The Season Share team (from left): CEO Aaron Holland,  COO Robert Beadle and CMO Jon Rappaport. (Nicole Pham)

San Francisco 49ers will be first team to use the new app, which will also help teams know more about their buyers

A new app set to launch this month is bringing the digital “shareconomy” online to season tickets.

Los Angeles-based Season Share aims to solve ticketing conundrums for sports teams and fans alike by removing friction for both groups. The platform allows team backers to easily buy a share of season tickets on a digital device with friends while at the same time identifying these fans to the team’s marketing department.

The NFL’s San Francisco 49ers will be the first team to use the platform.

“We’re solving a massive black hole issue, bringing share partners out of the shadows and into the light,” said Season Share co-founder and CEO Aaron Holland, adding, “We fit into the natural sales cycle. It’s a tool to empower the in-house sales staff, there’s no change in workflow and it drives season-ticket sales while solving two big pain points for fans: upfront costs and ticket utilization.”

Here’s how it works: Friends can create a group of up to four people through the app and register for how many games and tickets they’d each like to purchase out of the entire season. To divvy up the tickets, a group holds a live virtual draft, fantasy football style.

The app allows participants to use a proprietary chat function to talk smack with one another, swap tickets later, or send tickets into the secondary market to the team’s preferred ticket reseller.

There’s no cost for fans, and teams pay a flat fee based on sales. The app is integrated with Ticketmaster season-ticket sales application Archtics, SeatGeek and Tickets.com.

Holland says Season Share will offer a white label solution that can plug into websites or apps for teams. “Ticketmaster added functionality to add us, and after the (Season Share) draft we send the results to Archtics with account IDs.”

The app is set to launch with the San Francisco 49ers as the first team to use it. Jamie Brandt, vice president of sales and service for the club, confirmed that the app is easily integrated directly with the team’s ticketing system. “We take the inventory and assign it directly to this tool. It’s very simple for us, just flipping the inventory and making it available,” he said.

Brandt added, “It’s a unique build and rollout of a product that meets what we think is pretty common behavior in the marketplace that hasn’t been met. We couldn’t be happier to be the first NFL team and hope to report to other clubs and the media about the successes we’re having.”

The 49ers were so impressed that the team bought a stake in Season Share; neither side would disclose the size of that investment. Brandt said, “The 49ers’ mantra is to always think forward and look ahead — what technologies will provide for greater user experience and can we get involved in those developments and enhance our experience and affect our bottom line? We saw all of these in Season Share.”

The 49ers executive rattled off three key areas where he sees the app adding value: as a product for people who may not be able to afford a seat license and ticket on their own, expanding the marketplace; as a tool for potential at-risk renewals through its convenience and technology; and as an avenue to upsell people who buy single-game tickets into fractional season-ticket holders.

Holland says the University of Oregon’s basketball and football teams are also going to use Season Share for sales, but they won’t be ready for the app’s launch. The 49ers want to capture excitement around this month’s 2019 schedule release and the NFL draft. 

Like many inventions, Season Share was born out of necessity. In this case it was to more easily split, swap and sell Los Angeles Clippers tickets that Holland and co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Jon Rappaport went in on together. 

“We were driving around town to swap tickets, list tickets on StubHub, and just to sell to friends. It was tough,” Holland said. Rappaport previously worked as a marketing manager for Ticketmaster. The two drafted third co-founder Robert Beadle to join them and leave his work in production at ESPN, where his sister, Michelle, is an on-air host.

“There’s a narrative that the season ticket is dead. It’s a catchy and click-bait-driven headline, but it’s not founded in reality,” Holland said. 

“Fans still want to have that connection with their team and teams still rely on it as the backbone of revenue for live venues. The season ticket is alive and well (and) we make it more accessible and available to younger demographics.”