StubHub, the ticket reseller, has partnered with “Jersey Boys,” the hit musical, establishing StubHub as the secondary sales outlet that is show-approved for all North American productions of the musical.
StubHub will be promoting “Jersey” using a marketing push which includes increased visibility of the show on its website. The site is also a venue for selling tickets to concerts and sporting events. Marketing for “Jersey Boys,” a show which is often sold out, will focus on highlighting StubHub as the outlet endorsed by the show for ticket seekers who are not able to obtain the tickets that they want from the box office.
This deal will likely raise a few eyebrows in the industry who often equate StubHub with the practice of scalping.
StubHub doesn’t sell tickets itself, but rather operates much like eBay as a user to user marketplace. Their revenue is derived from the service charges that the users are charged on the transactions. Most of the resellers on StubHub aren’t brokers according to StubHub, although they didn’t provide any statistics.
StubHub is providing “Jersey” with a sponsorship fee. However Michael David, producer of the show, said that the appeal of the partnership was mostly due to the solidly male demographics of StubHub. The producer noted that they were always on the look out for ways of reaching men, who tend to be a reluctant segment for Broadway audiences.
With “Jersey” tickets continuously in high demand and the show selling out on a consistent basis, David added that ticket seekers who will be turning to the secondary ticket market can benefit from the fraud prevention guarantees of StubHub.
For StubHub, this move represents its first official partnering with an entity from the legit industry, which, despite the turbulent economy, remains robust.
Chuck La Vallee, who heads the entertainment and music business development for StubHub, said that this was the last sector within the entertainment industry that they had not had an active partnership with.
Legit tickets can already be purchased through StubHub, and there is a company storefront that is near Times Square. But their partnership with “Jersey” is StubHub’s first official sponsorship for legit events in a similar way to their sponsorship of Madonna concerts and Major League Baseball games.
The deal applies not only to the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys,” but productions in Las Vegas, Chicago, Toronto and the national tour.
The secondary ticket market has long been viewed by the legit industry with ambivalence. Many producers have griped that the skyrocketing prices on resale tickets for hit shows benefit the scalpers and brokers instead of the people who create and produce the shows. In 2001 the introduction of premium tickets was spurred by the desires of producers to claim some of the profits.
For legit productions, the box office and first party ticket outlets such as Telecharge, make attempts to curb activity from scalpers and brokers through limiting how many tickets can be bought per transaction and a limit on how many purchases can be made by a single individual in one month.