Premium ticketing marketplace Seat Unique has had an explosive four years since entering the market in 2018, and has recently announced a number of partnerships with prestigious sporting clubs across the UK.
Its existing partnerships with the likes of Welsh Rugby saw its Principality Stadium Experience witness a tenfold increase in enquiries, sales and conversion for hospitality services at the Cardiff ground.
In March this year, Seat Unique partnered with York Racecourse, which resulted in the venue being able to sell hospitality and private boxes online for the first time as part of York’s digital transformation.
This was soon followed by the announcement that the Bristol County Ground, home of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, had been renamed Seat Unique Stadium in a historic naming-rights deal spanning four years.
Image: Seat Unique’s partnerships include Welsh Rugby
Last month, Lancashire Cricket announced a three-year partnership with Seat Unique , which became an official partner and an official hospitality agent of Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford. The deal also included Seat Unique’s sponsorship of Lancashire’s Royal London Cup shirts for the 50-over competition.
Just last week, Durham Cricket announced a three-year naming-rights partnership with Seat Unique, which saw its Riverside ground in Chester le Street become Seat Unique Riverside with immediate effect.
Seat Unique has worked with Durham Cricket since 2021 when it became the cricket club’s official hospitality and premium ticketing partner.
In light of Seat Unique’s recent growth, TheTicketingBusiness spoke to head of commercial, Matt Judge (pictured main), on the demand for a premium experience when it comes to purchasing tickets and hospitality.
Image: Seat Unique is an official partner and hospitality agent of Lancashire Cricket
TheTicketingBusiness: Seat Unique has announced a number of new partnerships over the last few months, how is the company helping these clubs and venues to sell more premium tickets?
Matt Judge: “We help our partners digitalise their hospitality booking process so they can get their packages and tickets online as quickly, and as easily, as possible. This gives fans the option to book premium experiences at their favourite events anytime and anywhere, through our 24/7 service. This allows our partners to focus on developing new or other revenue streams.”
TTB: How do you continue to work with and support clubs and venues after the initial deal is done?
MJ: “We have a team of dedicated account managers on hand to offer our partners technical and non-technical support. They also work closely with the clubs and venues to help them maximise their revenue streams through a variety of different acquisition channels.
“Communication is also key in helping us maintain an excellent relationship with our partners. We encourage them to give us constructive feedback so we can continue to improve our product and service.
“We closely monitor sales and give our partners expert advice on the best way to streamline the buying experience, so they can ensure maximum conversions.”
Image: Gloucestershire County Cricket’s ground is known as Seat Unique Stadium
TTB: Do you believe there is a heightened focus on premium ticketing and hospitality?
MJ: “Yes, absolutely. For many years, people have believed that hospitality is reserved for corporates or the ultra rich. However, the B2C market has a huge appetite for this and premium experiences are rising in demand, especially in the live event space.
“Whether it’s birthdays or anniversaries, people like to treat themselves, their friends and/or family to a VIP experience to celebrate. And what better way to enjoy a special occasion than by watching your favourite sports team or artists from the best seats in house, and being treated to five-star hospitality.”
TTB: Do customers expect more from these services?
MJ: “Yes, most certainly. Not only do customers expect to receive an impeccable experience on the day of the event, but they also expect the buying experience and pre-event communications to be of a high standard too.
“Being made to feel like a VIP is hugely important to our customers. We want to ensure they receive that treatment from the moment they book right up to the day of the event. That’s why we’ve created a safe, seamless and secure platform where customers can easily compare packages and buy in just four clicks.
“We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. Our friendly team is always on hand to offer support and advice to our customers’ queries, whatever they may be.”
Image: Seat Unique signed a three-year naming rights partnership with Durham Cricket
TTB: How has the buyer experience developed over the last few years? Does the purchasing experience factor into premium and hospitality sales?
MJ: “We understand that people want the ability to book premium experiences on the go. Our mobile-first approach means that our website is optimised in way that provides our customers with an engaging, user-friendly buying experience.
“Beyond the website, our customer service team is available to contact outside the typical 9-5 working hours. Although our customers convert online, they want a personal point of contact who they can speak to on evenings and weekends regarding their booking, at a time that suits them.”
TTB: Do you think the demand for a premium experience will grow for sporting events?
MJ: “Yes, I think it will. Following the return of live events in 2021, we have seen a huge uplift in fans looking to buy hospitality packages and premium tickets for sporting events, particularly in football and music but we are starting to see an uplift in cricket as well. I think we are in for a huge summer of music and cricket!
“It’s Seat Unique’s mission to make premium experiences accessible to every fan. By promoting awareness to such experiences, and educating people that they can be affordable and value for money, helps create demand for everyone. We have some VIP options from £35 on our site so it really is for everyone!”