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SeatGeek enters Italian market with SeatGeek Italia

New York-based ticket seller SeatGeek has grown its European presence by adding an Italian office to its existing operations in the US, Britain, Israel and the Netherlands.

A new live events-focused company, Ivrea-based SeatGeek Italia, will offer SeatGeek’s “best-in-class user experience” to venues and sports teams, according to the company, including tools for dynamic pricing and customer relationship management (CRM).

“Italy has one of the most vibrant arts scenes in the world, as well as some of the top sports leagues,” says Matteo Tradardi, SeatGeek Italia’s managing director of SeatGeek Italia. “With SeatGeek’s increased focus on the Italian market, we are excited to help more fans attend the live events they love.”

As part of the launch of SeatGeek Italia, SeatGeek has taken full ownership of TopTix Ribes, after acquiring parent company TopTix last year. TopTix Ribes’ client base includes the Franco Parenti Theatre in Milan and Comunale di Vicenza Theatre in Vicenza, and SeatGeek hopes to add more venues, as well as major Italian sports teams, in future.

SeatGeek, formerly a secondary ticketing platform, entered the primary market in summer 2016 via a strategic partnership with software company TopTix. Its first primary client was Major League Soccer (MLS), the highest-level football league in the US.

“By investing more in Italy we’ll be able to help venues across the country attract more fans”

The company later acquired TopTix and its SRO⁴ box-office solution outright, and now counts venues including the Concertgebouw (1,974-cap.) in Amsterdam, the Theatre Royal (847-cap.) in York and several West End theatres, including the English National Opera at London Coliseum (2,359-cap.) – and sporting organisations such as the Dallas Cowboys, Royal Dutch Football Association, Sporting Kansas City, Leicester City FC, Los Angeles FC and, most recently, Manchester City FC – among its primary market (SeatGeek Enterprise) clients.

It hired its first international GM, James McClure, in July.

Commenting on the launch of SeatGeek Italia, SeatGeek CEO and co-founder Jack Groetzinger says: “SeatGeek has the most powerful technology in live entertainment. By investing more in Italy we’ll be able to help venues across the country attract more fans.

“We see the Italian market as a huge growth opportunity, as we continue to see momentum in SeatGeek’s other markets.”

 


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SeatGeek hires Airbnb chief to spearhead int’l expansion

In the past 18 months SeatGeek has transitioned from domestic US brand to international ticketer, securing a number of high profile ticketing clients from across the world. To preside over its continued international growth, the New York-based company has announced the hiring of its first ever international general manager, James McClure.

McClure has previously helped the likes of Google and Airbnb to expand into new markets. Across a number of countries, including the US, the UK, Singapore and Australia, he has overseen sales, planning and resource allocation. With their sights firmly set on operating globally, the company hope McClure will navigate SeatGeek into Europe and beyond.

Beginning as a strictly secondary ticketing platform, SeatGeek changed tactic in 2016 via a partnership with software company TopTix. Through its SeatGeek Enterprise primary ticketing platform it began forging partnerships with numerous sport and entertainment venues.

“SeatGeek has incredible momentum in Europe, and I’m looking forward to accelerating that success.”

After acquiring TopTix outright in April 2017 for $56 million, clients for both companies were merged. Today, SeatGeek can count a number of London’s West End theatres, Oslo Opera House, the Dallas Cowboys and the Royal Dutch Football Association as clients. Most recently, the business struck a primary ticketing deal with Manchester FC, meaning a quarter of the UK’s Premiere League is now served by SeatGeek.

“We’re thrilled to have James joining SeatGeek,” says Jack Groetzinger, CEO and co-founder of SeatGeek. “James has a great deal of experience growing international markets for technology companies.

On his new appointment, James McClure comments: “Our partners and prospects are quickly seeing the best-in-class technology of SeatGeek Enterprise, and we look forward to investing more in the region moving forward.

“SeatGeek has incredible momentum in Europe, and I’m looking forward to accelerating that success.”

 


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SeatGeek ups primary ambitions with TopTix buy

SeatGeek, the New York-based ticket aggregator and resale site, has acquired Israeli ticketing software developer TopTix in a US$56 million deal it says “instantly makes SeatGeek one of the largest primary ticketers in the world”.

The two companies have been partners since August, when SeatGeek announced a move into the primary market, powered by TopTix’s SRO⁴ software. The new primary platform, now dubbed SeatGeek Open, will allow promoters and sports teams to sell tickets via other apps and websites, “in places where fans are spending time and consuming content”, such as ecommerce and social-media sites. “This is a radically different approach from that of industry incumbents, which limit the distribution of tickets,” seats SeatGeek.

The acquisition of TopTix was financed by a new venture funding round led by Glynn Capital. All 500+ TopTix clients, which in the music space include Kappa FuturFestival in Turin, the Concertgebouw venue in Amsterdam and Australia’s Theatre Royal, become clients of SeatGeek, with TopTix operating as a subsidiary.

“Combining these two platforms together allows SeatGeek to deliver the most powerful – and only open – ticketing platform in the industry”

“As anyone who has spent time in the entertainment industry knows, ticketing is a pain point for teams, artists, venues, and their fans,” comments Glynn Capital’s David Glynn. “We believe that SeatGeek, strengthened by TopTix, is providing a better option through an innovative business model and best-in-class technology, and we think that’s the key to turning a massive industry on its head.”

Adds SeatGeek co-founder Jack Groetzinger: “TopTix has by far the best back-end primary ticketing technology in the world, and we humbly believe that at SeatGeek we have created what is easily the best user experience. Combining these two platforms together allows SeatGeek to deliver the most powerful – and only open – ticketing platform in the industry.

We’re thrilled to be working with the team from TopTix to continue to build our open ecosystem that is transforming the way people access live events.”

 


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TopTix UK hires new biz dev director

Jamie Snelgrove has joined TopTix UK as business development director.

Snelgrove was most recently head of theatre revenue management at See Tickets UK, and previously worked as head of box office at Nimax Theatres and, prior to that, head of ticketing at Hub Tickets.

“I’m proud of the best-in-class software and support we provide to many important venues and attractions in the UK and [Republic of] Ireland,” says TopTix managing director Karl Vosper, “and I look forward to the contributions Jamie will make, with his experience and professionalism, to expand our client base.”

“I look forward to the contributions Jamie will make, with his experience and professionalism, towards expanding our client base”

TopTix is the developer of SRO (Standing Room Only), an online software solution for ticket sales, customer marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), merchandise sales, fundraising, memberships, loyalty schemes and access control. Its UK clients include the English National Opera, British Library and Birmingham’s Rep Theatre.

Secondary ticketing site SeatGeek announced in August it would use SRO to power its new primary-market presence.

 


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SeatGeek lands major primary ticket deal

Secondary ticketing platform SeatGeek has followed StubHub into the primary market via a strategic partnership with ticketing software developer TopTix.

SeatGeek, which began life as a ticket aggregator/search engine but recently also launched a ticket marketplace of its own (partially under pressure from StubHub, which in 2014 pulled its inventory from the site), will use TopTix’s SRO4 software to provide the back-end functionality for its new primary platform.

Its first partnership is with Major League Soccer (MLS) – the highest-level football (soccer) league in the US, equivalent to the UK’s Premier League – which will allow for a team’s primary tickets to be sold on any site or mobile application of their choosing using SeatGeek/TopTix’s technology.

“Together with SeatGeek we are going to build the best ticketing experience in the sports industry”

“We were seeking a partner who shared the same vision for an open ecosystem and can support us with back-end software to support our primary ticketing needs,” says SeatGeek co-founder Jack Groetzinger. “We couldn’t be more pleased with TopTix. The team is comprised of [sic] some of the best people in the industry and the SRO4 software is really impressive.”

Commenting on the MLS deal, Kathy Carter, president of Soccer United Marketing (MLS’s commercial arm), says: “Our number-one objective when we set out to find a ticketing partner was to align with a group that would build an incredible fan experience. We selected SeatGeek because we believe that together we are going to build the best ticketing experience in the sports industry.”

US market leader StubHub’s first primary partnership, announced in February, is with basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers.

 


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