Mobile Ticketing Helps Power Fan Engagement for Tampa Bay Lightning

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Exterior views of the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. (Photo via Scott Audette)

With their new fully customized mobile application, the Tampa Bay Lightning have embraced mobile ticketing and officially released the one-of-a-kind product for their fans coming out to AMALIE Arena. The increasing use of technology in AMALIE Arena, including mobile access, is set to enrich their fans overall experience and influence them to come back for more.

The South Florida community loves their Bolts, and the Lightning organization reflects this admiration with their commitment to their fans in return. In 2016, ESPN released its Ultimate Standings, which ranked all 122 NHL, MLB, NFL, and NBA franchises in various categories that matter most to fans. The Tampa Bay Lightning franchise was ranked No. 1 for excelling in criteria such as ticket prices, recent on-field successes, and how owners and players show appreciation to their fans.

This year, which happens to coincide with the team hosting the League’s annual All-Star Game, the Lightning put this ranking to the test by expanding their partnership with Ticketmaster to launch mobile ticketing throughout AMALIE Arena.

Change and innovation often bring challenges, and Adam Lawson, Manager of Inside Sales, explained that, “educating the community in how to access and navigate their e-ticket on their mobile device,” has proven to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. Lawson added that the team has, “implemented service tables around the entrances to further assist fans and manage crowd flow,” ultimately ensuring that their fans are able to make the smooth transition onto the mobile platform.

Front Office

The Lightning Front Office has fully embraced mobile ticketing and is committed to providing Bolts fans with the best technology across the country.

“Understanding who is in our building, and getting to know our fans better and their preferences/behaviors; we believe; absolutely improves the ease of entry, and overall experience of our fans,” – Jarrod Dillon, Chief Revenue Officer, Tampa Bay Lightning

“This first year of more aggressively offering mobile ticketing has been great; we have increased mobile tickets entering the building from around 15% last year to 58% this year,” Dillon added, emphasizing the early success of the mobile ticketing initiative.

Also, according to Jim Mannino, VP of Ticket Operations at the AMALIE Arena, on a nightly basis, mobile ticketing has significantly reduced the number of fraudulent tickets and Will Call lines as fans are able to share tickets directly through their mobile device, allowing them to avoid the drop-off/pick up process.

Partnering with locally based Venuetize to create and design the AMALIE Arena app, Dillon believes this is only the beginning as the organization, “will look to enhance mobile ticketing; allowing use of mobile wallet payments, season ticket member mobile discounts, loyalty and rewards for fans,” to name a few of the soon to come additions to the app platform.

Main screen of the Amalie Arena app (Image via Screenshot)

Travis Pelleymounter, VP of Ticket Sales and Service, elaborates on the Season Ticket Member mobile discounts explaining how, “Lightning STM will have the ability to access their tickets, pay for food or merchandise and use their STM Discount Card via the app. The STM discount card may also be shared with friends/family, which you have provided tickets to, directly through the app. This discount functionality is what makes the AMALIE Arena app unique.”

The discounts for Lightning Season Ticket Members are some of the best throughout the league, cementing their commitment to serve their fans, and through a partnership with Satisfi Labs, those who may have questions while using the app, can utilize the artificial intelligence chatbot,“Thunderbot” designed to provide fans in-arena virtual assistance at the AMALIE Arena by answering questions around ticketing, concessions, parking, team stores and other arena-related topics.

Data

The data accumulated from the application will allow the Lightning to create segmented campaigns, increasing loyalty and rewards, while strengthening connections between the Lightning and the community.

“Mobile ticketing has allowed us to identify roughly 450 new mobile ticketing accounts per game!” – Jarrod Dillon, Chief Revenue Officer, Tampa Bay Lightning

By creating a database from mobile ticketing, the AMALIE Arena app, and other digital platforms, the Lightning can now personalize the fan experience with highly targeted ads, ticket offers, and strategic campaigns that appeal to fans based on various trends surrounding ticket buying history to drive future ticket sales.

Billboard in South Howard, Tampa, FL (Image via @TBLightning)

All-Star Game

The 2018 NHL All-Star marks the second-time NHL All-Star activities will take place in Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment have been gradually updating their technology and look to reveal their renovations as the 2018 NHL All-Star festivities begin this week.

Aside from the analytics and database opportunities, Dillon envisions bigger benefits to hosting this major event.

“First to me is making Tampa and AMALIE Arena the epicenter of the hockey world; the partnership with our great community leaders, the NHL, and our organization just shows how strong of a hockey market Tampa has become. Next, the benefit will be for our bolts fans, local partners, and community, as well as out of town guests. Showcasing our community through the partnership with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, and the Gasparilla Festival is a unique opportunity.”