We sat down with Yorkshire Cricket and The Ticketing Business to discuss how we successful grew hospitality sales for first-time buyers following the rollout of our partnership with the club.

We first partnered with Yorkshire County Cricket Club in April this year, powering the club’s online premium ticket and hospitality sales.

By linking up with the club, fans are now able to purchase VIP experiences and book premium tickets and hospitality packages for events taking place at the 21,000-capacity Headingley Stadium.

Seat Unique's Partnerships Manager, Alex Bexon, and Yorkshire Cricket's Head of Commercial Sales and Partnerships, Simon Pixsley, spoke to The Ticketing Business about the partnership and how it will benefit the club’s fans.

Initial Rollout

Pixsley noted that a desire to increase traffic is what initially led Yorkshire Cricket to seek help from Seat Unique.

“The club realised that it needed a more sophisticated online sales platform due to the increased traffic to the website,” he said. “Seat Unique offered a more customer-friendly journey, as well as other significant commercial benefits.”

To begin the process, Bexon explained that Seat Unique worked to identify areas that it could streamline to improve the customer experience.

“As with all partners, we studied Yorkshire’s existing booking process to identify how we could streamline it using our innovative technology,” he said.

“A key focus in this case was improving the online customer journey for fans wanting to book hospitality at Headingley. To do this, we created a white label website for Yorkshire that has been designed, tested and built for hospitality and premium ticket sales.

“By digitally transforming Yorkshire’s hospitality booking process, fans now have greater access to premium experiences, and the club has greater flexibility and control over its sales. So, it is a real win-win situation.”

Pixsley outlined the initiatives Yorkshire had in place when starting this new partnership with Seat Unique, and said that the club hoped to increase revenue through online sales while offering a superior online experience for customers.

Yorkshire also hoped to acquire more data to assist with further sales and marketing, and aimed to reach a wider audience to drive new business at Headingley.

Australian cricket team at Headingley Stadium
Image: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Bexon explained some of the steps taken to achieve these ambitions: “As a business, it’s our mission to make premium experiences at live events accessible to all. Bringing premium tickets and hospitality packages online allows fans to book experiences anytime and anywhere, on different digital devices.

“Not only do we want to ensure the buying experience is as smooth as possible, but we want to empower fans by giving them the option to buy at a time that suits them.

“Together with Yorkshire, we took a deep dive into data analytics to make sure that all digital improvements were being made in the right areas, and that they would help us achieve our goal.

“Since our partnership with Yorkshire began, we have seen a significant increase in online hospitality sales made outside of the typical 9-5 working hours. There has also been an impressive uplift in the demand for private boxes. Six box packages have been sold since we began working together; the club hadn’t sold a box package online in six years previously.

“Marketing and communications teams from both sides were also briefed early in the onboarding process to ensure that the change in the booking process was efficiently communicated with fans.”

Fast results

Pixsley said that this summer’s international cricket matches at Headingly have already witnessed a surge in new business.

“The club believe that it has seen an 80% uplift in new business purchasing tickets through the Seat Unique platform,” said Pixsley.

“The improved customer experience will hopefully ensure that the club has higher retention rates in 2023, and offer opportunities to cross-sell other premium experience packages.”

On moving forward with the partnership, Pixsley added: “The rollout was accelerated to maximise sales opportunities in 2022 and taking such action has clearly had huge commercial benefits.

“The club will take key learnings from the launch and looks forward to developing a strategic on-sale plan for 2023, including priority windows, dynamic pricing and marketing activity to drive earlier B2B and B2C sales.”

English and Australian cricket players on the pitch at Headingley Stadium
Image: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Bexon added: “Our partnership with Yorkshire is built as a team. Yorkshire and Seat Unique share the same values and fans are always at the heart of everything we do.

“To ensure this, we continue to look at consumer buyer behaviour, as well as activation opportunities, so that we can co-promote the club’s packages throughout the partnership.

“We work closely with the club by having regular catch-ups and discussing weekly reports.”

To read more about both Seat Unique and Yorkshire Cricket's plans for the partnership and goals, including dynamic pricing and fan-to-fan exchange, read the case study in full here.

To learn more about our products and services, including our white label website solutions, and the benefits of partnering with us, download the informative PDF below.

If you are an official rightsholder, club, artist, promoter or venue, and would like to discuss joining Seat Unique’s community, send a message to [email protected] for more information on becoming a partner.

Seat Unique is a sponsor of TheTicketingBusiness Forum, the worlds No.1 B2B ticketing business meeting, which will take place from July 7-8, 2022 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.