide our customers with a seamless platform to purchase tickets and make donations,” said  “These solutions not only helps us sell more tickets and further brand the Ohio Bobcats, but it assists our fans with a positive buying experience and improved service.

In June Comcast Spectacor combined Paciolan and its two other divisions – Global Spectrum, and Ovations Food Services – to operate as Spectra, a singular, new brand. Dave Butler, Chief Executive Officer of Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement, said:

We are delighted to partner with Ohio University and provide them with integrated solutions to improve the fan and donor experience. We strive to deliver leading and innovative solutions that enable our partners to host memorable events and inspire them to engage their fans and donors, drive revenue, and build loyalty.

Interview: Justice Ellis, Marketing Manager – Manchester City Football Club

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A large-scale and rigorous insight into what premium level customers are looking for from a VIP experience was commissioned by Manchester City Football Club in 2010 and is driving an imaginative approach to the premium spaces in Etihad Stadium. The club worked with two agencies to shape what Manchester City Football Club should invest in. Justice Ellis, Marketing Manager at Manchester City Football Club summarises:

At Manchester City Football Club we are ambitious on and off the pitch. We aim to be original and adventurous. It’s about understanding the spectrum of the market and providing a range that appeals across the market to different desires and ambitions.

In 2011 Manchester City Football Club introduced ‘experience’ boxes: the EA SPORTS Platinum Gaming Box, the Harvey Nichols Experience Box. These are exclusive spaces with balcony seating. Ellis explains:

Each has a rounded experience devised by the sponsor. For example the EA SPORTS box is a gaming zone with tournament chairs, EA titles to play and a dedicated EA Sports member of staff who is a game expert who can help visitors get to grips with the games and organise tournaments amongst the guests.

Visitors to the Harvey Nichols box might experience a wine or spirits masterclass for the gentlemen or hand massages and cocktails for the ladies.

The food offering matches the audience, from youngsters to stag events. The club’s new catering partnership with Jamie Oliver and Legends Hospitality, Fabulous Fan Fayre, provides catering for all hospitality and public concession areas.

Another important space is Eleven, which is a marketing suite that showcases the club’s hospitality, and on matchdays offers an intimate number of guests a unique, behind the scenes experience of watching the players and management team arrive and depart, directly from a floor-to-ceiling glass viewing gallery. Ellis adds:

What we provide is different from a flat product offer. The idea of ‘bespoke’ based on the guests has taken Manchester City Football Club into new territory. It opens up opportunities to bring a new clientele to the Etihad, people who wouldn’t immediately consider coming to a match.

For the current season, Manchester City Football Club relaunched its Citizens hospitality suite (pictured below). Seating is on level two on the halfway line, directly opposite the Players’ Tunnel and tactical area, giving Citizens patrons direct views of every moment of managerial magic and movement from the bench, throughout every twist and turn of the game.

In a first for UK stadiums, the club has introduced four new entertaining rooms situated at the back of the space, which are available for exclusive hire. The ‘Back Four’ combines Citizens’ relaxed environment with the comfort of a private box. When hired for the season, fans can dedicate their ‘Back Four’ box to their favourite defender in Manchester City’s history to create a truly personalised space within the Etihad Stadium. The new restaurant and bar seats up to 328 guests in an aspirational but comfortable space.

The recent transformation of VIP spaces resulted in the club winning the Best Football Club Hospitality award at the second annual Football Business Awards. Ellis concludes:

There’s a business case behind everything we do. Bringing in a wider mix of people immediately expands the customer base. The personalised experience demands a premium price. VIP fans can choose to sit in a high-end part of the stadium, get a pitchside tour or a signed shirt, get close to players, get insider experiences.

We are learning from the USA, from the NBA for instance, that it’s important to have a range of products that will appeal for special occasions.

 

Pictured: Manchester City Football Club staff receiving the award for Best Football Club Hospitality. Danny Wilson, Director of Sales, Service and Operations at Manchester City Football Club, said:

The club has grown from strength to strength and we’ve strived to ensure that our entire hospitality offering delivers consistently high standards and value for money for guests. We receive lots of great feedback about our dynamic hospitality spaces from guests each week, but it’s great to have our hard work recognised at a national awards ceremony.

02b 02a Citizens entrance render web

 

Venues meeting ticketing challenge of inclusive pricing

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In the UK, venues need to be compliant with advertising code regulations and AudienceView has developed new functionality to achieve this, working in partnership with NEC and trialled by The Ticket Factory for several months beginning in March. It allows venues to present clear and inclusive ticket pricing across all digital sales channels.

Similar to pricing for airline tickets, the regulations require that all charges be included in the advertised price for live entertainment tickets from the very beginning of any online purchase process. This provides transparency for customers, eliminates misleading ticket prices on venue websites and ultimately improves the overall service experience.

For most live entertainment organisations, inclusive pricing presents a fundamental business change. It impacts everything from the deals that venues make with producers, promoters and artists to how marketing departments prepare copy for brochures, print ads and web pages. Organisations must also make sure their technology can apply solutions to all digital channels as well as phone rooms and the box office. Roger Tomlinson Industry Consultant said:

This goes well beyond the way that venues and ticket sellers are presenting pricing – it’s a fundamental shift in how our industry is engaging with potential buyers. While inclusive pricing will mean many changes to common industry practices and the way that membership schemes work, I see the move as a positive one. Anything that makes it easier for customers to understand how much the ticket costs as part of their ‘going out experience’ will help sell more tickets. It also aligns the arts and entertainment industry with most other retail practices.

When using AudienceView, inclusive pricing is presented up front, during seat selection, with the total cost broken down by ticket price and booking fees for added clarity. Recognising the complexities of calculated charging, AudienceView also enables configurable messaging for fulfillment, delivery and other fees, which some venues may include on each order instead of on a per-ticket basis.

The Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) advertising guidelines extend beyond the online sales process to include purchased ads, print materials and posters created by the venue or producer, social media and any other distributed information.