On June 22, FEVO’s SVP of Partner Success, Cara Leis, moderated a virtual roundtable discussion with sales executives from FEVO’s partnering sports organizations. The conversation focused on premium sales strategies, along with the evolution of premium ticketing consumer behavior post-pandemic. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on how to implement any into your own premium sales strategy.
· Rose Barre, Executive Director of Sales, Service & Business Strategies for the New York Yankees
· Nick Wierciak , VP of Ticketing, Premium and Suite Sales for the St. Louis Blues
· Dan Rosenthal, VP of Sales, Elevate Sports Ventures working with (USTA) United States Tennis Association
· Taylor Fisher, Director of Sales for the Nashville Sounds Baseball Club
While many other industries have operated online for years, and as the shift in ticketing in sports and live events towards mobile is ongoing, premium inventory has historically been safeguarded from a digital transformation. This is not an uncommon practice in other luxury sectors, with fashion house Chanel famously avoiding selling their clothing online.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be the great digital accelerant, shifting many industries like grocery to online buying. In the wake of this rapid change, our panelists experimented by moving premium inventory online with FEVO -- enabling them to fuel premium sales as stadiums reopen.
In addition to the accelerated digital push, high net worth individuals are ready to spend, and premium experiences are at the top of their list.
Moderator Cara Leis kicked off the conversation by inviting the panelists to explain their organizations’ strategy behind moving premium tickets online, and utilizing FEVO for their premium inventories in the process.
Many of the panelists agreed that purchasing tickets online comes down to a matter of convenience and Taylor Fisher emphasized the point: “People are willing to pay fees when they’re paying for convenience.”
“From a suite perspective, [digitizing inventory] allows you the opportunity just to obviously extend and give just more and more opportunities out there to the public to let them know what's available,” added Wierciak.
Dan Rosenthal added: “Through FEVO, we've proven that it's not that people don't want to buy premium. It's just, again, they weren't aware of it.”
Moving premium inventory online enables sales that weren’t happening before, including late at night impulse buys.
"Most [online] sales are coming extremely late at night, like between 10:00 PM and 3:00 AM,” said Fisher.
Those late-night sales may have been missed if they were only being sold via telephone calls to group sales teams operating during normal business hours.
The digital initiative also brought new fans to games in Nashville, with premium sales driven by net new customers.
“Most of these people aren't even in our system as having bought any tickets with us previously,” continued Fisher. “So we're reaching people through our premium page and the FEVO drawer that we didn't know how to contact previously.”
Along with transparency, Rosenthal believes that moving premium ticketing online allows for an element of storytelling that was not always available in the premium space. Selling the exclusivity and luxury of the premium experience online, for Rosenthal, has proven to be successful, especially when creating custom visual displays through FEVO.
Making the premium experience accessible to customers isn’t the only component that ensures the success of premium sales. The panelists say that it’s also important to identify the buying behavior of customers and adjust the marketing strategy to accommodate those trends.
"Its understanding your buyers and what people want and ultimately catering to different customers,” Rosenthal said.
Digitizing premium inventory also allows for much more data capture, which enables sales and marketing teams to better understand their fans and consumers. By looking at the trends of premium buyers (made possible by online inventory), Rose Barre says she’s better equipped to market to Yankees fans in the most effective way.
All of the panelists agreed that the combination of post-pandemic spending habits, coupled with a desire to experiment with digitizing a previously safeguarded inventory category has led to a gold mine of sorts for the premium experience economy.
Better experience for ticket buyers:
· Access to premium tickets, previously only available via a phone call, now universally accessible online
· Convenience is very important; there’s no longer a need to speak to someone over the phone
More sales & data for ticket sellers:
· Sell more to new customers who previously didn’t buy premium ticket packages
· Collect more data from consumers for upsells and future sales and marketing initiatives
Working with FEVO is easy:
· “The ease of using the FEVO platform has been amazing for us and a great resource,” said Fisher