Ticket site to be secondary sales outlet for musical

Ticket resale website StubHub has paired with hit musical “Jersey Boys” to establish StubHub as the show-approved secondary sales outlet for North American productions of the tuner.

StubHub will promote “Jersey” with a marketing push that includes pumped-up visibility on its site, which is also a forum for the resale of tickets to sporting events and concerts. Marketing for the often sold-out musical, meanwhile, will tout StubHub as the endorsed outlet for ticketbuyers who can’t score the tickets they want through the box office.

Deal seems likely to raise eyebrows among those in the legit industry who equate StubHub with scalping.

StubHub itself does not sell tickets, but operates as a user-to-user marketplace a la EBay, which owns the ducat site. Revenue comes from service charges on transactions.

According to StubHub, most resellers on the site are not brokers, although the company did not provide statistics.

Although “Jersey” receives a sponsorship fee from StubHub, producer Michael David said a major component of the partnership’s appeal lay in StubHub’s solidly male demo.

“We’re always looking for ways to reach a reluctant segment of the Broadway audience: men,” he said.

With “Jersey” tickets continually in high demand and the Broadway production consistently selling out, David added that consumers who turn to the secondary market will benefit from StubHub’s fraud-prevention guarantees.

For StubHub, the move reps its first official teaming with the legit industry, which, he noted, remains robust in a turbulent economy.

“It’s the final sector of the entertainment industry that we didn’t have an active partnership with,” said Chuck La Vallee, StubHub’s head of music and entertainment business development.

Legit tickets already are available through StubHub, and the company maintains a storefront near Times Square. But the partnership with “Jersey” is the first official sponsorship of a legit event in the same way StubHub has sponsored, for instance, Major League Baseball games and Madonna concerts.

In addition to the Broadway production, deal applies to “Jersey Boys” productions in Chicago, Las Vegas and Toronto as well as to the national tour.

The legit industry has long viewed the secondary ticket market with ambivalence, with many producers griping that skyrocketing resale pricetags for hit shows benefit brokers and scalpers rather than the people who created and produced the show. The advent of premium tickets in 2001 was spurred by producers’ desire to lay claim to some of that coin.

For legit productions, first-party ticket outlets, including Telecharge and the box office, attempt to curb the activity of brokers by limiting the number of tickets that can be purchased per transaction, as well as the number of purchases that can be made per month by a single person.

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