Comcast-Spectacor's ticketing divisions give venues new Web power to sell seatsBy Ray Waddell

The ticketing divisions of Comcast-­Spectacor - the time-tested software of Paciolan and the forward-thinking white-label services of New Era Tickets - give this leading sports and entertainment company a powerful combination in the highly competitive world of ticketing.

By combining Paciolan's technology for ticketing and digital marketing with the personalized services of New Era Tickets, client venues can leverage consulting, call centers, fulfillment, New Era's proprietary Fan One Marketing and financial management capabilities, according to Paciolan CEO David Butler.

According to Butler, Paciolan is experiencing its "greatest marketing success in history" in 2012, and now serves more than 500 clients that sell 100 million-120 million tickets annually.

"We are also seeing a much broader role with our clients as we help them address their ticketing, marketing, fund-raising, sales automation and analytic needs for their entire organization," Butler says.

That's evident, Butler says, from clients' increased use of the full suite of Paciolan products and services: the Pac Social Media platform; event advertising with digital retargeting tools; customer relationship management tools; and "Paciolan Ticketing Intelligence, which provides executive dashboards, reporting and analytics across all facets of our clients' operations."

"We have expanded widely the past few years into live entertainment, with the greatest growth in the arena, pro sports and performing arts markets," he says, noting that college athletics now account for about 20% of Paciolan's client base.

"We've also strengthened our dynamic pricing capabilities that help venues and promoters to maximize revenue opportunities with a tool that allows venues to change pricing on the fly during a run-up to the event."

Paciolan has introduced several new partnerships and marketing services that allow its clients to reach a greater audience and sell more tickets, with social media and retargeting being two of the fasting-growing.

"The PAC Social Media solution, powered by Buddy Media, allows venues to grow their social database, better engage fans and monetize social media through an enterprise-level social media platform," Butler says. "Our online retargeting services enable venues or promoters to target fans that looked at their events but didn't purchase with a targeted, online advertisement the next time they're browsing the Internet. The average [return on investment] for arena venues is . . . $15 earned for every $1 spent."

Having Comcast-Spectacor as a parent and New Era and Global Spectrum as sister companies gives Paciolan deep resources to tap. "The new booking VP of Global Spectrum, Brock Jones, is a great example, as he supports both Global and Paciolan clients that want to leverage his expertise to build partnerships with the leading agents and promoters to expand shows in their venues," Butler says.

New Era Tickets president/CEO Fred Maglione says one of the primary selling propositions for his company is telling clients they control all their customer data. "We don't share their data - name, address, email address, any contact information - with anyone," he says. "It's our clients' data, the client being the building in most cases."

That said, New Era will show clients how to effectively use that data through its Fan One Marketing division, headed by marketing manager/digital strategist Bernie Turner.

"We started to realize while we were giving [clients] control of their data, they often didn't know what the hell to do with it," Maglione says. "We started helping them strategically on how to best communicate with their customers, how to manage the database, how to consolidate it with all the other data touchpoints they have in the building."

Fan One started out as an internal business for New Era ticketing clients and evolved to the point that it operates as a separate business under New Era that can service those that may or may not be ticketing clients. "We have a number of organizations that don't do business with us in ticketing, but do business with Fan One," Maglione says.

The advent of social networking has played a role in the growth of Fan One, but Turner says there's more so "the need out there to better communicate with different types of fans, to get people the information they need."••••