The physical becomes digital, in more ways than one. Sports Illustrated has joined the ranks of traditional magazine publishers in seeking innovative, digital-first maneuvers to keep their brands relevant.
For Sports Illustrated, or SI, it’s “self-service ticketing.” Over the past week, SI has launched “Box Office”, the brand’s new approach to ticketing.
Let’s take a look at what we know from the early stages of Box Office until now.
Sports Illustrated turns to box office
Ticketing has been a priority for NFT advocates since the early stages of NFT evolution. The fit is natural: ticketing has long been dominated by a rigid, fee-based industry that has long lacked innovation. Ticket resale has been at the center of regulatory discussions in the United States, and the industry has remained virtually unchanged over the past decade.
Additionally, regardless of the industry-wide lack of innovation, ticketing often looks like a perfect fit for NFT solutions; At its core, ticketing is generally seen as a simple peer-to-peer transaction between typically two distrustful parties – right in the wheelhouse of what NFTs can potentially optimize.
Sports Illustrated joins a growing list of established print companies 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 used in eBay’s first NFT release.
While magazines have put up covers, SI is unique in its approach by moving to box office.
Polygon (MATIC) offers the blockchain infrastructure for SI Tickets. | Source: MATIC:USD on TradingView.com
Box Office: the Web3 partners that make everything run smoothly
Sports Illustrated is working with ConsenSys and Polygon to tap into the marketplace which boasts “50 million tickets for over 250,000 sports, concerts and shows,” according to SI Tickets CEO David Lane in the launch press release. SI Tickets effectively integrates ticketing partners and claims to have aggressive pricing due to its less centralized nature.
We took a quick look at the offers from US consumers and wondered, “What’s the cheapest NBA ticket I could get to Game 6 of the Denver Nuggets against the Phoenix Suns?”
The cheapest we could find at the time at SI Tickets was US$132, advertised down to payment method; Traditional market leader Ticketmaster’s lowest bid was an advertised subtotal of $143, with a hefty service charge of $32, bringing the grand total to US$175. Another comparable mainstream stalwart, StubHub, had a ticket price of $117, but when billed the total was $155 – with a total fee of $38.
Although this is just a one-off example – and without considering things like seat selection – there is clearly time in the day that is worth considering the new platform. from Sports Illustrated. The even more important point here is that there are clearly substantial fees on traditional ticketing offers, in this case around 20% of the originally advertised ticket price.
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