Future Stadiums & Venues

NBA and Ticketmaster confirm two-year extension

League-wide ticketing partnership covers NBA's resale marketplace.

by Michael Long

NBA and Ticketmaster confirm two-year extension

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has extended its central ticketing partnership with Ticketmaster.

Under the terms of the renewal, which is reported to run for two years, Ticketmaster will continue to power NBATickets.com, the official resale marketplace of the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA G League.

The NBA will also continue to leverage analytical data garnered through Ticketmaster's platform to monitor consumer activity and purchasing behaviour, and to strengthen its league-wide digital marketing efforts.

"We are pleased to extend our partnership with Ticketmaster, helping us continue to deliver the most fan-friendly ticketing experience possible and provide our fans with a trusted, convenient place to buy and sell tickets," Amy Brooks, the NBA’s chief innovation officer and the president of its team marketing and business operations division, said in a statement.

West Hollywood, California-based Ticketmaster is owned by Live Nation Entertainment. As well as partnering with the NBA at the league level, the company serves as the secondary ticketing provider of 24 NBA teams, not to mention a raft of other sports and entertainment properties and venues.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers all have their own separate partnerships with AEG’s AXS platform, while the Philadelphia 76ers have a deal with Ebay-owned StubHub. Tickets for each of those teams are, however, available via Ticketmaster's NBA marketplace.

The new deal between the NBA and Ticketmaster extends a five-year partnership signed in 2012, and essentially covers the same terms. It is understood, however, that the NBA negotiated for a shorter term in order to monitor and adapt to what is a rapidly evolving ticketing sector.

Recent years have seen several new players enter the online ticketing market, while the rise of mobile ticketing, new open distribution models and a broader trend towards gaining more in-depth consumer insights through data and real-time analytics are reshaping the sports industry’s approach to ticketing.

In October, Ticketmaster itself agreed a new five-year deal with the National Football League (NFL) that included the rights to operate primary ticketing services for all 32 of the league’s teams. As part of that deal, Ticketmaster is providing the NFL with the first open architecture, fully digital ticketing system in sport, granting football fans access to tickets on other platforms, including StubHub, the NFL's secondary ticketing partner.

According to SportsBusiness Journal, Ticketmaster will deploy its Presence digital ticketing system under the terms of its new NBA partnership, enabling the league's teams to offer fans a more personalised mobile ticketing service based on enhanced identification.

"More than anything else, basketball fans care about what happens on the court, and this extended partnership provides them a ticketing experience that is easy and convenient, allowing them to focus on the game itself," said Greg Economou, the chief commercial officer and head of sports at Ticketmaster North America.

"We're proud to continue providing the best software platform to power the NBA's ticketing marketplace, while also providing clubs with insights and technology that allows them to better serve their fans – which is the core of our shared mission."