Sports Illustrated pairs with Venmo on new ticketing platform: SI TIX
Sports Illustrated announced the launch of its new ticketing vertical, SI TIX, on Wednesday. The platform is the newest arm of the brand and plans to take a “revolutionary approach” to ticketing for sports and entertainment.
For David Lane, CEO of SI TIX, the ticketing vertical was the next logical step for Sports Illustrated. He says the past year showed, more than ever, that watching events on the television isn’t the same experience as a live event. As doors continue to open to fans, it was natural for SI to create a platform for fans to return to live events.
“When we first started looking at the live event industry almost two years ago, we’re trying to look at what makes SI’s core audience so loyal and what they are doing and what they are interested in,” said Lane. “Our fans, in the room with 50,000 other people, when the lights go down and the band takes the stage, there is no feeling that compares to that.”
SI TIX by Sports Illustrated launched Wednesday, providing fans access to thousands of live events from sports to theater. (Photo: SI TIX)
While the pandemic was a setback for many projects over the past year, Lane says they created several of the policies for SI TIX with the customer experience in mind and based them off some of the issues surrounding live events that arose during 2020.
One of these policies is SI TIX’s cancellation policy, which guarantees a 100% refund if an event is canceled, regardless of the reason.
“This was going to be our policy,” said Lane, admitting that the pandemic only reinforced that they were making the right choice. “The fan is the most important person to us in this ecosystem. When a problem occurs, they need to be able to rely on the company that got them those tickets. You’re going to get your money back, you’re not going to have to chase it.”
When fans purchase tickets through the site, there is a $10 flat transaction fee, as opposed to the percentage-based fee structure that other ticketing platforms adopted. Lane says this was so that people know what they are paying before they start completing the checkout process.
Venmo also partnered with Sports Illustrated on SI TIX. This decision was intentional, said Lane, not only because of the amount of people who use the platform but also how it is used.
“Live events are social. We go with friends; we want to be with others,” said Lane. “That’s what Venmo is. Venmo is a social payment platform.”
Customers who don’t have Venmo or prefer to use PayPal or credit cards will pay a 15% transaction fee.
A preview of what the SI TIX platform looks like. Fans using the site will be charged a $10 flat transaction fee and can enjoy the 100% refund policy for cancellations (Photo: SI TIX)
Lane knows that fans can go to several other ticketing sites for access to live events, but he hopes that customers will see the value that SI TIX provides by creating a smoother checkout process, lower overall cost and more security backed by the Sports Illustrated brand. At the end of the day, he wants fans to enjoy live events again.
“You never tell the story of watching the game-winning shot from your couch. You will tell the story forever when you were there and you witnessed it with 60,000 other people in that moment,” said Lane. “We know what that feeling is. You can get shivers just talking about what that moment feels like for the fans.
“When you are going to go and spend your hard-earned money to find the tickets to get that feeling, to have that experience, we’re going to give you access to the same tickets and same events as all the other sites out there. But we’re going to make it so that you can afford to either save the money or get you from that 300 level to 200 level.”
Contact Alyssa Hertel at [email protected] or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.
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