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Thinking Outside The Box Office: Kaizen Is Making Ticketing Personal

Fri 1st Sep 2017 | IT & Technology

The bespoke software makes it easy for clubs to grow their fan base, reduce overheads and increase revenue. Business is booming.

Born in Wembley, played at Wembley, worked for Wembley; David Lynam’s association with the home of football started a twenty-year career in the industry’s ticketing sector. His forward thinking new business, Kaizen, is the embodiment of two decades’ worth of that experience and several clubs are already reaping the rewards.

The Kaizen product makes it easier and more efficient for clubs to sell more tickets, memberships, hospitality, merchandise, sponsorship and travel – the opportunities are only limited by a club’s ambitions.

Kaizen logo (Kaizen logo1.jpg)

One team who were quick to adopt the system were Greater Manchester-based side Curzon Aston FC. Cleverly, they bundled their pre-season games against Oldham, Huddersfield Town and AFC Fylde into one package and sold it online at a reduced rate. Natalie Aston, the club’s CEO, heralded it as: “A move that broadened our reach and made us more accessible.”

Online sales are perfect for a club like Curzon Ashton because the money is with them in under seven days, despite a fixture being several weeks away.

“Kaizen’s functionality allowed the club to bank gate revenues much earlier, which means we can use the money to improve the club in other areas,” said Natalie.

Channelling sales online allows a club to build a better picture of their supporter base. Kaizen can generate reports at a touch of button that segment, for example, existing adult season ticket holders who regularly buy junior match tickets. The conversation with your next generation of fans is at your fingertips.

Tailoring is key – each Kaizen client can customise the software based on how they want to use it. “We listen to what a club needs and we help them achieve that. We build things that will be useful and affordable for them”, says Lynam. His approach is working – just ask Gainsborough Trinity FC who have sold a record number of season tickets this year.

Their Chairman, Richard Kane, explains: “This year we are set to surpass last year’s season ticket numbers quite significantly. Kaizen has played a part in that because they have made the buying experience quicker, easier and more personal for our supporters that want to buy online.”

Lynam’s career has seen him in the thick of the ticketing operations at some of sports biggest events, including: FA Cup finals; European Championships and London 2012. He knows what sells and how to help you sell it. “We’re working from the grassroots up and we’re growing quickly”, he says. It’s a shrewd model, especially as the profile of lower league football grows.

Lynam was on Brentford’s books for a while before plying his trade at Hayes; “I know the pressures that teams are under at that level – one person does ten jobs, so Kaizen is designed to unlock their time to run other parts of the club, like getting sponsorship or signing players.”

However, the Kaizen team do not just install the system and walk away, as Lynam puts it: “That’s just the beginning of the relationship. If a club is successful, we’re successful.” Kaizen offer round-the-clock support and are constantly fine-tuning a club’s package to make sure it is meeting their needs and the ever-changing wants of their supporters.

Kings Lynn Town FC is a prime example. For the first time ever, their supporters can buy match tickets along with merchandise, memberships and soccer schools online, in a single transaction. This is something that so-called ‘bigger’ suppliers struggle with and a move that has helped the club to be smarter with their marketing and benefit from increased spending.

Stephen Cleeve, the club’s Chairman, highlighted Kaizen’s agility as being particularly impressive: “I’ll call the Kaizen team with an idea to, say, sell a match package, run a promotion or sell soccer schools for kids, and it will be set up and selling online in no time.”

Will Wilkinson, Head of Digital & Marketing at Basingstoke Town FC – another Kaizen client – points out that the system is completely modernising the club’s outlook. “Kaizen embodies the upward trajectory that all clubs should be aspiring to. Supporters are buying their season tickets online, which means we can be open for business 24/7 and bank revenue quicker.”

CEOs, marketing teams and the boots-on-the-ground ticketing staff have become used to expensive and inflexible ticketing systems. There is a status quo in the industry because the global ticketing providers have been slow to adapt to emerging trends, ostensibly because they’ve been unchallenged. Kaizen, which translates as “change for better”, is ushering in a new dawn.

Lynam has seen the ticketing industry change hugely since the days he manned a phone in the call centre at the old Wembley stadium. What hasn’t changed is the emotional investment people place in the ticket purchases they make, especially when it concerns their club. He sums it up perfectly: “Kaizen want to make every purchase quick, easy and personal.”

For more information visit: kaizenticketing.com

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