San Francisco Business Times (09/04/15) Leuty, Ron
Stanford University athletics is turning to big data to boost ticket sales. At the Stanford football team's home opener on Sept. 12, nearly three of five Stanford season ticket holders were predicted to use tickets delivered electronically, either via a smartphone or via email. In 2014, Stanford conducted an e-ticketing pilot program to a subset of fans, and in 2015 it offered football and basketball fans a hard-copy option. In all, 58 percent of season ticket account holders selected electronic delivery, says David Sertich, the university's assistant athletic director of business strategy and ticket operations. Fans who selected the paperless option do not pay the traditional $3 to $5 cost for ticket books. "In the industry, if all tickets are transferred electronically, you can collect more data, but primarily we think about the preferred customer experience," Sertich says. "Most customers don't need to transfer or resell." However, he notes it's not a foregone conclusion Stanford is evolving to paperless-only tickets. "We're not adamant that we must go fully electronic immediately," Sertich says. "But we certainly believe in it."