Ticketmaster has expanded its relationship with the NFL in a move that will provide the American football league with an open architecture, fully digital ticketing system.
Following a meeting of the NFL’s 32 teams in New York City, it was announced that a new multi-year extension between the two organisations had been signed and will come into effect in the 2018-19 season.
Ticketmaster will continue to power the official NFL resale marketplace, the NFL Ticket Exchange, which will be migrated into the fully integrated primary and resale platform on Ticketmaster’s website.
Earlier this week a Sports Business Journal report suggested NFL owners could vote to end Ticketmaster’s exclusive rights to provide official secondary ticketing. Some industry commentators have suggested the deal is a response to SeatGeek’s ‘open platform’ partnership with MLS, and pressure from AXS’s link to Veritix’s Flash Seats.
“The proven strength of Ticketmaster’s ticketing platform leadership and their ability to deploy consumer-friendly technology to NFL fans at scale is what drove our selection of them as our strategic partner,” said Brian Lafemina, the NFL’s senior vice-president of club business development.
“We look forward to implementing this new model, which will set the standard of what next generation ticketing can provide with a better fan experience, visibility and customer insights that content holders like the NFL and our clubs are looking for.”
As part of the agreement, the NFL and its teams will utilise Ticketmaster’s Presence software, which allows attendees’ tickets to be verified by an ultrasonic connection between their mobile phone and the venue’s systems.
Ticketmaster said digital ticketing via physical and mobile options will provide teams with access to a range of real-time insights about where tickets are traded and who is attending the event to help them better serve their customers and deliver a more secure in-venue environment.
“Ticketmaster Presence will help create smart venues and give fans easier, safer ways to attend events,” said Jared Smith, president of Ticketmaster North America.
“Delivering the definitive digital ticketing system provides content holders like the NFL powerful new tools to service their fans.”