Every team, every venue, every entertainment company and every artist has a different demand challenge.
That demand challenge is dictated by a number of factors, explained Patrick Ryan with Eventellect, a value-added distribution partner that works with teams and venues to maximize their ticket yield and boost revenue.
“A lot of times demand falls through the floor when content providers increase prices too often,” Ryan said. “The demand scale can also change because of natural demand curve issues that are outside the control of the content provider. That’s where we come in.”
Teams looking to optimize their ticket yield, boost their revenue and grow their brand equity are increasingly evaluating their relationships with brokers and choosing to work with Ryan and his 24-person team at Eventellect to identify smarter ways to sell seats. Ryan said he works best with data-conscious sports and entertainment executives interested in identifying new strategies to grow a team’s business holistically.
“There’s always a deal to be made as long as people are being transparent and putting their cards on the table,” Ryan said. “We understand that being a good partner means being forthright with what we’re doing with these tickets and how we’re monetizing them.”
The core of the business goes back decades, Ryan explained, “but the need for transparency has increased significantly. People can Google tickets and get a sense of what something’s worth. That puts much more pressure on the deals to be sharper.”
In the past, a box office manager had zero visibility to how brokers were pricing tickets. A broker might undercut a venue on poorly selling shows, yet not reveal the big profits they’re making off a sellout event. Many venues don’t realize they’re often pricing against their own brokers and enjoying little of the potential upside.
“We give people real-time access to our posting data,” Ryan said. “We map out our initial pricing strategy and share information about where the tickets are selling and how the tickets are selling,” across the major ticketing marketplaces.
“We will price tickets in the way that we think is reflective of the brand and actual demand,” Ryan said. “Sometimes it’s above face value and sometimes it’s below face value, but ultimately we’re telling and showing our clients what we’re doing. If we believe inventory is distressed, we’re not going to secretly wholesale it out the back door. We’ll let the team know ‘we just think demand stopped so we’re lowering the price.'”
Ryan said his 24-person group works with about 50 teams and content providers, combining analytics and pricing yield experts with service professionals who can help teams manage and track historical analytics and market trends. Ryan said Eventellect’s goal is to drive more revenue back to the team, artist and venue.
“If you are not the artist, team, or promoter you need to work very hard to justify your existence in the food chain,” Ryan said. “We think those three entities deserve the lions share of the money. Why should a broker who is taking minimal operating risk make more on a ticket than the promoter or artist? There’s something inherently wrong with that model.”
It’s really a tour-by-tour issue of who deserves the lion’s share of the money, Ryan explained, noting that the person that gets the lion’s share of the money is either the artist or the person taking the most risk and, in most cases, the promoter isn’t enjoying a high enough yield for the risk they undertake.
“It’s a very complex situation and that’s where an organization like ourselves can start eliminating the middle man that may not be adding incremental value to the transaction,” Ryan said. “If we are selling $25 tickets for $100, we don’t believe we are automatically entitled to keeping that $75 profit. We’re saying that there is some defined structure that is based on various deal points that the content provider is aware of and comfortable with.”
Every deal is structured differently with its own risk-reward equation, explained Ryan.
“That’s why having relationships and being trustworthy is very important to us,” Ryan said. “The live entertainment business, the promoters, the managers and agents and venues, they’re just now starting to get into this.”
Eventellect doesn’t employ any brokers and holds its own financial position on all tickets under its control.
“We are not in the business of servicing brokers. We are in the business of servicing teams and content providers,” he said. “We’re going to be focused on the pricing to help you hit your revenue goals and protect your brand. We’re hyper-focused that we don’t send people into venues who are sitting next to season ticket holders who paid double what the person on the secondary market paid.”
Eventellect has priced thousands of tickets of nearly every type in every major city since 2003. Not only does the company pride itself on the data and analysis it provides its clients, but also on the accessibility it offers to those who opt to work with the firm.
“Every member of our team is focused on helping our partner teams and content providers,” Ryan said. “My business partner oversees the finance, operations and pricing teams and they always manage to make the partnerships department look good when we are doing annual reviews with clients. My main goal is to ensure that when a team or entertainment executive calls, I make sure I’m able to take the call. I take a lot of personal pride when a partner team says they never get my voicemail because I always pick up.”