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Cowboys invest in SeatGeek through new partnership

NFL American football franchise the Dallas Cowboys have taken a stake in SeatGeek through a new partnership with the mobile-focused ticket platform.

Under the deal, terms of which were not disclosed, SeatGeek becomes the primary ticketing platform for the team, AT&T Stadium and the Ford Center practice facility. The Cowboys are the second NFL team to announce a primary ticketing partnership with SeatGeek, joining the New Orleans Saints.

As part of the NFL’s new open ticketing ecosystem the Cowboys will be able to use SeatGeek’s technology to integrate with other official league ticketing partners. Other events at AT&T Stadium and Ford Center will be able to use SeatGeek Enterprise’s open distribution to sell tickets directly to fans in places across the internet where they are already spending time. SeatGeek recently partnered with Facebook to allow SeatGeek Enterprise clients to sell their tickets directly through the social network.

Details of the minority stake were not disclosed, but the additional element of the deal has been reported by multiple outlets. “After falling in love with SeatGeek's tech-first and open approach to ticketing they were interested in making a small investment in the company, and we agreed as we see it as a chance to work closely with a leader in the industry,” SeatGeek co-founder Russ D’Souza told the USA Today newspaper.

Commenting on the deal, Chad Estis, executive vice-president of business operations for the Cowboys, added: “I think it’s meaningful because it creates competition in the marketplace. This gives options for teams. Certainly, I think the Dallas Cowboys serves as a big platform to redefine who the dominant players are in the space.” 

The announcement yesterday (Tuesday) came after SeatGeek last month became the latest company to key into the new ticketing strategy employed by the NFL under a multi-year deal that grants the startup a presence in the market alongside industry heavyweights Ticketmaster and StubHub.

SeatGeek’s NFL deal will allow it to integrate into the league’s open ticketing system starting in the 2018-19 season. The announcement comes as a major shift is occurring in the ticketing industry, with technology making it easier than ever before for verified tickets to be sold across the internet. 

While historically teams were limited to selling tickets exclusively through their primary ticketing partner, in the new open NFL ecosystem franchises will be able to sell directly through league-approved platforms. 

In October, the NFL extended its long-running partnership with Ticketmaster, with the new deal resulting in the formation of the first open-architecture, fully digital ticketing system in professional sport. Teams are allowed to opt out of the centralised Ticketmaster deal, but the Cowboys and Saints are the only franchises to do so at this stage for the 2018 season.

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