Physical is going digital, in more ways than one. Sports Illustrated has been joining the ranks of traditional magazine publishers to look for innovative, digital-first maneuvers to keep their brands relevant.
For Sports Illustrated, or SI, it’s led down a path of ‘self-service ticketing.’ Over the past week, SI has launched ‘Box Office,’ the brand’s fresh new take on ticketing.
Let’s take a look at what we know from the early stages of Box Office so far.
Sports Illustrated Turns To Ticketing
Ticketing has been top-of-mind for NFT advocates since the earliest stages of NFT evolution. The fit is natural: ticketing has long been dominated by a high-fee, rigid industry that has lacked innovation for a long time. Ticket resale has been a focal point of U.S. regulatory discussion, and the industry has gone largely unchanged over the past decade.
Furthermore, regardless of the lack of innovation throughout the industry, ticketing often just feels like a hand-in-glove fit for NFT solutions; at it’s core, ticketing is generally seen as a straightforward peer-to-peer transaction between typically two trustless parties – right in the wheelhouse of what NFTs can potentially optimize.
Sports Illustrated joins a growing list of established print media firms like TIME Magazine, SLAM, and National Geographic (among others) to explore engagement with NFTs or crypto more broadly. In fact, it was around this time last year that we saw SI covers utilized in eBay’s first NFT release.
While magazines have been implementing covers, SI is unique in it’s approach in shifting towards ticketing.
Box Office: The Web3 Partners That Make It All Happen
Sports Illustrated is working with ConsenSys and Polygon in operating the marketplace that claims “50 million tickets to over 250,000 sports, concerts and shows” according to SI Tickets CEO David Lane in the launch press release. SI Tickets effectively onboards ticket partners and claims to have aggressive prices due to it’s less centralized nature.
We took a quick look at US consumer offerings, and said… “what’s the cheapest NBA ticket I could get for the Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns game 6?”
The cheapest we could find at the time at SI Tickets was $132 USD, advertised until payment method; traditional market leader Ticketmaster’s lowest offer was an advertised subtotal of $143, with a hefty $32 in service fees, bringing the grand total to $175 USD. Other mainstay traditional comparable, StubHub, displayed a $117 ticket price, but at billing closed the total at $155 – with total fees at $38.
While just a one-time example – and not factoring elements like seat selection – there is clearly time in the day worth considering Sports Illustrated’s new platform. The even bigger takeaway here is that there are clearly substantial fees from traditional ticketing offerings, in this case, around 20% of the initially advertised ticket price.