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Carving out a Niche with

This is a guest post by Tyler Johnson

My e-mail inbox has been blowing up lately with daily deals.  Then more.  And more.  And delete.  I wondered why I even opted in to a few of these sites as I delete nine out of 10 I receive.  When I came across, I became curious as to what it had to offer my inbox.

Last week I chatted with Justin Cener, the CEO and Founder of to learn more about this new group site that focuses on sports.

The daily deal model for these other sites is all across the board with what they have to offer me here locally.  Probably one of the main reasons I delete the vast majority; one day it’s dental cleaning, the next day Thai food, and skydiving the next.  I also am much more likely to purchase any daily deal if I am familiar with the place or product.  With they squash both of these excuses with their niche opt-in model.  Providing the team a higher rate of conversion.

It’s a sports site; you opt-in if you are a fan of the teams in your local area!  Working in ticket sales for half a decade now, I rarely encounter fans that don’t want a good deal to see their local team, no matter where on the fandom spectrum they fall.  In cornering this niche, can provide an increased likelihood of repeat purchases.  Being able to get repeat business is constantly one of the largest complaints from participating merchants through daily deal sites.  The one and done discount doesn’t provide long term customers.

These traditional daily deal sites are extremely reluctant to provide much information on the end users to the local businesses.  Merchants want to get the maximum for their investment and that includes ways to continue the relationship with the customer.  CrowdSeats combats this  in several ways.  “We encourage teams to market directly to these fans.  Welcome them on the scoreboard, have a special redemption table staffed by the ticket sales department to capture information and interact.  If we can package food, beverage or a unique fan experience, it’ll only improve the marketing capabilities of the team,” Cener shared.

Another feature of that typical daily deal sites can’t replicate is the flexibility and timing in which they can help generate revenue from otherwise perishable ticket inventory.  If a team has a game with a good deal of inventory for this Saturday and today is Tuesday, good luck getting GroupOn to help you get featured on the day you need to be.  Teams aren’t competing with every other restaurant and alternative activity in the city.

When looking at the Fan Cost Index of the big four sports, the additional revenue lost per capita only gives teams more reason to sacrifice a little off the top to get those fans in their building and into their marketing mix.  This revenue, just like unsold tickets, is unattainable by the time the final box score is posted on the team’s own website.  The additional money people spend beyond their ticket is substantial.

CrowdSeats sustainable model to help sports teams increases the chance of long term customer acquisition.  With customers opting in with the clear intentions to purchase tickets to sporting events, the sample size will be more qualified and likely to entertain other ticket offers and packages from those teams.  This is how teams should measure success when assessing daily deal opportunities.

With Cener’s web and social media development experience,  CrowdSeats will also utilize social media to connect fans via that team’s Facebook & Twitter feeds.  Again, another way to increase participating teams’ opportunities to market to these fans directly.

Currently is active in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.  Seeing as they launched June 6th of this year, and given the patterns I’ve noticed in my ticket sales experience, I’m guessing you may see your favorite team using them soon.  They’ll probably have some extra seats and you’ll probably grab a beer too.

Follow on twitter here:  @crowdseats

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10 Responses to Carving out a Niche with

  1. crowdseats July 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Thanks for this great post on us Tyler, Lewis, and SportsNetworker. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to post them here, I’ll be checking in periodically. You can also connect with us on Twitter (@crowdseats) or Facebook (

  2. crowdseats July 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    @TylerDJohnson Thanks for the awesome article Tyler, you hit it on the head perfectly!

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  8. Caroline August 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    I had a problem with my order and it took me calling them 4 times to get an answer., Thats no the problem, the real problem is that at the end of every call they said that they would call me back that day. Never called, and I was the one who had to keep asking and pushing. NEVER buy from this company, it is actually easier to pay $5-10 more for a better company that will actually give customer service. Not the run around because no one wants to do their job. Even dell gives better customer service.

  9. JJ December 19, 2014 at 5:16 am #

    Any person looking for tickets needs to do a search on this Crowd Seats company first. They have a reputation of cheating their customers. Personally, they cheated me out of $250 that I spent on tickets, as they told me in a confirmation email that the tickets would be sent to me in another separate email that was never sent to me. I made many attempts to contact the customer service department before the date of the show and only got a voicemail that said to leave a message. No one returned my call. I also sent emails that weren’t returned until an hour after the show had started. I disputed it after I missed the show and asked for a refund, and they refused, despite their supposed guarantees to the customers. Do not order from this site. It is a scam, and I have reported them to the Federal Trade Commission.


  1. Carving Out A Niche With Crowd Seats | Crowd Seats Blog - July 29, 2011

    […] a leading Sports Business Blog, has covered Crowd Seats in a July 29, 2011 article titled “Carving Out A Niche With Crowd Seats.” The article goes on to praise the business model and examines the potential success a team […]

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