A common dilemma in the business of selling tickets for professional sports teams is how to move unsold ticket inventory for various games. ScoreBig enters the scene as startup company with the potential to move inventory for sports teams and provide excellent value for the consumer. ScoreBig was founded in 2009 by former NBA executive Adam Kanner and backed financially by Bain Capital Ventures. As recently as April 26, 2010, ScoreBig secured $5 million in funding which means that this company is gaining momentum. Among the company’s investors and advisers are Gideon Yu (Facebook, Youtube), Shari Redstone (Viacom) and Michael Bronner (Digitas).
The SportsBusiness journal says that “people who were briefed on ScoreBig’s economic model says their strategy is to secure unsold inventory from teams, leagues, venues, promoters or anyone else holding large blocks of unsold seats and sell them on a fan’s preference in price, location and game. It is a model loosely based on travel sites that sell hotel rooms or airline tickets at discounted rates.”
The main travel site they are referring is Priceline.com. As a current hotel partner with Priceline, this potential model is intruiging. Priceline is a strong brand name in the ecommerce hotel world and can move a shockingly large amount of inventory in short period of times. The key with moving inventory on Priceline is finding the sweet spot between where price point and tipping point in which consumers will buy inventory very quickly meet.
Unlike hotel rooms or plane tickets, the tipping point for sporting game tickets is right in the middle price point. Neither the most expensive nor the most inexpensive locations at an event are the most difficult to sell. It is the “stuff in the middle” that is more difficult to sell on a consistent basis. I suspect the model that they launch will allow potential customers to bid on a certain ticket at a certain price (like Priceline) and pass the savings onto the customer while maintaining the integrity of the brand and prevent brand erosion that takes place with hotel rooms and airline seats.
ScoreBig says they will not disclose to the customer how the ticket was acquired which should help provide brand protection. My initial concern would be simply how is ScoreBig going to build trust with professional teams and venues. Done properly, this could lead to a long and fruitful partnership for all parties involved. I can see how teams could acquire new season ticket holders but soliciting frequent bidders. However if building trust is not paramount, ScoreBig will not be able to reach the success level that Priceline has reached.
Can you remember what looking for hotel rooms was like before Priceline? The customer certainly has the power in today’s world. Adding sports tickets is an exciting possibility that I will keep a close eye on. ScoreBig is planning on launching the site in late summer 2010. Stay tuned to Black Web 2.0 for more updates as their launch timing approaches.
How do you feel about this new service on the horizon? Do you think it will be a success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.