StubHub and ESPN Hook Up for Mobile Ticketing
By: eBay Inc. Staff
Marking a significant next step for their existing partnership, StubHub and ESPN have joined forces to make it easier for fans to buy event tickets on their mobile phones and devices. Fans on-the-go who are watching a game on ESPN’s GameCast, reading preview articles, or checking schedules will get links that take them directly to StubHub’s ticket offers. They can also view graphics of available seating options, and much more.
The integrated Ticket Center functionality is available immediately from both the ESPN ScoreCenter application and the ESPN mobile web. StubHub’s existing relationship with ESPN has worked out famously well, and we caught up with Ray Elias, Director of Marketing at StubHub for more details on the new announcement.
What does integration into ESPN’s mobile app mean for StubHub?
The ESPN mobile component is the next step in our larger partnership, and I can give you some background on that. We’re in our third year with ESPN, where we are designated their exclusive ticketing partner, and the deal includes multi-channel marketing and rich, relevant contextual integration across ESPN.com, mobile, and traditional marketing channels like radio and TV.
How did you collaborate with ESPN, and what does this mean for mobile users on various platforms?
What makes this new mobile integration with ESPN different from the iPhone app we just delivered is that we’ve collaborated with the ESPN mobile development team. We’ve limited ourselves in an initial launch of a mobile app to iPhone development. ESPN has a much broader distribution across mobile platforms, and they’re taking on that development. Users across several mobile platforms use their app.
We’ve focused on building out our checkout features, while ESPN is taking our data feed, and building a ticket browsing experience into their existing content. The best examples include their highly trafficked scores and schedule pages, where our presence within the mobile app is not unlike our presence on ESPN.com.
Does integration into ESPN’s mobile app automatically put StubHub in front of a large mobile audience?
Yes. ESPN mobile is one of the most widely used mobile properties in existence and already has substantial adoption. Rather than taking people away from that, we’re integrating within. Whether you’re looking at scores, schedules, or a relevant article page, you will see ticket links, and StubHub advertising, leading to our checkout.
How has the overall, multi-year partnership with ESPN worked out?
ESPN is a pretty material contributor to our ticket sales, a cornerstone partnership, and represents a big validation of our brand. It’s our number six overall referrer of traffic behind MLB and search engines. We’ve been doing this with other partners over the years, such as CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, AOL, and Sporting News. The approach we’ve taken is to weave our highly relevant content into places where fans are reading about and thinking about attending live sporting events.
So, using the example of people looking at schedule pages on ESPN, what we’ve been doing is providing the next step in the form of a ticket link or what we call Ticket Centers. These are basically targeted widgets with real-time StubHub ticket data in them.