Major League Baseball: 12% of e-ticket buyers choose Apple Passbook delivery
Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) fledgling digital ticketing and offers system, Passbook, is already a home run with Major League Baseball fans: During a four-team trial conducted during the final two weeks of the MLB regular season, 12 percent of e-ticket buyers (roughly 1,500 consumers in total) opted for Passbook delivery.
"That adoption rate really floored us--there is no question our fans want digital tickets," MLB Advance Media CEO Bob Bowman told MarketWatch. "Fans can use the tickets, forward them to a friend, resell them, or even donate them to charity--and they never get lost or left at home."
Traditional printed tickets accounted for less than one third of single-game seats sold by Major League Baseball in 2012, down from 55 percent a year ago, Bowman said. That number should drop to less than 10 percent by next season as fans opt for digital delivery options like Passbook, text and email.
It's not only fans that benefit from digital ticketing: "From a team perspective, the biggest advantage is knowing who is at the ballpark, how many times they come, and where they sit," Bowman said. Although Apple does not share Passbook user data, MLB can still leverage fan information collected from its official iPhone app to create and enhance marketing campaigns and loyalty programs.
"If you know someone goes to the Brewers game every time the Cardinals are in town, they may be as much a Cardinals fan as a Brewers fan--and you want to send them different types of communications," Bowman explained. "Or, if you have a fan who always sits in the third tier, but goes to 20 home games, you can upgrade his ticket on the 21st game to right behind home plate."
Apple launched Passbook last month in conjunction with its new iOS 6. In addition to digital tickets for events and movies, Passbook supports in-store coupons, customer loyalty cards and transit passes. Along with Major League Baseball, brands including Starbucks, American Airlines, United Airlines, American Express, Fandango, Walgreens, Ticketmaster and Live Nation have all committed to Passbook support.
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