Background: Ticket pricing has gained significant attention in recent years associated with the growth of the secondary market, a sagging economy, and the goal of teams, venues, promoters and ticketing organizations to have more control over ticket pricing, inventory and revenue streams. To-date, much of the public dialogue around ticketing issues revolved around industry behemoths Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and StubHub, and the impact of market demand on ticket pricing – from scalpers to auctions to resellers. Dynamic ticket pricing was relatively non-existent, characterized by lengthy consulting projects and ill-defined value propositions – from what is was, to how it worked, to whom it benefitted.
Goal: In 2009, Qcue entered the market with a powerful software platform, early-stage funding and a high profile beta customer, setting the stage to reinvent the ticket pricing space. FOLIO’s goal was to help the company build its brand and showcase the power of dynamic pricing – framing the discussion around pricing issues and best practices, building mindshare with new ticketing partners, winning new deals with professional sports teams across the major leagues, and helping teams communicate the value of dynamic pricing to their fans.
Sample tactics included: establishing a consistent message platform across all communication initiatives (with minimum focus on software features, and maximum focus on business outcomes); aggressively promoting new customer/partner wins and success stories for company credibility; securing high-profile speaking opportunities at industry events; providing proactive commentary on trending stories and competitive announcements; publishing industry pricing data available exclusively through Qcue.
Results: Since dynamic pricing has become a common-place practice in live entertainment, Qcue has become the undisputed leader and go-to expert in the market, with more than 40 clients across professional, college and international sports. The company has enjoyed widespread national coverage in top-tier business and trade publications including the Associated Press, BloombergBusinessweek, CNBC, Forbes, Marketplace, MarketWatch, NPR, The Daily, The Economist, The New York Times, TIME, Wall Street Journal, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Business Journal, TicketNews, and Yahoo! Sports, and was name one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Sports in 2011 and 2013. In addition, CEO Barry Kahn is now a frequent spokesperson at prestigious industry events including SXSW (Music, Sports and Interactive), TEDx, MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the Ivy Sports Symposium at Harvard Law School, and the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, among others. Kahn won the Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 award in 2011, and was named one of the Most Innovative People under 40 by Business Insider.