In the last few months Sky’s PR team have been in over-drive announcing many new initiatives. One new service I wasn’t aware of until I saw the link at the bottom of Sky.com, is a new ticketing business called Sky Tickets.
The service is powered by theticketfactory.com, a trading business of the National Exhibition Centre (Birmingham). I was surprised to see theticketfactory.com logo displayed so prominently on the Sky Tickets site. On the mobile site the “powered by theticketfactory” logo is significantly bigger and more prominent than the Sky Tickets logo. If you are tempted to visit theticketfactory.com you’ll find tickets for far more events than on Sky Tickets.
Sky Tickets is currently focused on Sport, selling tickets to Horseracing, Motorsport, Golf, Athletics, Watersports and Rugby League events. The email sign up process was quick, requesting a christian name, post code and one sport I liked the most. I would have anticipated that more personal information was captured to enable Sky to link registrations back to their customer database. It would also have been useful to select more than just one Sport. It will be interesting to see if the emails I receive are of the spam variety or targeted on the Sport I selected. You can’t login using your Sky ID.
There’s no Sky Tickets app at present but if and when it’s announced I imagine it would be very compelling, enabling you to buy tickets closest to you, by genre etc. It could also co-exist as part of the Sky Sports app or a Sport specific app like Football or Cricket. The app could also evolve into a Sports ticketing exchange for Sky customers.
I’m assuming the service isn’t currently available on Sky’s TV EPG as its in pilot phase. However given the EPG is a service 10million households interact with on a daily basis, a Sky Ticket zone could be a goldmine for Sky assuming customers can buy tickets as easily as they can buy Movies from Sky Store. Currently payment is by credit or debit card and not linked to a Sky account.
Do I think it will succeed or fail ? As a Sky customer and also a buyer of tickets to sports events I hope it succeeds.
Is there a market?
Yes. I don’t have access to the Mintel report on the growth of paid spectator sports in the UK but money spent on leisure activities including Sports will certainly grow as we move out of recession.
Can Sky take a significant enough share of the market?
Yes. Sky is a brand that resonates well with people interested and passionate about Sport so assuming the proposition is right, I’m sure many would consider and try it. I personally don’t believe that any of Sky’s main UK competitors have the brand values that would enable them to launch such a venture.
Currently you can buy tickets from sports associations, the sports teams themselves, secondary ticket exchanges like viagogo, and aggregators like ticketmaster. In my opinion no brand currently owns the Sports ticket space in the mind of the customer.
Sky will also be able to provide significant commercial exposure to the venture via its TV Sports channels and its marketing communications. On the supply side, Sky already has very strong commercial links with the Sports clubs and associations.
Is the Sky Tickets proposition compelling enough?
At the moment no, but having worked on a few assignments in Sky’s marketing team since 2009, I’m confident they’ll get it right and generate a strong return on investment. Today I’m not sure what I get with Sky Tickets that I don’t get from all the other ticketing options available. Do I get tickets that are not available elsewhere? Are the prices cheaper? As a Sky customer what do I get above and beyond a non-Sky customer. When will I be able to pay for the tickets using my Sky account ? Do I get access to tickets for exclusive events?
Question? When do you think you’ll be able to buy individual football tickets that enable fans to watch a match at home but with a view from the seat of your choice at the ground. Why not start with the hottest seat in football…the managers seat at Old Trafford.
If you have any comments it would be great to hear from you.
Angus Mitchell is the founder of Athenic Consulting Limited based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire near London. Established in 2009, Athenic Consulting design and deliver winning marketing and sales solutions for firms of all sizes. They offer consultancy and interim marketing services to European clients including Sky, Google and Sepomo mobile payments. Prior to establishing Athenic Consulting, Angus worked in marketing roles in the UK, Italy, Spain and Sweden for brands including O2, BT, Ericsson, Genie mobile and Infinito.it. He also founded a specialist Italian wine company, Dodici.
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