The University of Minnesota athletic department is partnering with AudienceView Ticketing for the second year in a row to take advantage of the busiest shopping day in America.
After tremendous sales last year, the department announced Monday it will host another online Black Friday ticket sale.
The Toronto-based AudienceView helped ticket sales for Gophers athletics increase by 2,500 percent last Black Friday, with revenue increasing by 1,600 percent compared to the standard sales day.
“Our goal is to surpass the $20,000 mark from last year,” the school’s ticketing manager Brent Holck said. “I think it’s realistic since we have more options out and the merchandise coming on board.”
The department is expanding its deals from six total events last year, to numerous single-game deals, family weekend packages, discounted merchandise as well as an overnight getaway package.
Deals unique to Minnesota fans will include a $50 “Superfan” package that includes passes to nine sporting events over a four-day period from Jan. 18-21.
The getaway package costs $189 and includes a hotel, tickets to the Gophers men’s hockey game against Notre Dame on Jan. 7 and the men’s basketball game against Purdue on Jan. 8.
In August, the athletic department and AudienceView combined merchandise sales with ticketing sales to create a unique shopping interface for Gophers fans.
“To my knowledge, there is no other school in the nation that allows their fans to do that,” Holck said.
While it has been in place for months, Holck said the first test for the combined ticket and merchandise sales will be during Black Friday — when thousands are expected to flock to the website for deals.
Minnesota is one of the first NCAA Division I programs to combine ticket sales with merchandise, according to Holck and Mike Evenson, AudienceView’s director of business development.
“The ticketing industry as a whole has been very archaic from a software perspective,” Evenson said. “Most of the companies we compete against are older technologies that aren’t really capable of doing this.”
Minnesota was one of the first schools to join AudienceView in 2006, which allowed it to use the available tools to be more innovative than other schools, Evenson said.
Fans of other Big Ten teams looking to buy tickets online from schools like Ohio State or Penn State are re-routed to the ticketing giant Ticketmaster for services.
If those same fans then wanted to buy merchandise, they must visit a separate website — and most likely create another online membership — to do so.
Now, the company that also sponsors ticket sales for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer and multiple arts and entertainment industries around the world is using the University of Minnesota as a case study for other Division I schools to follow.
“Minnesota is doing a lot of things that counterparts across the country are starting to look at and aspire to do,” Evenson said.
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