Originally published on SportsBusiness Journal | Published August 27, 2012, Page 27 | By Michael Smith, Staff Writer
StubHub and Paciolan are introducing mobile ticketing at four colleges this football season, giving fans the ability to complete a purchase on the secondary market and scan a ticket at the gate, all with their phone.
North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee and Texas are the four schools using StubHub’s mobile ticketing for at least a portion of their football games this season.
StubHub said its mobile sales now account for 10 percent of its overall sales, and that 20 percent to 25 percent of its total traffic comes from mobile users.
“Mobile is a seamless experience that allows fans to buy a ticket on their phone, receive a new barcode for that ticket and then scan it at the gate and get your seat,” said Greg Ivry, StubHub’s business development manager. “We’ve seen mobile commerce take off. It’s something, as a company, that we’re very focused on.”
As more schools embrace the secondary ticketing market, they’re interested in ways for their fans to make transactions easily. If all goes well at the first four schools, several more will roll it out for basketball season.
StubHub originally tested its mobile ticketing last year with the San Francisco Giants, and the program was received well enough that the company decided to take it to the college market.
“The college space has been an area that we’ve invested heavily in,” Ivry sad. “The last two years, we’ve seen it take off.”
StubHub’s 30 college relationships differ from campus to campus. Some are straight sponsorship deals that include stadium signage and advertising. But most of their school relationships — 18 in all — allow buyers on the secondary market to make a purchase, receive a new barcode for the ticket, and either print at home or scan from the phone at the gate.
There’s no waiting for tickets to arrive in the mail or email from the seller. It also enables a fan to make last-minute buying decisions without concern over delivery of the tickets.
“What you’re seeing is that schools are realizing that the secondary market is going to happen with them or without them,” said Dave Butler, Paciolan’s CEO. “Fans like it, and if you want to serve the fans better, you’ve got to engage in the secondary market and make it as safe as possible.”
Paciolan, which provides the ticketing software for 105 schools, partnered with StubHub last year and developed a program that allows fans to buy a ticket at StubHub and receive a completely new barcode for the secondary transaction. The initial barcode is erased.
StubHub said it reduces the risk of fraud and brings ancillary benefits as well. Schools that partner with StubHub now are able to see who buys that ticket on the secondary market and collect the buyer’s information for their database.
Paciolan said roughly 80 percent of their schools have the scanning equipment in place to scan barcodes off the phone, so they expect adoption of mobile ticketing to be higher for basketball season and next football season.
“If we all agree that mobile is the future, this is a great fit for the secondary market,” Butler said. “This makes mobile sales and delivery seamless for the phone.”