Ticket Search Expert SeatGeek Gets Front Row Seats on Yahoo

SeatGeek, a two-year-old start-up that aspires to be the Kayak of sports and concert tickets, has signed a multiyear partnership with Yahoo Sports to drive traffic to its site.

Visitors to Yahoo Sports and its Rivals.com fan properties will see links to SeatGeek embedded in a team’s schedule page; links will also appear within articles, blogs and on the 130 team-specific college sports pages at Rivals.com. Yahoo has more than 51 million unique visitors a month.

The links simply say “buy tickets”; clicking through brings up a stadium seating diagram, with a list of available seats and prices on the right side of the page.

SeatGeek says it is aggregating roughly 19 million tickets for upward of 60,000 sports events from more than 50 secondary markets, including StubHub, Ticketmaster’s TicketsNow, RazorGator and others.

Russell D’Souza, co-founder of SeatGeek, said the service is free to consumers, and that the company collects an affiliate fee from the seller, which will now be split partially with Yahoo in some cases. Since the average purchase ranges between $250 to $300, SeatGeek’s cut can be between $25 to $30 per transaction, D’Souza said. SeatGeek also has partnerships with The Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News.

D’Souza said before he and Jack Groetzinger started the company, they used to open six windows in their browsers to compare ticket prices on dozens of sites where tickets were posted for sale by smaller brokers. He said there were often hidden fees, service fees and shipping fees, which made it even more complicated.

“It would be really hard to compare, so we wanted to create an interface for any event that would expose to users where the best seats were in the stadium and how much they’ll be paying,” D’Souza said.

Generally speaking, D’Souza said, the secondary ticket market is great for finding deals on tickets for events that are sold out, but a little-known fact is that it’s also good for events that still have tickets available.

“If an event is sold out, you have to go there — there’s only one option. But if it’s not sold out, you’ll end up finding tickets from season-ticket holders and brokers who will list it below face value,” he said.

By making it easier to sort through the various marketplaces, SeatGeek hopes to make consumers more aware of the alternatives. From its site, the company also offers venue maps and price forecasts to advise users when to buy tickets.

SeatGeek has raised about $2.5 million in venture capital from Founder Collective, NYC Seed and others. Founder Collective, an early-stage investor in New York, previously invested in Get Me In, a European secondary-market ticket vendor that was acquired by Ticketmaster in 2008.


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— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus