It is worryingly odd that the live entertainment industry has multi channel distribution for tickets while Football has not. It is also worrying that the solution is so easy but from year to year we still see the mad queue at the venue a few days before kick-off. What is Football Clubs in Asia is exactly doing wrong? For one thing it can be argued that there is too much politics that meddle in football. True, but it can’t be all about that. Lets just conveniently leave that detail out of this and concentrate on exactly what are the benefits of a “Distributed Ticketing” for Asian Football or for any major spectator sport in the region.
Hundred of thousands of fans search for football tickets annually. For the different tournaments, cups and leagues in Malaysia for 2017 we are looking at about RM 63 Million in revenue. That figure only constitutes for lesser than 40% of the total capacity available across all games and venues. So possibly we are looking at an estimate of RM80 Million in lost potential revenue from tickets alone for all teams in competition. On average a club in Malaysia requires between 8 to 6 million ringgit per season to operate and participate in competitions. Theoretically collection from ticket sales could at least sustain a large number of teams throughout the season. Well of course this is a happy scenario calculation but one gets the idea.
Now part of the problem here lies on how tickets are distributed for sale. Only a small amount is allocated for online sales while the rest are split between home and visiting teams to sell respectively at their own venue. What happens is that the number of tickets available online and over the counter does not come from one pool. Tickets over the counter are pre-printed or one can say physically limited while online sales are hard coded to sell for an X quantity. Naturally this leads to errors or deliberately abused by certain parties. This is still okay if the fans are made well aware before being inconveniently told halfway lining up that tickets are sold-out.
Distributed Ticketing done correctly should alleviate some of the problems and here is how we propose to do it….
Teams are given allocation of their tickets, which is fine to begin with. Then each team distributes ticket sales geographically across identified areas and make it available for online purchase as well. Clubs appoint willing agents to sell tickets on behalf and gives a commission from every ticket sold. The key here is that all sales is handled by one ticketing platform that generates tickets on demand. This will eliminate wastage and deter tampering.
The activity of selling tickets over some counter in one location has to stop. It is may be easy for the club but for the fans it means either hitting refresh tens of dozens of times or take time-off just to get the tickets wherever it is sold centrally. Spreading points of sale enable the tickets to reach fans efficiently and the collection of revenue happens faster. It also adds a source of income for the local community. It can be a neighborhood grocery or stationary shop, or a cafe just downtown in a commercial area, perhaps even the florist in a mall. Management wise, tickets sold are easily tracked and ticket inventory is simpler to upkeep. Tickets are meant to be sold and venues need to be filled. With better distribution and control revenue from ticket sales will soon be a major contributor to the club’s bottom line.