Got Tickets? is Creating a New Market for Unused Tickets

November 14, 2013

1:00 pm

Ever have a ticket to an event that you found out you would not be able to attend? Whether it’s a sports game or concert, you basically have two options – give your ticket away or try to sell it. Either way you stand to lose money. Sites like StubHub and even Craigslist provide a platform for people to try to sell their tickets. The challenge, however, is not only trying to get as much money as you can to cut your losses, but also trying to sell before the event happens. This is the nature of the secondary market for event tickets – the value of any ticket fluctuates up to the event, and then all value is lost once the event happens. You, the ticket holder, have all the risk.

To combat this and other inefficiencies in this market, Tixers, a startup in the Cincinnati region, reimagined what a ticket’s value is and removes the burden of selling from the consumer. With Tixers, the user doesn’t have to worry about selling the ticket since Tixers takes on that risk. In exchange for the ticket, the user will get credit on Tixers that can be used to buy other tickets for future events. This creates immediate and known value for the ticket seller. So instead of missing an event and losing out on the money you spent for the ticket, Tixers gives you something of value to use now or in the future.

This credit-based market is basically a new model for the secondary ticket market that is heavily transactional – that is, based on single interactions with a customer. By giving the consumer immediate value for their ticket, Tixers not only saves the consumer time and money, but it also creates a community where customers will return to and use often. A Tixer credit has definite value and can be combined with more credits or money to buy other tickets. So instead of the consumer coming onto merely to sell, they come to sell, shop, and browse more actively, as they have credits to use. In short, the credit model helps build a loyalty-driven model.

This is especially valuable to season ticket holders – individuals as well as corporations. With roughly 20 percent of season tickets going unused, there is a tremendous amount of waste. The ticket holders lose out on the value, the venues lose out on the concessions, and the fans that do not have tickets but want them lose out. Tixers is trying to redefine the season ticket holder experience as more akin to a timeshare. That is, a season ticketholder could use the Tixers platform to leverage its ticket catalog to trade or exchange tickets for other events or simply to retain some of the value. It happens all too frequently that a company has season tickets, but so few employees actually use them. Emails go around the company, to clients and customers, and then friends of employees, but there are no takers. The tickets would be wasted. Tixers gives these tickets a chance to be used and, at least for the company, to retain some value from them for future use. Again, this credit creates a loyalty pullback to the platform.

Loyalty marketing is something that Tixers founder Alex Burkhart knows something about. Prior to founding Tixers, Alex worked in loyalty marketing at Macy’s. He had the idea for Tixers when we was still at Macy’s and used StartupWeekend to pitch and refine it. He won that StartupWeekend and has since resigned from Macy’s, brought on two partners, as well as gotten into the UpTech accelerator based in Northern Kentucky.

With the fall and winter being a key sports season for pro and college sports alike, Tixers is positioned to launch a new phase of its website to take advantage of its growing use. As Burkhart details, “We continue to grow as more and more season ticket holders and avid sports fans try out the credit model. Our inventory has increased to include some key college games such as the regional NCAA basketball tournament and Big Ten football championship.”

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Joshua Kubicki is a business designer for the legal markets and a seasoned entrepreneur and intrapreneur. He helps startups and companies focused on the legal markets create new business models and revenue streams. Follow him at @jkubicki.

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