The Future of Ticketing is Here

It was the middle of winter 2019, and instead of finding myself bundled up in a warm coat and gloves heading down to the Scotiabank Arena for a Toronto Maple Leaf’s game like I did as a kid, I found myself in sunny downtown Orlando, Florida (yes, there’s a city beyond the Mouse Kingdom!). How did I get to Orlando? Magic.

After job searching in San Francisco and New York, the perfect opportunity arose in Orlando of all places. During my senior year, I ran a food business in Brooklyn and commuted back and forth. Writing my thesis, a full-length screenplay, fulfilling a full course load, and running this business during my senior year certainly prepped me well for the “always-on” mentality of the startup world. So, when I graduated from CMC back in 2018 with an Economics and Film degree, I strongly considered taking the entrepreneurship path and was also exploring opportunities in big tech. But, out of nowhere, an incredible opportunity came with the Orlando Magic. I moved to Orlando and joined the Orlando Magic Innovation Lab, the first of its kind in the NBA. There, I’d work on strategic projects across the organization, from installing bacteria-killing UV lights in the locker room to figuring out ways to improve the premium experience for fans.

Anyways, the Maple Leafs were playing in Tampa that night, and a good friend had flown down to catch the game with me. You can’t get in the building for less than $150 in Toronto, so the chance to sit in the lower bowl for $75 was too good for us to turn down. We bought tickets on StubHub, hopped in my car, and arrived at the Amalie Arena in Tampa around 6 pm.

Picture this: We’ve got our Leafs garb on, pushing through a crowd to get in early to see the player warm-ups. I pull my phone out to scan our tickets and a red light appears on the scanner as it makes a concerning noise. INVALID TICKET. This can’t be right, try it again. Same thing. The usher directs us down to the box office for help, but when we get there, they want nothing to do with StubHub purchasers. We call StubHub, but at this point, the game is sold out. We’re out of luck with faulty tickets, stuck in the plaza as our hometown team goes on to win 4–2. I guess the $75 lower bowl tickets were indeed, too good to be true.

I’d be willing to bet that many of you reading this have had a similar experience. Fake tickets, duplicated tickets, paper tickets to a fully mobile event…you can’t get in.

For so long, venues, teams, and fans have struggled with controlling fraudulent tickets, with no solution. But now there’s a solution, a blockchain-based ticket solution.

After spending time with the Magic and then a couple of years at the Golden State Warriors running their mobile app, I had an idea that could revolutionize ticketing. Now, 10 months later, I find myself as a full-time CEO of Tixologi, a blockchain-based ticketing software company. Our goal is to put venues, teams, and event producers in control of their ticketing for the first time.

We start by helping our customers integrate our technology and fully customize their ticketing experience. They can head to our portal to create events, add inventory and price in real-time on a venue map, and design cool tickets, using our ticket design software. Our tickets are NFTs themselves and allow event producers to capture new revenue sources from secondary and collectible sales, understand all their ticket holders and not just their ticket buyers, eliminate fraudulent tickets, and engage their fans on a deeper level.

Sure, there’s been a lot of buzz around NFTs and a digital collectibles market that has already seen a series of high highs and low lows. Yet, regardless of a constantly changing and hard to predict market, the underlying blockchain technology is here to stay.

Ticketing is an industry ripe for disruption, but until now, the technology wasn’t there to allow for much significant change. Blockchain technology will certainly revolutionize ticketing, and we plan to be at the forefront of this change.

After spending my entire post-graduate career in sports and learning about the ticketing industry, here are five reasons and trends for why I think that NFTs and blockchain technology are going to completely change the ticketing game forever:

  1. With this technology, venues for the first time no longer have to wonder who actually holds their tickets and who is entering their building on the event day.
  2. Fraudulent tickets can become a thing of the past. With the tickets living on the blockchain, there’s no way to duplicate them — eliminating the millions of fraudulent tickets that get sold a year.
  3. Event producers, musicians, artists, and teams can finally take a cut of the secondary market, a $15B+ market that is currently only benefiting scalpers and the large ticketing providers, not those who are actually putting on the events and doing the heavy lifting.
  4. Fans will find value in a cleaner and easier ticket buying experience and find ways to engage with their favorite brands and teams on a deeper level, through the ticket itself.
  5. The future possibilities with blockchain-powered ticketing are endless, from deeper insights into all event attendees, to fan clubs controlled by ticket ownership and event attendance, to innovative partnership and marketing opportunities through the ticket itself. This is just the tip of the iceberg. And, if you don’t believe me, just take a look at the new name of Staples Center.

We’re currently raising our Seed round to get our product to market and some initial events under our belt. The round is almost full, but we would love to add any interested Claremont investors as well. Please reach out if you’re interested in learning more, and thanks for joining us on this journey to revolutionize ticketing.

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