But the Eagles are also leading on the business side of the operation, as a proponent of resale among their business ticket holders. The Eagles are the first NFL franchise—and one of the first pro sports teams in any league—to partner with TicketManager to provide complimentary service to all corporate season and premium ticket holders, corporate partners, and corporate suite holders.
Speaking at the recent TicketManager Partner Summit in New York City, Greg DeLuca, vice president of premium development and services for the Eagles, explained why the team has jumped out in front on the concept of resale while others have not yet warmed to the idea.
The business reasons behind the Eagles’ decision can be categorized in four ways:
Alignment with partner needs. The team’s partners have made it clear that in order to commit to long-term agreements, they require flexibility. “It’s crucial to our partners buying suites, club seats, partnerships, any kind of access,” DeLuca said.
“Resale is a true benefit to the client base; it’s becoming an almost critical benefit for partners. It’s just as crucial as road trips, sideline passes or any other benefit that our suite holders want to take advantage of.”
Retention. Keeping existing customers happy and in the fold is a priority for the Eagles. “Our whole business model is built on long-term stability,” DeLuca said, adding that offering the ability to resell unused inventory can be the key to multi-year renewals.
New sales. The same is true for closing deals with first-time corporate customers. “If you have a new company in the market that is looking at renting a suite for two or three games, while we want them to sign a long-term lease, we need to provide the flexibility that resale offers.”
Lead generation. Allowing resale through TicketManager’s technology lets the Eagles know “who is actually coming into your building and using the tickets, whether they are a primary client, a partner, or not,” DeLuca noted. “Knowing who the new people in the suites are is a lead generator for us.”
He also offered advice to brands and businesses with team partners that are reluctant to allow resale. “Many teams prohibit resale to cut out brokers, but if a corporate customer states its business case for needing to resell, the team should understand that.
“More companies are going to be interested in resale, so teams that are hesitant to support it are doing themselves a disservice in the long run. You have to adapt and lean in, or those brands are going to turn to the secondary market. I’ll stop short of saying we encourage resale, but we foster an environment where it is allowed, both for our suites and our season-ticket base.”
Participating on the panel with DeLuca, Jane Gasparian Lee, managing director of United for Business marketing at United Airlines, backed up DeLuca’s remarks from the brand perspective, citing the need for resale:
“A great example for us is the Chicago Cubs, our hometown team, where we like to entertain customers,” Lee said. “But as you can imagine, sitting through a game in April in Chicago isn’t as fun as it is in June, so those are the games we struggle with filling.”
The dilemma of giving up its season tickets because of the waste factor versus not being able to obtain good seats through single-game purchases was solved by reselling unused tickets through TicketManager All Access.
“We are able to recoup some of that investment so we can keep the great seats and sell off the inventory that is less desirable,” Lee said.