Iconic North American media brand Sports Illustrated is aiming to disrupt the ticketing sector through the launch of its nominal flat-fee marketplace SI Tix.

The platform, licensed by Sports Illustrated owners Authentic Brands Group, is reportedly powered by itinerary from Ticket Evolution and Ticket Network. It plans to host millions of tickets to more than 100,000 concerts, theatre and sporting events across the globe, and already includes major sports events and concerts from acts such as Foo Fighters and Lady Gaga.

SI Tix describes itself as “fan-first” due to its $10 flat transaction fee for all purchases via payment partner Venmo and guarantee of a 100-per-cent refund if an event is cancelled for any reason. Sports Illustrated says the $10 fee is a fraction of regular resale costs, which it claims are typically 30 per cent of the purchase price.

Authentic Brands Group – which acquired Sports Illustrated two years ago for $110m with a view to monetising the brand across multiple sectors — described the launch as the “most innovative extension” of the brand to date.

“With live events poised to make a triumphant return, our goal for SI Tix is to disrupt the ticketing industry in a major way with a platform created specifically for fans,” said Corey Salter, chief operating officer of Authentic Brands Group.

“After an unprecedented year that rocked the sports and entertainment worlds to the core, we are thrilled to be the first media company ever to launch a ticketing platform and are excited to be the first service to offer a $10 flat fee.”

SI Tix will be led by chief executive David Lane, who previously held the same position at New York City-based ticket broker Lunatix. Other senior executives include vice president of operations Sophie Martin, previously with Ticket Network and DTI Management, and Nicholas Mazzei, once of 1Ticket, DTI and Periodic Tickets.

“The live events industry is continuing to make a safe return, and it’s evident fans have never been more excited to experience their favourite teams, musicians and shows, live and in-person,” said CEO Lane.

“Our commitment with SI Tix is to put fans first, connecting the largest audience of buyers and sellers in the industry. From our revolutionary $10 flat transaction fee pricing model when paying with Venmo to exclusive offerings and guaranteed 100% refunds on cancelled events, we are delivering unparalleled transparency and choice – something we know fans want and deserve as they return to venues around the world.”

Sports Illustrated’s website attracts around five million visits per month, according to figures from SimilarWeb, with 80 per cent of traffic from the US.

The $10 flat transaction fee when checking out is only available for purchases made with Venmo. Tickets can also be purchased using PayPal and credit or debit cards with a processing fee.

Image: NeONBRAND on Unsplash