Dallas Cowboys Reduce Fraud, Streamline Ticketing With Mobile-First Adoption
(Courtesy of Ticketmaster)
Doug Dawson called the Dallas Cowboys one of the first guinea pigs when it came to mobile ticketing in sports, but now that the franchise has almost a season and a half under its belt, it is seeing positive returns on the shift away from paper.
The Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service had heard about other organization’s experimentation with mobile entry leading up to the 2015-16 season. Yet, it was to the tune of just three to six percent of fans, and according to Dawson, not really much of a mobile strategy. If the Cowboys were to drive mobile ticket adoption among fans, it was going to do so in more of an aggressive fashion.
With an ongoing partnership with Ticketmaster, the Cowboys reported that mobile entry adoption made up almost 21 percent of all attendance at AT&T Stadium last year, with single game ticket holders utilizing mobile entry at just over 80 percent.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve been working with teams, like the Cowboys, to really explore the benefits of pushing fans to mobile,” said Jared Smith, Ticketmaster President of North America. “… How do you educate and push people to mobile to use the technology, which is both better for them and the te
If you can make (mobile ticketing) work at AT&T Stadium, you can make it work anywhere.”
Dawson added, “When we went to mobile, that gave us a second type of way for fans to enter. We took the PDF right out of the mix. It is much harder to replicate mobile than an 8 x 11 sheet of paper.”
Fraud with paper tickets and PDF print-outs had been an issue for Dallas, as it still is for many professional and college sports teams. As Dawson explained, fans would either copy a PDF ticket and gain entry or purchase a cheaper seat but use of a photocopy of a club-level seat in order to gain access to different amenities at the stadium.
Dawson said that on less popular game days, there could be roughly 20 cases of fraud while on Sunday Night Football against a division rival like the Philadelphia Eagles there could be 150. For a marquee matchup against the New England Patriots or Green Bay Packers, it might be over 400. In leveraging Ticketmaster’s verified tickets mobile technology over the past two seasons, the team has seen its instances of fraud significantly decrease, although a rough estimate wasn’t provided.
Still, the Cowboys have seen ancillary benefits toward the mobile push, including reduced lines in the club-level areas, a better overall experience for premium seat holders, smoother game days and a morale boost in the ticket office.
While issues of fraud won’t be completely eliminated through mobile, Smith of Ticketmaster is optimistic that team executives will see the benefits of mobile ticketing, which has been in existence for close to five years. According to Smith, it is a matter of educating teams, venues and fans about how mobile can positively impact operations, expedite scanning customers into venues and streamline ticketing altogether.
You can show real value and real convenience,” added Smith. “Fans have better control and security. Teams have a little smoother option and decreased fraud. … There is also a much better understanding of who is in the venue and who your fans are with mobile adoption.