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Denver Nuggets try Facebook to bolster mobile ticketing

Several Colorado professional sports teams are doubling down on Facebook with new tools that drive ticket sales straight from the social media site.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth and Colorado Rapids are rolling out desktop and mobile Facebook applications that leverage the team’s existent fans to increase game attendance. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is working with Evento on this initiative.

“The ability to speak to a fan – not just when they are home making plans for the game day experience – but actually in the game day experience is one of the great things that we’re excited about on mobile,” said Michael Proman, managing director of North America at Evento, Ramat Yishai, Israel.

Social sales?
The National Basketball Association’s Denver Nuggets is the first of the teams to roll out the technology, and consumers who visit the brand’s Facebook page will now see an app called “Sit Near Me” featured on the page.

The strategy behind the new ticketing functionality is to turn the Denver Nuggets’ roughly 1.3 million “Likes” into more active fans who stay connected to their friends while also driving commerce as an additional revenue stream.

The app will be optimized for mobile by mid to late February for the second half of the teams’ seasons.

The other three teams will roll out the functionality on their Facebook pages within the next 30 – 45 days.

The Facebook app plugs into a consumer’s network to show their friends who have posted that they are attending an upcoming game. Moreover, the app shows the section their friends are sitting in.

The app experience keeps consumers within Facebook through the entire process of browsing through events and buying a ticket.

Via the app, consumers can view the upcoming list of events and click-through to view a map of the arena to find available tickets.

Additionally, the mobile version of the product will let teams reward sports fans with incentives for buying tickets through Facebook.

For example, a team could offer a mobile coupon or seat upgrade to a consumer in exchange for inviting friends to attend an event that they have just booked tickets for.

Another screenshot of mobile ticketing

Branching out to new ticket experiences
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s use of the new Facebook app is only one of the ways that entertainment and sports brands are innovating in the mobile space right now to improve the fan experience.

For example, in October ticketing app SeatGeek began leveraging retargeting to drive consumers back to its app (see story).

Additionally, the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons rolled out an in-app feature that lets consumers upgrade their seats while at games in November (see story).

“Tickets are the life blood of any team, and it really makes or breaks their revenue numbers,” Mr. Proman said.

“When you look at the overall pie of how much revenue is driven through tickets, it’s pretty significant, so much so that they need to be very aggressive but yet very thoughtful about their approach to selling tickets,” he said.

“The season ticket is dying in some respects, and how do you convert a casual fan because you can’t necessarily rely on a die-hard fan any more.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York