Baseball fans are quick to adopt Apple’s Passbook, digital ticket sales on the rise

Dan Graziano
October 11, 2012
Baseball fans are quick to adopt Apple’s Passbook, digital ticket sales on the rise

Major League Baseball is a big fan of Apple (AAPL) when it comes to the company’s Passbook application in iOS 6. In the final two weeks of the regular season, four teams tested Passbook and found that fans were quick to utilize the service. Out of all e-ticket buyers, 1,500, or 12%, chose to receive their tickets through Passbook when given the opportunity, Market Watch reported. “That adoption rate really floored us – there is no question our fans want digital tickets,” CEO of MLB Advance Media Bob Bowman said. “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.”

Major League Baseball wants to stop selling traditional tickets and instead focus on digital delivery. Interestingly enough, sales of traditional tickets this past season accounted for less than a third of single-game seats, a massive decline from 55% in 2011.

As fans continue to embrace digital tickets and with the release of Apple’s Passbook app, league executives are optimistic that the sale of traditional tickets will fall to less than 10% by next season. Not only are digital tickets more convenient, but they also supply teams with large amounts of valuable data that can be used for targeted marketing campaigns.

“From a team perspective, the biggest advantage is knowing who is at the ballpark, how many times they come, and where they sit. 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 said. “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.”

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