Red Sox To Create New Secondary Ticketing Platform In Conjunction With MLBAM

Courtesy of the SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY:

The Red Sox are forming their own secondary ticketing platform, Red Sox Replay, in partnership with MLBAM and its subsidiary Tickets.com. The club beginning March 1 for the ’16 season will offer Red Sox Replay to its season-ticket base of roughly 22,000 full-seat equivalents, as well as individual ticket holders. In turn, the club will opt out of MLBAM’s league-wide resale partnership with StubHub, as well as discontinue a nearly decade-long, offline marketing deal with Boston-based Ace Ticket. Red Sox Replay will have full electronic integration between primary tickets and secondary resales, and will be embedded into MLBAM’s Ballpark mobile app. Fees for buyers on the platform will be 15%, higher than what StubHub and many other resale marketplaces charge buyers. However, fees for sellers who are season-ticket holders will be 5%, half of what StubHub and others charge for MLB tickets. The Red Sox will return that 5% commission back at the end of the season in the form of a rebate toward ’17 season tickets. Season-ticket holders selling on the new platform will be eligible for Red Sox rewards points as well. Red Sox Replay will include an option to make a tax-deductible ticket donation on the platform to the Red Sox Foundation. The club operated a much smaller resale platform, also called Red Sox Replay, prior to the MLBAM’s first leaguewide deal with StubHub in ’07. “StubHub was and is a great partner for the industry, but we are interested in exploring something controlled by us,” said Red Sox President Sam Kennedy. “Our focus is doing everything we can to protect our season-ticket holders and offering the very best secondary solution we can, tailored [to] their needs. We think there will be a lot of liquidity on this marketplace. Since we’re talking predominantly about season-ticket holders, these are the best seats in the ballpark.”

GETTING THE WORD OUT: Red Sox Replay will begin with a price floor of 30% of face value, and will be promoted extensively through various outlets such as NESN, RedSox.com and WEEI-AM, as well as paid search and other digital outlets. The development of Red Sox Replay was led in large part by Tickets.com President & CEO Joe Choti and Red Sox Senior VP/Ticketing Ron Bumgarner. The charitable donation component will stay active 48 hours before each game, and the marketplace in general will remain open up to two hours before each game.

NOT THE START OF AN EXODUS: MLB President of Business & Media Bob Bowman cautioned that the creation of Red Sox Replay does not suggest the beginning of an exodus from the MLB-StubHub partnership, which runs through ’17 following a renewal after the ’12 season. No other MLB club serviced by Tickets.com for primary ticketing is currently developing a similar product, Bowman said. “It’s way too early to judge,” he said. “This was a specific, one-off request that came from a specific club, and StubHub remains a highly valued partner. But we’re going to learn a whole lot, and from the perspective of [Tickets.com], it’s going to be really interesting to have something like this out in production and in the marketplace.”