When Paul Rabil’s tour-based Premier Lacrosse League launched last season, it played in 13 different venues and used six different ticketing partners. The lack of consistency on the ticketing front added strain to the startup on the sales side.
Following a similar model to the NBA’s G League, which was rebranded following its partnership with Gatorade, the Premier Lacrosse League will know be known as the PLL Powered by Ticketmaster, thanks to the deal announced Thursday. The league will look to its title and official ticketing partner for a more streamlined sales process and targeted marketing tools in its second season, which is slated to start in Boston again on May 29.
Working with individual box office staff and third-party provider Learfield IMG College for all sales last season, the league realized early on that a sole provider would help reduce the number of parties involved and limit complications. The PLL also struggled to gain a comprehensive understanding of its fan demographics and their purchase patterns due to the numerous ticketing systems.
Ticketmaster served as the league’s partner at eight venues last season, offering a preview of the ticketing giant’s offerings. The hope is that this partnership will provide a better understanding of their customers and allow targeting of repeat fans for future weekends in similar markets, like New York, Boston or Philadelphia, where the league played four weekends last season.
“Our landmark deal with Ticketmaster provides solutions to the unique challenges of a multi-venue league, elevating our ticketing experience with streamlined products for our fans and employees alike,” Mick Davis, the league’s vice president of sales, told Front Office Sports. “We will now be able to have truly meaningful relationships with our fans thanks to our partners at Ticketmaster.”
The league has hired and trained an in-house ticketing team to work with Ticketmaster. With the new tools now at their disposal, the PLL has built what it describes as a robust backend platform for all venues for the 2020 season that includes the ability to run reporting, group tickets and manifests in real time, which eliminates several steps in the system from last season.
They will now also digitize ticketing for all 2020 venues and utilize Ticketmaster Presence, which includes identity-based personalization features to streamline live event venue operations, provide real-time insights and analytics to create a personalized fan experience. Ticketmaster’s LiveAnalytics will provide data analysis for the league on everything from new fan prospecting and targeted marketing to pricing strategy and sponsorship deals.
The insights from the partnership will help the PLL understand fan preferences better than last season. The more the league is able to learn, the more strategically they can cater to and engage with their audience, which it hopes will result in more meaningful relationships.
“Ticketmaster’s audience reach, innovative technology, and breadth of venue partners in sports and live events are unparalleled,” Rabil said. “Our fans will benefit from a first-class experience at every game that only Ticketmaster can offer on their site and app, with Ticketmaster’s marketing support empowering the PLL to better reach and communicate with our fans at every touch point.”
Ticketmaster, in addition to serving as a ticket provider for all of the league’s 2020 games that will be played in Ticketmaster venues – which the league says will be a majority of the not-fully-announced locations – will also be a key brand partner connected to several of the league’s most outward-facing assets.
The brand will become the official presenting partner of the Premier Zone, the league’s pre and postgame fan festival for sponsors and brands to connect with attendees. PLL Podcast Studios – now rebranded as Ticketmaster Studios – will remain home to the league’s growing suite of audio offerings, headlined by Rabil’s ‘Unbuckled Chinstrap’ podcast.
Ticketmaster, the league’s newest non-endemic partner, will also receive stadium advertisements, in-game segments and commercial integrations into PLL’s NBC broadcasts, and content created on official league channels, which Bloomberg reports will include a weekly branded-content series. Adidas, Hyperice, Gatorade, Capital One and Vineyard Vines have all also partnered with the PLL in the last year.