Yesterday it was announced that eBay has agreed to sell online ticketing platform StubHub to European rival, Viagogo, for about $4 billion in an all-cash deal. Once finalized, the sale will reunite Viagogo CEO Eric Baker with his former company, bringing together two of the world’s largest online platforms in the booming live event industry.
This time of year, we’re usually talking about StubHub for a different reason; over the last four years the company’s “Year in Live Experiences” report has showcased an explosion in the live event category and it is one of my favorite industry reports.
This year we’ve seen some remarkable entertainment, from top acts like Ariana Grande and the everlasting Billy Joel, to major sports moments like the Washington Nationals winning their first World Series, Novak Djokovic winning the Australian Open, and Tiger Woods claiming his 15th Major victory with his Masters win. I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention the annual PDC World Darts competition, but if I keep going we’ll be here all day!
With the 2019 report expected to debut before the new year, let’s take a look back at some key trends in live events from StubHub’s 2018 Year in Live Experiences report. You know we love to generate interactive dashboards here at KORE, so we’ve put together the Tableau Public dashboard below for even more data insights. Here are a couple of our top highlights:
- International Draw for Live Events
Almost 200,000 people crossed international borders last year to attend over 30,000 events, with the U.S., U.K., and Japan leading the way of world travelers. With so many travel opportunities available these days it’s important to schedule accordingly and get on board with your airline partners - a little more about that here.
- UEFA & the NBA Dominate 2018 Best-Selling Sporting Events List
Of StubHub’s top best-selling sporting events in 2018, it should be no surprise that the UEFA Champions League and the NBA hosted more of these top events than any other organization. The international appeal of the Champions League is fairly straightforward, but with a Canadian team winning the NBA Championship the sport saw a bump in international growth.
- Name Recognition is King
The power of the star performer is incredible in the marketing of sports & entertainment, with artists, athletes, and venues all benefiting from the fandom. When LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers, the team saw a 16% growth in ticket sales almost immediately. Domestic and international fans alike packed venues for Ed Sheeran and Drake & Migos last year as well, putting them atop the international leaderboard in concert sales.
Jump into the data below and you may find some of your own interesting takeaways! Having trouble previewing the dashboard? Click here.
With StubHub gaining more direct access to international markets, I would expect to see live event growth both in number and scale. Multiple facets of the sports and entertainment industry from event planning and marketing, to streaming and other intermediaries are adopting strategies to drive the live event experience. Live events are growing more elaborate and more intimate with people around the world, and the true winners here will be the fans creating their experiences.
Stubhub 2018 Year in Live Experiences
Jordan Rutner // Sr. Insights Analyst, KORE Software