Author: Dave Brooks
Date: December 06,2006

LAS VEGAS — Ticketmaster has unveiled a new sales platform to
help venues move group ticket packages and discount tickets. Dubbed
the Ticketdeals Network, the system was showcased Dec. 5 at the
International Association of Fairs and Expositions Convention.The
program is designed to help venues move large inventories of
tickets close to show dates without compromising the integrity of
the normally priced ticket. The system is currently used by
Ticketmaster sponsored National Basketball Association facilities,
but the package is being marketed to fairs and festivals through
its subsidiary, Ticketweb.“It’s a much more targeted
approach than putting ‘five dollars off’ on a Coke
can,” said Alistair James, senior manager of business
development and strategy at Ticketmaster.Here’s how the
system essentially works: a venue contacts Ticketmaster and
requests a certain number of discounted tickets be placed on the
Ticketdeals system. Those tickets are then reduced in value and
sent to one of the 140 companies and associations working with
Ticketmaster. The company, in turn, offers the reduced ticket to
employees and customers within its own e-mail database. James
estimates the program has the potential to reach 80 million people.
Some of the companies involved include American Express and AAA,
where cardholders are sent the notification. Starbucks, Comcast
cable network and the U.S. Army also use the system.During the
demonstration, James showed the protocol used by American Eagle
Outfitters, a clothing company. On the site, users see a top banner
for a Ticketmaster supported event — in this case it was an
advertisement for Live Nation’s Motor Sports division. James
said the advertisement was usually matched to the brand image of
the sponsoring company. Below, the sponsoring company gets its own
banner — in American Eagle’s case, it’s a giant
blue banner reading “AE All-Access Pass.” James said
the banner reflects a marketing decision by American Eagle to brand
itself with the live music industry.Below, users are invited to
type in their zip codes and then are given offers on discounted
tickets. Here are some of the deals listed on the site for the Los
Angeles region:• Up to $17 off for an Anaheim (Calif.) Ducks
game at the Honda Center.• 50% off tickets to the Los Angeles
Clippers at the Staples Center.• $10 off for tickets to the
Christmas Catechism at the Scherr Forum – Thousand Oaks
(Calif.) Civic Arts centerJames said the websites are not published
or linked on the web, but they’re not password protected
either. James said he doesn’t encourage people to surf onto
the site, but Ticketmaster actively tries to keep non-Ticketdeal
affiliated members of the public off the site. He also added that
Ticketmaster regularly monitored transactions on the site to keep
secondary ticket agents from buying reduced priced tickets. The
Ticketmaster service fees are the same as the contract-negotiated
rate for most venues, he said. James also added that online venues
are given available market data for each venue for future marketing
and promotional campaigns. — Dave BrooksInterviewed for this
article: Alistair James, (310) 360-2453