After years of using third-party companies to sell tickets for its national and international events, Hockey Canada is entering the ticketing business, starting with a pair of domestic events in spring 2011.
In partnership with gettix.net, Hockey Canada uses a state-of-the-art ticketing system that allows it to create unique specifications for each individual host committee and tournament – from the National Women’s Under-18 Championship to the IIHF World Junior Championship.
By selling tickets itself, Hockey Canada has the ability to control all aspects of sales, including special offers, ongoing promotions and email marketing and distribution programs.
In addition, the new system gives Hockey Canada the option of packaging tickets with merchandise, concessions, parking, etc. – things that were not always possible with third-party ticket providers in the past.
“I think it’s a tremendous step for us to take when it comes to the marketing and servicing of our events,” says Scott Farley, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of marketing services and events. “We have had terrific relationships with third-party companies through the years, but we felt we were in a position where we were able to take on the ticketing for our events.”
Beginning with the 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in London, Ont., and the 2011 Esso Cup in St. Albert, Alta., fans are able to log on to hockeycanada.ca/tickets and purchase tickets. Hockey Canada’s plan is to expand to all of its events in future seasons.
With that expansion will come a growing list of customers, who will undoubtedly come from all corners of the country. In the 2011-12 season alone, Hockey Canada will hold national and international events in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.
The coast-to-coast reach of Hockey Canada’s events will help create a wide-ranging database of ticket buyers, giving Hockey Canada the ability to go back to those customers when events return to their area, or target them for certain events (ie. Junior A fans for the World Junior A Challenge and/or RBC Cup).
As Hockey Canada and its events continue to grow, as evidenced by larger crowds in arenas and more visits to hockeycanada.ca, it becomes more important to reach as many hockey-mad Canadians as possible, and stay connected to them.
By taking over ticketing, Hockey Canada feels like it is taking a big step in the right direction.