The Yankees announced a landmark, multi-year sponsorship agreement with StubHub, designating the company as their official fan-to-fan ticket resale marketplace, at a press conference on Monday morning at Yankee Stadium.
The new product will allow StubHub to be completely integrated into the Yankees ticket system, replacing the Yankees Ticket Exchange.
The new system will be fully integrated and operational by Thursday, July 7. The first ticket availability will be for the Friday, July 15 game against the Boston Red Sox, and extend through the remainder of the 2016 schedule.
“We are committed to providing our fans with a first-class ticket experience, and offering the safest, most secure and efficient platform for our fans to sell and purchase tickets,” said Yankees President Randy Levine. “This new product was the result of many productive discussions with StubHub, which will allow them to fully integrate into our ticket system. We are confident this collaboration will best protect our fans in the resale ticket marketplace.”
The custom sponsorship deal will provide new features and functionality that will greatly enhance the consumer experience, leading to increased user efficiency and fan safety and protection. These added features will prevent speculative selling, adhere to the Yankees advertising resale price policy, generate verified bar/QR codes, and provide fully integrated mobile capacity, for the safest and most secure way to transmit tickets.
“The New York Yankees are one of the preeminent brands in professional sports, and we are thrilled to join with them to create a best-in-class fan experience,” said Scott Cutler, President of StubHub. “StubHub’s goal is to ensure that fans have access to games that they love to attend, and I’d like to thank both the Yankees and MLB Advanced Media for their willingness to come to the table and reach a positive solution for all parties.”
The New York Yankees introduced a mobile ticket system this year, and the agreement with StubHub will adhere to the existing mobile ticket policy.
All tickets delivered will be mobile. Tickets will operate on both iOS and Android devices. Users can post hard stock tickets, but upon being sold, all will be converted to mobile format.
To date, more than 250,000 fans have entered Yankee Stadium using mobile tickets (primary and secondary combined), and by the end of this season, the team expects to have welcomed more than 600,000 mobile ticket users. This anticipated number is expected to be the largest among all teams in baseball.
With this new, technology-led sponsorship, the Yankees will join the longstanding StubHub arrangement that is in place with MLB Advanced Media.
While other secondary resale platforms will continue to remain an option for fans to buy and resell Yankees tickets, only StubHub will be fully integrated with the Yankees.
“I think it’s going to make it much easier, much better,” Levine said of the ticket-buying process. “Yankees Ticket Exchange was a great success, and with them (StubHub) as partners, based on who they are and what they bring to the market, the experience, I think it’s going to make it even better.
“We do a lot of groundbreaking things here at the Yankees. We set the whole sports and entertainment industry. We take, we do things and we take risks other organizations rarely do because, most of the time, it leads to great partnerships and better fan experiences, like we have today.
“I remember sitting in a room with some of these guys when we created the YES Network, ‘oh, isn’t going to happen.’ We created Legends Hospitality, ‘oh, isn’t going to happen.’ When we crated the Pinstripe Bowl, ‘oh, never gonna happen.’ We take risks, we do things, we find the right partners.
“We think StubHub, through some turbulence, is now the right partner. We think the man right next to me, Scott Cutler, is a great leader. He’s taking this company in a way where we feel that he’s really going to grow this side of the business, and we’re very comfortable with him.”
This deal appealed to the Yankees because of how convenient it will be for fans to download the tickets and use them at Yankee Stadium on their phones.
“That’s what most fans and customers want,” said Levine. “Last minute, you’re walking down the street, you’re walking around the subway, you’re inside the stadium, you’re home it’s easy. We find overwhelmingly that’s what our fans want.
“At the end of the day, this is what our customers want. They’re really good at managing the system. I think the partnership’s great, it’s only going to get better.”
One point of emphasis on this deal from the Yankees and StubHub is combating fraud in the ticket marketplace.
“When we look at it across the entire board, this is our business, the incidents of fraud, and even in a non-integrated way, is less than one-half of one percent,” said Cutler. “When we’re in an integrated fashion (as this deal with the Yankees is), just doesn’t happen.”
Cutler emphasized how important it is for StubHub to enter into this venture with the Yankees.
“This is one of the premier franchises in sports around the world, and it was my intention early on to be able to have a relationship with the Yankees and, importantly for us to be able to do this, I need to be able to have a personal relationship with Randy (Levine), and we need to be able to see eye-to-eye. We had to be able to come to come to an agreement, and see how StubHub can provide value to the Yankee organization and change some of the policies that we had in the past that restricted our ability to work together, and I think that’s been the hallmark of this relationship from the very beginning.”
As part of the sponsorship agreement with the Yankees, StubHub will receive full marketing and sponsorship benefits, including in-stadium signage, suite access, and use of official team marks.