The future of company sports tickets – Evolving ticket asset utilization beyond solely business development
Return on Face Value
Tickets Sold in Less Than 3 Hours
Usage With TicketManager
Anheuser-Busch InBev is among the most recognizable brands in the world. The world’s largest brewer with household names including Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois and Michelob ULTRA, as well as a number of regional and craft brands, Anheuser-Busch is an iconic company forever tied to our favorite sports memories.
As one of the largest global sponsors in live events partnering with international, national, regional and local rights owners across sports and entertainment sectors, Anheuser-Busch is a trailblazer in how to get the most from company owned tickets using technology and best practices to get tickets in the right hands.
In 2021, Anheuser-Busch changed the game again when they started selling their unused tickets to recoup value and invest in the tickets they need while also launching a breakthrough loyalty program.
The program has been a tremendous success with AB-InBev dropping their industry leading ticket waste rate under 5%. AB-InBev’s program has become a case study in how to drive the most return on investment while driving business and loyalty to their many brands.
Being one of the most well-known, successful and active sponsors in the business comes with a lot of tickets all over the world. Anheuser-Busch, already a leader in getting tickets used with a 71% usage rate, very high for a business of their size, wanted to push even closer to ensuring 100% of its ticket assets were being utilized. In 2019, millions of dollars in tickets at face value went unused.
“As a sponsor of nearly all NFL teams, the majority of MLB and NBA teams, and many NHL teams, we have massive ticket inventory,” said Cary Nave, director, marketing procurement for A-B. “TicketManager has been a great partner in helping us find ways to redeploy the ticket & hospitality assets we aren’t using for traditional business development.”
“We saw TicketManager All Access and the TicketManager Community as the right levers to redeploy those tickets,” Nave said. “With All Access and Community, we have total control over our inventory. It gives us the flexibility we need to get tickets into fans’ hands, and identify those which we want to sell and when we want to sell them.”
Anheuser-Busch is taking a two-pronged approach to evolving the allocation its ticket inventory.
Introducing sports & entertainment tickets into its MyCooler consumer-facing loyalty program
Reselling tickets which allows it to reinvest towards incremental activation opportunities with both its national and local properties
In addition to continuing to use the vast majority of its tickets for business development purposes, A-B is now able to leverage TicketManager to tap excess inventory and reward beer drinkers with tickets to see their favorite teams through the MyCooler app, adding significant incentive value to the program.
Anheuser-Busch’s unused rate in 2021 for the markets using All Access? A rock-bottom 2.76%
“Just having a tech-enabled, automated platform to manage our tickets is a key value add, but All Access has elevated TicketManager to a true marketing partner through the redeployment of excess tickets into our loyalty ecosystem. Our direct-to-consumer team views TicketManager as a key partner with a seat at the table.”
Anheuser-Busch has used TicketManager to sell unused tickets to other companies in the exclusive and closed All-Access Community, as well as on the secondary market with the major ticket sellers.
In the first month alone, the company earned back enough to cover the annual cost of TicketManager’s services. You read that right, AB InBev sold so much, their TicketManager services were paid for and then some.
ANHEUSER-BUSCH’S ALL ACCESS STRATEGY
The improvement from 70.53% uptake to 97.24% effective utilization would recoup millions of dollars a year for Anheuser-Busch from excess tickets that previously returned no value to the company. At no additional cost or investment. Simply by using All Access for free.
A key element of the program’s success is that while a share of A-B’s resale proceeds is allocated to the national marketing team that funds many of the brewer’s major team partnerships, a significant portion is returned to local marketing teams in each city.
“That incentive enables the model to work, as our local teams are more inclined to part with tickets if they are receiving a portion of the resale proceeds,” Nave said. “We’re giving them freedom and flexibility on how they reinvest those dollars, whether it’s for incremental marketing activities or other business purposes.”
In the works is a program to allocate resale funds to buy tickets Anheuser-Busch doesn’t have access to. “We limited inventory with certain events that may be a key focus market for us,” Nave said. “There is a use case in which we would leverage the All Access Community to purchase tickets from—or trade assets with—another TicketManager client who has more access to those events.”
One thing is for certain: Anheuser-Busch will always strive to be at the forefront of innovation in sponsorships.
“What we wanted to look at was, how we elevate TicketManager to be this true marketing partner…and you gave us that opportunity through All Access.”