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StubHub debuts new mobile ticket marketplace in partnership with Philadelphia 76ers

StubHub has rolled out its latest effort in collaboration with the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers, integrating primary and secondary ticket sales into a mobile hub for all Sixers ticket transactions including personalization and bundled services unavailable in traditional grey market arenas.

The Philadelphia 76ers ticket marketplace— the latest property of an ongoing partnership since 2012— is now the official ticket marketplace for the team, and starting today StubHub is now its official ticketing partner. The new development will also act as a preliminary study on the potential to scale up the primary sales arm of the ticket-resale behemoth, a unit of eBay, Inc.

“As the Philadelphia 76ers Official Ticketing Partner, this platform is the single destination for all single game tickets, and integrating our two brands was an important and powerful statement to provide buyers and sellers trust and confidence in the team’s official ticketing platform,” said Alison Salcedo, head of U.S. consumer PR at StubHub.

An aggressive sector
Maneuvering the resale market is a precipitous endeavor, with new vendors popping up every few months to take advantage of what can be a high-margin enterprise. StubHub has found a way throughout its long tenure as the top online reselling market to keep these competitors, such as Vivid Seats, SeatGeek and Craigslist, at bay.

Now it seems that StubHub has its sights set even farther. The new experiment with the Sixers ticket marketplace embodies a smoke signal to primary ticket-sales giant Ticketmaster that StubHub is coming for its ground.

Ticketmaster, which has long been uncontested in its near-monopolistic hold on the primary online ticket sales market, has launched a resale service in its own right, called Fan-to-Fan Resale. The service is fully integrated into the larger whole of Ticketmaster’s interface, meaning that customers can see listings of resale tickets directly next to primary sales listings and compare prices.

Taking Ticketmaster’s recent encroachment on the resale market into account, StubHub’s initial move into the primary sales space can be perceived as either a direct response to Ticketmaster’s business tactics, a declaration of competition between the two, a natural expansion of its ticket sales model or perhaps a combination of the three.

The all-in-one platform, which is optimized specifically for mobile and tablet interfaces, also integrates features that irk consumers operating within a typically fractured primary sale market, including shopping cart capabilities that allow purchases from multiple sellers and bundling ancillary services, such as parking and transaction completion.

The service also leverages existing data points gleaned from activity on the site to personalize the user’s experience in buying 76ers tickets based on metrics such as search criteria and purchase history. It will also collect data that could be used in scaling the site’s primary model even further.

The new platform is presented in a fully branded package, with the Sixers colors and logo central to the page’s aesthetic.

One stop shop
While Ticketmaster’s shift into the resale market looks to be a move to augment its existing platform, StubHub’s move into the primary market seems to be more responsive to integrating solutions to the problems consumers face in dealing with a fragmented buying experience.

Focusing on users’ navigation of the mobile app also testifies to StubHub’s confidence in the mobile platform as a suitable home for integrated experiences.

The new ticketing platform is the latest development in a series of cutting-edge advancements to StubHub’s mobile presence. Earlier this year, it introduced a feature that allowed app users to slide their smartphone into a pair of virtual reality goggles to receive a better view of a potential seat in a stadium or concert hall (see story).

The company has also made significant inroads in redefining the relationship between app content and advertising, using an innovative new platform to circumvent consumers’ aversion to advertising (see story).

“Generally, in today’s live event landscape, venues and teams don’t know who is coming to their games, which is in part due to the fragmented primary and secondary market,” Ms. Salcedo said.

“Within this single destination platform, StubHub’s data will bring venues and partners more information than ever so they get to know and understand their customers; our partners will be able to better customize offers and promotions, driving a more personal connection that ultimately provides a best-in-class, end-to-end experience for fans who enter their doors.”