Industry News

AXS strikes major NEC Group partnership

Featured image: NEC Group

NEC Group has sealed a long-term partnership with ticketing platform AXS covering two of the UK's largest live event venues – West Midlands-based Resorts World Arena and Utilita Arena Birmingham.

AXS will assume the management of ticketing operations previously handled by the NEC Group’s internal ticketing arm, The Ticket Factory (TTF), which currently operates on the AudienceView platform. All of The Ticket Factory’s current employees will be transferred to AXS.

An AXS spokesperson told that the “existing TTF system and service” will be “moved under AXS, using AXS systems and technology”. An exact timeframe for the “mutually agreed transition from the TTF brand and system to AXS” was not disclosed.

“We plan to maintain the strong brand that the NEC Group have built in The Ticket Factory and will make no changes to that brand overnight as we take time to evaluate further with our partners,” said the spokesperson, who added that the deal does not involve a change to the NEC Group’s ownership structure.

The company will also establish a ticketing hub in Birmingham adjacent to the NEC Campus to add to its locations in London and Manchester.

According to today’s joint announcement from NEC Group and AXS, customers will benefit from the latter’s patented identity-based ticketing solution, AXS Mobile ID, which features peer-to-peer transfer capability and integrated ethical resale through the AXS official resale offering.

“We have long admired the NEC Group and The Ticket Factory and are therefore thrilled to welcome them into the AXS family,” said AXS chief executive Bryan Perez.

“We share their vision for transforming the entire customer journey for fans at Resorts World Arena and Utilita Arena Birmingham and look forward to deploying our industry-leading AXS Mobile ID for fans and [the new] Apex [AXS web-based event management] platform for arenas to meet that goal. We are also excited to establish another base of operations in the West Midlands that will help grow and service our partners throughout the UK.”

Resorts World Arena and Utilita Arena Birmingham (pictured) are part of an arenas and convention business at NEC Group that is understood to sell three million tickets per year.

NEC Group chief executive Mel Smith added: “We want to make every customer’s experience brilliant, from the moment they think about buying a ticket, to the experience they have at our venues, and every interaction beyond.

“The AXS platform opens new and exciting opportunities for us to connect with customers and enhance their journey with us. We are delighted AXS has chosen to establish a centre of ticketing operations in Birmingham and look forward to a long-term partnership for the benefit of customers and the community.”

Earlier this month, AXS acquired a majority stake in WRSTBND, a provider of access control, credentialing and point-of-sale solutions for live events and venues.