Sports Illustrated Enters Ticket Sales Space in Partnership With Venmo

Sports Illustrated Enters Ticket Sales Space in Partnership With Venmo article feature image

There’s a new competitor in the highly competitive ticketing space — Sports Illustrated.

The brand, whose licensing rights were bought by Authentic Brands Group in 2019 for $110 million, is attached to a new site that is privately owned and will be run by David Lane, who previously ran secondary ticketing and reservation site Lunatix.

Picking up that the main pain point in the ticketing market is fees, SITickets.com has struck a deal with Venmo so that any ticket purchase that is $67 or more will have a $10 flat fee. The site lists what the fees would be for sites like StubHub to compare. The more the seats are, the greater the difference in price. It’s marketing for Venmo as well, as this is one of the first applications of the company on desktop. 

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The new company doesn’t own any of the inventory. It scrapes from two secondary ticketing sites that have roughly $2 billion worth of inventory — Ticket Evolution and Ticket Network. 

“We’re selling the same tickets everyone else is and as long as you trust that the tickets will be delivered to you, the decision on what site you click on is made when you check the final page to see all your costs,” Lane said. 

Lane and the owners of the site are betting that by reducing the fee, they’ll be able to do enough volume to make enough revenue to make the business make sense. The true test will come in the fall when the sports schedule get heavy.

Another pain point brought to the forefront after the COVID cancellations was refunds. Lane said SITickets will immediately pay the buyer back and then deal with getting the money from the seller.

Can SITickets compete?

The answer will lie in whether the $10 fee and the Venmo partnership will make up for the advertising and team and league relationships that their competitors have.

Secondarily, it could depend on inventory since brokers, teams, fans and artists aren’t — at least for now — directly posting on their site.

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