Ticketing: What is the future of the subscription?

Ticketing: What is the future of the subscription?

Ticketing: What is the future of the subscription?

The health crisis has devastated many industries, including events and live entertainment. At the end of a 2020/21 season without spectators, the lack and the frustration are there. This year had the merit of affirming one thing: the fan must be placed at the centre of our economy. This is all the more true as the challenges ahead are many. Will fans want to return to the stadium? What impact will the crisis have on hospitality? Will the ticketing business ever return to its former levels?

The right time to transform

Let's face it, the ticketing industry was already suffering before the crisis. With attendance at a standstill, a drop in the number of subscribers and an erosion of the buyer base, there was no shortage of warning signs. We had already mentioned some ideas last year in our white paper on the our white paper on the subscription campaign. A recent study conducted by Arenametrix among its clients shows that Only 35% of clubs have seen an increase in subscribers over the last 5 years. Covid has only reinforced the need to transform a product that has never been dusted off: inflexible offers, unattractive content, non-existent fan paths, etc. Broadening our targets (B2C and B2B) through an overhaul of the offer and acquisition methods has become vital to ensure the development of our business. After all, isn't sport a microcosm of our society?
Evolution of the number of subscribers
According to the same study, 64% of ticketing managers believe that this crisis is a turning point for their business. In recent months, clubs vied with each other to stay in touch with their fanss, especially subscribers. This marketing creativity comes at the right time. It is now crucial to apply acquisition and retention concepts in our relationship strategies. From the data collection to taking into account the expectations of fans, it is a whole ecosystem that is built around a proprietary database

Your fans are the key to your growth

Some clubs have not waited for the crisis to end to renew themselves. This is the case of the Pionniers de Chamonix who launched their Pioneer subscription. For Willy Besson, the club's marketing director, "there was a real frustration every year of starting from scratch. For the 110th anniversary of the club, we wanted to capitalise on the attachment to the Pionniers with a subscription to the club rather than to a sporting season". And it worked. Despite losing 43% of subscribers last season (due to Covid and an 80% increase in subscriptions), ticket sales were maintained and 60% of subscribers did not call for a refund.
The key is to segment your offer. For Benjamin Roumegoux of TicketchainerBenjamin Roumegoux, "a club must propose as many offers as it has types of customers because each fan is unique and expects a personalized relationship in return for his purchase. What keeps them coming back is the experience. According to Benjamin, "a ticketing company today must offer the smoothest possible purchase path and propose a single support around the match ticket to offer the richest possible experience, before, during and after the matches". This observation will make even more sense once the crisis is over. Indeed, the digitalization of contact points will provide an additional response for the health safety of the public in addition to being able to attract a younger audience.
What is the most difficult target to reach

Towards a new subscription format?

As the study shows, young people are the most difficult target to reach. To understand their expectations and design the right ticketing product, you will have to understand their consumption and assert your presence where they are: in schools, on the networks, on Twitch... it is by dint of aggregating knowledge on their profile, their behaviors and their needs that you will be able to build an offer in phase with these generations. The rest is up to your ability to acquire and retain these new fans through a model and a dedicated relationship program. This is what FC Copenhagen has initiated in 2019 with convincing success on the 18-30 age group. The segmentation we advocate at Arenametrix must be present at every stage of the subscription campaign. It is the key to your commercial success; we present the model we apply with our clients below:
The subscription business is at a crossroads, between the historical players who want to keep their headquarters and the new generations, who are demanding full digital and more flexibility. It is with a spirit of reconquest that we must approach these coming months. The digitalization of the sales process, the fan experience and the flexibility of offers to reach new targets are the challenges of our future ticketing development.

Alexis Riotteau

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