SeatGeek sponsors Downtown Brooklyn public WiFi
September 01, 2015
Now averaging 50,000 users per month, Downtown Brooklyn’s Public WiFi network is officially catching on in the neighborhood. Initiated in September 2013, thanks to a grant from the City of New York, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has worked over the past year and a half to get the full network running – which now covers the area bordered by Schermerhorn Street, Cadman Plaza West, Flatbush Avenue, and Tillary Street. Plans are underway to expand the network to nearby NYCHA spaces as well.
And for the month of September, this free public amenity is being brought to you thanks to SeatGeek, a search engine for live event tickets.
Here are two facts: in the U.S., mobile usage now accounts for more than 60 percent of all digital media time spent, and last year, 84 percent of all tickets to concerts, sporting events, and theatre were sold electronically. But when was the last time you had an easy ticket-purchasing experience on a mobile device?
That’s where SeatGeek comes in. The company aggregates sports, concerts, and theatre tickets from hundreds of sources and maps them onto one easy-to-use interface. Think of it as kayak.com for live event tickets. You can search the ticket database on SeatGeek.com, or on their mobile app, a streamlined piece of technology that makes buying event tickets as easy as it always should have been.
“Our mission is to be the app people use when looking to discover events and buy tickets,” says Ben Kind, the Director of Business Development at SeatGeek. “We’ve always been the consumer’s best friend by providing tools like interactive maps and Deal Score to ensure they’re making the most informed purchase decision possible—at no fee.”
SeatGeek doesn’t sell you tickets—it’s more like a broker, although in nearly all cases you can complete your purchase within SeatGeek’s webpage or mobile app. (SeatGeek makes eight to 10 percent commission on the sale of each ticket.) Customers can search by team, artist, event, or venue; create customized searches based on price and seating; and set up notifications and recommendations for their favorite teams and artists. SeatGeek’s interactive venue maps, which feature 3D views, allow you to find the perfect vantage point—no more arriving at the ballpark to find your view obstructed by a concrete pillar—and its proprietary Deal Score technology ranks seats from “amazing to awful,” based on a scale of zero to 100. The end result is a user experience that empowers the customer to make the most informed choice possible.
The seed for the company was planted in 2007, when founders Russ D’Souza and Jack Groetzinger were recent Dartmouth grads living in Boston and working in consulting. The two friends wanted to go to Red Sox games, but, of course, didn’t want to overpay for tickets. This meant opening 15 browser tabs for different ticket vending sites and comparing the prices, a task more suited for Excel. Why wasn’t there a website that could aggregate all this information, cull the high-side outliers, and list the results in an easy-to-read format?
SeatGeek launched in 2009, and their growth has been steady and rapid. As of this spring, the New York-based company has received three rounds of venture capital funding totaling $103 million, from illustrious firms like Accel Partners, TCV, and Founder Collective, as well as from celebrities like Carmelo Anthony, Peyton Manning, and Ashton Kutcher. SeatGeek has also expanded through strategic business partnerships—such as the struck in 2011, which integrated SeatGeek ticketing links onto Yahoo! Sports pages and articles, and a partnership forged a year later with Spotify, which allowed SeatGeek to import users’ favorite artists from the music-streaming service (with their permission) to provide personalized concert recommendations.
The next big innovation for SeatGeek is ticket transfers. Many people purchase tickets for their friends along with their own, in order to save on service charges. But distributing electronic tickets is a hassle—people are coming from different places and showing up at different times. The best you can usually hope for is that you can leave your friend’s name at the box office. Usually, you end up having to wait outside for them to arrive.
SeatGeek now enables users to seamlessly transfer tickets to their friends’ SeatGeek accounts.
“Let’s say I buy us tickets to a Mets game, but you’re coming from Downtown Brooklyn and I’m coming from the East Village,” explains Kind. “In two taps within my SeatGeek app, I can transfer your ticket to you. Now we can show up to the game separately, you can scan into the venue with the ticket on your SeatGeek app, and I can have a beer waiting for you in your seat.”
It’s another obvious and winning innovation from a company that is itself an obvious and winning idea. With more than 60 percent of its traffic coming via mobile now—a number that figures only to grow—SeatGeek’s mobile-first operation is poised to grab an even bigger share of the market, and to form more sports and music business partnerships. This will only make the customer experience better and more informed.
Says Kind, “We’re looking to expand the breadth of our inventory to have every single ticket under the sun on our platform.”
Ready to try out SeatGeek for yourself? Click here to learn more and get $20 off your first purchase by entering promo code BK20.
Interested in sponsoring the Downtown Brooklyn Public WiFi network? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.