The ticketing sector for sport industry events is experiencing a stalemate as a result of the strong impact generated by the coronavirus pandemic. Some sports disciplines, such as Formula One and tennis, are trying to reopen their facilities to the public: For the Imola GP at the end of October, a maximum of 13,147 people per day is expected to flow. The Roland Garros, on the other hand, reduced its capacity to 5,000 fans per day, after initially expecting to cap at 11,500 people.
Serie A is also trying to restart with the public but the effects of the closure of the stadiums are significant: A study made by Italian economic newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore in July 2020 estimated a cash reduction of about 400M euro for Serie A clubs in the 2020-21 season mostly due to the missing income from ticketing and sponsors.
TicketOne holds the ticket sales rights for 50% of the Serie A clubs, while VivaTicket owns 40% of them, including those of Milan and Inter. ETES deals with the distribution of coupons for newly promoted Spezia while Platinium Group manages the rights for Juventus.
The Serie A ticketing market appears to be strongly polarized and focusing only on the basics, with the main players providing only the essential service of selling tickets to the events.
However, the Sport Industry is constantly evolving and the possibilities for development are around the corner. In this regard, the main need for providers is to transition from simply selling event tickets to creating a truly integrated experience in order to involve fans before, during, and after the event itself.
The sale of packages with value added services represents a fundamental step for clubs to establish a direct and increasingly in-depth relationship with their fans, stimulating Fan Engagement. On top of that, the customer-based approach would ensure a constant profiling of those users who purchase the tickets and, consequently, an increasingly targeted and personalized offer. In the long term, this can positively impact fan loyalty and increase customer retention.
This dynamic and interactive system is linked to the utilization of ad hoc platforms for online ticketing where fans can not only buy tickets for the event but also plan their travel and stay at the stadium. They can also order food and drinks directly from their seat, locate the parking area for their vehicles before the match, and buy merchandising products to be collected once they arrive at the stadium. These are just some of the additional services that can enhance the Fan Experience, making it more enjoyable and complete.
But there is even more: An integrated ticketing system would turn the fans into active players. By inserting some specific gamification dynamics on the platform (for example quizzes related to the club history or games of skill), the club could guarantee a constant interaction with their fans who would be more enticed to buy.
On top of that, the fans could have access to exclusive content (such as virtual tours of the changing rooms, the museum, or the trophy room), immersing themselves in the atmosphere of the club before the match.
The Serie A clubs are called to take the right countermeasures to face the reopening of the stadiums – immediate or remote in time that it might be. If we reflect on the composition of the Serie A fanbases, especially in the case of the most famous and followed teams, this integrated ticketing method could ensure an important return in terms of revenue.
The monetization of the data entered by the fans when purchasing a ticket on the platform is just one of the great advantages that this system can offer. The process would also ensure greater visibility to sponsors who would benefit from the prolonged time spent by users on the application as they continue to interact with the club.