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Sports Illustrated Launches SI Tix Secondary Market Site

Sports Illustrated partnered with Venmo and PayPal on the project.

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Courtesy: Business Wire

Stadiums are filling up all over the country, and Sports Illustrated is getting into the game. The company announced on Wednesday that they are jumping into the event tickets space with SI Tix.

SI partnered with Venmo and their parent company PayPal to craft their very own ticketing site and app. Buyers can visit sitickets.com or download the app to start browsing over 100,000 concerts, theatre, and sporting events across the world. The website and app are already up and running.

Even better than the offerings are the fee policies. A flat rate of $10 is universal on ticket purchases, so no hidden “handling” fees for a double-take at checkout. They also guarantee a 100% refund for any canceled event.

“With live events poised to make a triumphant return, our goal for SI Tix is to disrupt the ticketing industry in a major way with a platform created specifically for fans,” said Authentic Brands Group (SI parent company) COO Corey Salter. “After an unprecedented year that rocked the sports and entertainment worlds to the core, we are thrilled to be the first media company ever to launch a ticketing platform and are excited to be the first service to offer a $10 flat fee.”

One wrinkle in the $10 fee is that it’s only available to Venmo users; all other purchase platforms will require a processing fee. In the past two years, Venmo has seen significant growth and was vital to many businesses during the pandemic.

“More than 70 million customers use Venmo to pay friends, family, and businesses in their everyday lives,” said SVP and GM of Venmo Darrell Esch. “With the launch of SI Tix, we’re excited to give Venmo customers access to a new marketplace as the first payment provider offered on the ticketing platform. In addition to the ability to check out quickly and seamlessly on the mobile and web app, SI Tix will be one of the first merchants to offer Venmo for checkout on desktop.”

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Barstool Sports Becomes Sponsor, Exclusive Rights Holder For Arizona Bowl

“Portnoy, the Barstool founder, announced the agreement on social media today in one of his Emergency Press Conferences.”

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It is a time of upheaval in the world of college football. Any time an institution in the sports world goes through a major culture shift, Dave Portnoy finds a way to put Barstool Sports in the middle of the action and right now is no exception.

The Arizona Bowl announced a unique partnership with Barstool Sports on Tuesday. The company will become the title sponsor for the Tucson, Arizona bowl game. It will also become the new exclusive rights holder. The game had been partnered with CBS, with the game moving from CBS Sports Network to CBS just last year.

Now, fans that want to watch the Arizona Bowl will need an internet connection. Barstool Sports will have the exclusive media rights. The game will stream on Barstool’s website as well as on the company’s social media channels.

Portnoy, the Barstool founder, announced the agreement on social media today in one of his Emergency Press Conferences. He promised that Barstool would have a hand in everything from distribution to the halftime show, calling the opportunity “our unicorn”.

The Arizona Bowl is in the perfect position to experiment with how it is delivered to fans and what experiences it can provide those in attendance. It is not one of the multiple bowls owned by ESPN. It has never had a longterm media rights deal. On top of that, the matchup between teams from the Mountain West and the MAC could use a little extra juice in order to attract more casual fans.

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Wake Forest Latest School To Require Vaccine For Media

The private institution has already mandated the vaccine for all in-person students.

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Courtesy: Wake Forest

Vaccine mandates are popping up across the country as access to the shot grows, especially in sports. The NFL handed down strict protocols that all but required players to get the shot. Following suit with many private institutions at the college level.

Notre Dame required all media members to be vaccinated if they want access to teams in person, and now Wake Forest has done the same.

“Wake Forest, which requires all students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 upon return in the fall,” Stadium’s Brett McMurphy tweeted on Monday. “Will require every member of media that participates in any in-person media opportunity at Wake to be fully vaccinated.”

It’s an easy decision for a private university like Wake Forest. They are doing all they can to ensure as few problems with COVID-19 this academic year as possible. The school made a widespread announcement about the policy back in late May:

“Wake Forest has published its COVID-19 Vaccine Policy on the Our Way Forward website. The policy applies to all Wake Forest students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional school) who reside in University housing, are enrolled in in-person classes, and/or who participate in any in-person activities on the Reynolda, Brookstown, Wake Downtown, and Charlotte campuses, and/or who participate in any Wake Forest-sponsored study abroad or study-away programs. 

Students must submit documentation providing proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to the Student Health Portal by July 1, 2021. Students may submit a request for a medical or religious exemption; however, such exemptions will not apply to students studying abroad on Wake Forest-sponsored programs.”

Policies will differ at institutions throughout the country as college football coaches (mostly) try to wield their power to entice their players to get vaccinated. Multiple power conferences have announced the forfeiture of games if one outbreak occurs before a matchup. 

College sports and the NFL showed flexibility during an uncertain time last year. It’s no more Mr. Nice Guy now that a vaccine has rolled out and is fully available across the country.

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Agent: Barstool Could Be A Force In Athlete Representation

Sportico notes that when it comes to social reach, Barstool has just under 3 million Twitter followers. Wasserman has the most of any big four sports agency at just over 30 thousand followers.

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Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is known to call “Emergency Press Conference’s” from time to time. That’s exactly what he did on July 1 when the NCAA changed its regulations on college athletes profiting off their name, image and likeness.

During the “press conference,” Portnoy announced the start of Barstool Athletes Inc., a new sports agency that will represent college athletes.

The idea came from Adelaide Halverson, a Jacksonville State volleyball player who direct messaged Portnoy on Instagram asking if Barstool would represent her.

While the idea for Barstool to start this company came somewhat on a whim, Portnoy has a history of turning random ideas into successful, money-making opportunities.

According to Sportico, CSM Sport & Entertainment Insights manager Andy Marston said long-established agencies shouldn’t overlook Barstool entering the sports agency space.

“Many agencies [know they] are underprepared when it comes to having their own audience,” said Marston. “[The Barstool announcement was a reminder that] if they don’t build up [or acquire] an audience of their own, they may start losing top talent to media-led companies that can offer greater attention and greater [financial] rewards.”

Sportico notes that when it comes to social reach, Barstool has just under 3 million Twitter followers. Wasserman has the most of any big four sports agency at just over 30 thousand followers.

Right now, most agencies use third-party data and targeting, but with large companies beginning to block much of the data-tracking that allowed Google and Facebook advertising to be so targeted, Marston predicts that sports agencies will look “to acquire media companies” and the audience that comes with them moving forward.

As reported by Sportico, Chris Ebmeyer, VP, Director of Media Services at 160over90, believes that while we “might see agencies acquiring media [platforms] and acquiring audiences,” it’s more likely we’ll see media companies introducing agencies, similar to Barstool Athletes Inc.

“It provides them with a way to cater to advertisers in a greater fashion,” said Ebermeyer.

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