Word of the new strategic partnership comes with AEG on the sales block (Daily Variety, Sept. 20). The privately held Denver-based company, owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, has been valued as high as $10 billion by some observers.
In the first quarter of 2012, StubHub will become the exclusive secondary ticketing partner for AEG’s venues and its proprietary service AXS Ticketing. Deal will encompass secondary partnerships with such AEG properties as L.A.’s Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings hockey franchise and the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team.
AEG said the agreement “will look to integrate with a number of major venues across Europe as StubHub continues to expand internationally.” Last month, AXS broadened its operations into the U.K. with sales of tickets for next year’s Girls Aloud reunion at AEG’s O2 Arena in London (Daily Variety, Oct. 23).
AEG stands to see great benefits from an alliance with StubHub: A secondary sale on the service can draw as much as 25% above the face price of a ticket, with each purchase commanding a 10% buyer’s fee. Competitor Live Nation’s Ticketmaster owns its own secondary ticketing agency, TicketsNow, and has run up against StubHub in various legislative skirmishes over the past few years.
Founded in 2011, AXS controls ticketing in AEG’s plethora of high-profile venues, including downtown L.A.’s Staples Center, Nokia Theater and Club Nokia. The L.A. City Council recently approved plans for an AEG-backed stadium in the L.A. Live complex. AEG’s other facilities including Best Buy Theater in New York, Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., Compass Stadium in Houston and the Warfield in San Francisco.
As a newly minted “founding partner” of Staples Center, StubHub will command custom signage, event branding and other perks at the downtown venue.
In addition, PayPal will become one of AXS’ payment options, while AEG’s merchandise unit BandMerch, which reps 135 artists, will move onto the eBay online platform.
AEG prexy-CEO Tim Leiweke said in a statement: “EBay is one of the most complete and well-rounded ecommerce and technology companies in the world and pairing our combined capabilities and global reach is an exciting opportunity. This partnership will help bring even deeper digital resources and online marketing reach to the AXS Ticketing platform and will allow us to continue to transform the live event fan experience.”