Season Share Launches At SXSW Pitch Accelerator Event
Season Share is launching at the ninth annual South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals Startup Village® Accelerator® Pitch Event at Hilton Austin Downtown on March 21 with a beta version of the world’s first mobile ticket sharing app. The sports tech startup found a niche in the ticketing industry and has grand plans to redefine the market of splitting and sharing season tickets to your favorite sports events. The shared economy has blown up with ride-sharing and home-sharing making this new concept a possible winner. The Sports Techie community blog chatted with Aaron Holland, CEO and Co-Founder of Season Share about the ticketing sharing system, the fan benefit and the opportunity to attend SXSW’s Accelerator Pitch as one of five sports technology companies attempting to win prestige and media exposure at the popular event.
Season Share is the first mobile app of its kind to directly connect fans with primary season holders without going through a secondary website or middleman by allowing fans to split and share tickets. Around 70 percent of season ticket holders share their tickets mostly offline. Season Share’s app matches fans to split and distribute season ticket purchases.
Holland wants his startup to move the needle away from the secondary ticket market and resellers, scalpers and bots that command a huge premium when selling tickets back to fans. Their innovative ticket sharing application was developed to allow fans to be matched with other fans seeking similar ticket sharing plans.
Once matched, a fantasy football type draft is held using algorithms that differentiate and pares fans together based on desired investment, and then decides what games each fan gets out the package.
By gamifying the software process there is more fan engagement and fun when splitting up tickets. Tickets can be traded within the app or shared via email, SMS or social media post. You can even give away your seat if wanted. Fans can invite friends or join an existing group to split a season ticket or tickets.
The application has a fraud protection encryption program ensuring users that a fair and honest process of dividing up the purchased season tickets is held without fear of a scam.
Season Share is free for teams to list inventory and for fans to list tickets on the app. Teams and fans lose revenue to the third party marketplace. There are 3.2 million season holders and on average, $2,028 dollars are spent on season ticket sales. The company decided to change the game by only charging a low service fee to list tickets. Compared to what StubHub and others charge in service fees, the savings using Season Share app are significant.
Season Share also offers revenue share with teams that use their app. Teams can contact them to have their inventory added for free.
“Buying and sharing season tickets has become so complicated that secondary purchasing websites, ticket bots and scalpers easily take advantage of fans. Our goal is to bring the power back to the fans and develop a shared economy for sports ticketing that benefits everyone,” said Holland.
Holland said they are planning on offering NFL, NBA, MLS, and select NCAA teams to begin with. College sports are a major opportunity. Each college football team only has 6 game games but there are many games in total. Holland feels their app can be used to optimize time and pricing in the college arena and is useful for alumni retention activations.
Other verticals they want to enter include music and live events, multi-day concerts, and other venues that offer season tickets like the Hollywood Bowl. Tennis and golf are also on the developmental horizon.
Split Season Tickets with Season Share
The app will also provide sports team’s better analytics by tracking who is attending their games when season ticket holders are giving their seats to friends or re-selling them online. Fan data is shared with teams for future offers and teams can even integrate the technology within their own team apps.
Business intelligence capturing consumer behavior is done in a simple and familiar solution providing exclusive fan data and more to teams. Season Share will have 100 percent data ownership that over time will provide steady revenue streams. Additional plans include offering a better understanding of fans by packaging fan data and making it available to teams and corporations.
Another core competency is to activate millennials to buy and sell tickets using Season Share. Their business process enables these consumers to both operate and spend with a mobile device.
I asked what prevents Ticketmaster or the like from copying what they offer. Holland said, “We have two patent pending claims, the mutual process of a shared asset and the distribution of shared asset.” Holland’s uncle is a tech patent attorney and has added immense value to Season Share by helping pro bono and only charging up front for filing fees, savings shareholders will enjoy.
The app integrates with ticket inventory using an API. They also plan to take advantage of open API’s available with 80-90 percent of ticket vendors to solidify the offering. Holland is confident his team has built a stable, connected and scalable system on the back and front ends to change the game around ticketing using the shared economy model to facilitate the distribution via their platform.
The SDK pack allows teams and leagues to use functionality into their existing team apps. Plans are to use push specific offers such as in-venue ticket upgrades, parking deals and other upsells. They have already had discussions with strategic partners such as Experience App because they are partner focused says Holland.
The app also integrates with CRM such as Salesforce and Kore Software by easily connecting end points.
Offering other languages is also on the drawing board for international teams, Holland mentioned French as one of the first they plan to develop.
In terms of an exit strategy, Holland wants it known that are in it long term. The team has created a competitive feature set designed to compete with the big boys. He even wants to one day eventually go public as say SnapChat.
Operating capital comes from family and friends money. More funding is needed, an opening seed round at SXSW is ready to go.
Holland wants to raise funds through what he calls, “strategic investors.” The perfect investors will be connected into the sports ecosystem and have close contacts with ticketing. He wants smart investors that may include teams, leagues and athletes. One novel idea he presented was the ability to rate the investors using a quantifiable metric system. Holland is a bit weary of incubator money and worries ( as do I) that there is an overload of investors that want to invest in sports tech startups solely for profit-centric ideals rather than holistic purposes. Season Share actually said no to an appearance on Shark Tank.
Holland is 29 years old, well-spoken and easy to converse with. His Sports Management degree from the University of Utah has been put to good use after graduating in 2010. He does the millennial generation justice through his technology savvy ways and by being a subject matter expert. Aaron is a self-made serial entrepreneur and startup mentor offering to help analyze growth opportunities and provide a growth framework because he truly gets the startup ecosystem.
I asked him what his job is. He responded as CEO it is his responsibility to communicate the vision, hire the best talent and ensure the bank account is full by generating revenues.
The team at Season Share all played sports growing up. Business partner John Rappaport used to work at Ticketmaster giving him a good understanding of the business landscape and possible competitors. Their other partner is Robert Beadle, his sister is Michelle Beadle on ESPN. The in-house team consists of super engineer Ben Swinford, Chuck Kelly on the backend and UI/UX guru Jason Gonzalez. Finally, Aaron’s brother, Nathan Holland, handles marketing, social media and services.
Holland’s family owns season tickets to the SF Giants while John has LA Clippers season tickets. Together, they first used Google docs for splitting and sharing season tickets. This process led to the birth of Season Share because they saw a need for improved ticket sharing through tech.
Now that the software is developed, they are ready to launch into Beta at SXSW in a closed sign up process for early access requests as the initial roll out.
SXSW Accelerator Sports Category
Season Share is one of 50 interactive technology company finalists from 10 different categories in the SXSW Accelerator Pitch. They will present and conduct a Q&A starting at 9:30am on Sunday to a panel of hand-selected judges, to a live audience as well as being streamed on the web. The team flies out to Austin for SXSW coaching on the 9th.
Holland added, “Working with the SXSW Accelerator has allowed us to learn, grow and ultimately fulfill the tremendous demand for our technology. SXSW is an event built on the future and we couldn’t be more excited to premier our product on this stage.”
Sunday at 7pm, the SXSW Accelerator Award Ceremony commences and the winners from each category are announced.
Season Share will then host product demos on Monday, March 13th for attendees to enjoy meeting the executive team and being provided with insights on the app’s private beta. The Demo Days event is schedules for the Salon C at the Hilton from 11am-1:30pm.
Sports Technologies Finalists
A quick analysis of the five Sports Tech finalist tells me Season Share are really the only pure sports business software play. Holland felt the same way and looks forward to impactful discussions on disruptive technologies going to market he says is the company sweet spot, taking anywhere from 3-5 years to execute.
I have blogged about Brizi robo cams but not the other three sports technology companies focused on horses, wearables and flying.
Brizi automates and monetizes fan content in stadiums. Augmented Reality robotic cameras are remote-controlled by fans to instantly snap & share photos of themselves.
Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany
HorseAnalytics empowers horse enthusiasts to monitor and improve health and training of horses by applying reliable technologies from health and sports supervision and combining constant and real-time scientific analytics.
Reading, United Kingdom
Kymira have developed a disruptive business model do deliver medical innovation through their Sportswear brand. They’re developing the smart clothing of tomorrow for a cleaner, safer and healthier planet.
Los Angeles, CA
There are 3.2M season ticket holders in the US, 70% share with other sports fans. Season Share is a proprietary mobile technology for buying & sharing season tickets.
Passionate, inspired, with just a touch of crazy. From design to prototype to flight test, Wyp Aviation has the knowledge and flexibility to take aviation to the next level.
Super Accelerator Pitch
A new concept at SXSW this year is the Super Accelerator pitch competition on Monday, March 13, at the Austin Convention Center in Ballroom EFG at 5:00 PM. All ten category winners announced at the Awards Ceremony are invited to return to the stage to pitch once more in front of a new audience members and a new panel of judges. This final competition selects the 2017 Best Startup Pitch Company.
For more information and to join the waiting list for Season Share’s private beta, visit www.seasonshare.co.
Sports Techie, begin by signing up with an email or Facebook. Next, choose your sport. Then, select your seats. Finally, buy ¼, ½ or full season tickets. It’s that simple.
It really is as easy as naming your price and selling your ticket. Claim your tickets by paying with Venmo, PayPal, credit card or debit cards, as acceptable currency.
Use the tools to retain your existing seats or perform a giveaway, no more lost money on unused tickets.
Invite friends to create a group or join an existing group of fans.
Share tickets securely within the app via email or text with friends, work colleagues or clients.
I particularity like the fantasy sports game drafting element.
The Atlanta Braves open new SunTrust Park on April 4 against the San Diego Padres. Opening day tickets and beyond are sure to be hard to secure as seating capacity is only 41,500 in a city of 5 million. The Battery neighborhood will be alive with fan experiences galore. Yet, once the ambiance of the new stadium wears off and the team struggles to win games, added to the fact that parking is going to be crazy and the Marta train does not go directly to the stadium, tickets should be easier to find on the third party marketplace as the summer presses on.
Why not use Season Share to share your season tickets with a friend or fellow Braves fan just in case they prove me wrong and play for the pennant. That way you will own tickets for the exciting playoffs stretch run.
The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is another ticket bonanza for fans to use the Season Share app in order to secure season tickets for the inaugural Atlanta United season. Then turn around and use the app for sharing season tickets at the 71,000 seat capacity home of Falcons as they attempt to march back to the Super Bowl.
The cost of using Season Share is truly nominal compared to ticket re-sellers because of their low, flat service fees. Save 60 percent off single game ticket pricing.
Build it and enable fans to have more.
The shared economy of sports ticketing is here.
Season Share, change the game and join the ticketing revolution.
See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.
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