On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams speak with Jack Groetzinger, co-founder and CEO of SeatGeek. Founded in 2009 as a mobile-first ticketing start-up, SeatGeek is in the process of going public in a $1.35 billion SPAC deal with RedBall Acquisition Corp.
Groetzinger discusses how the industry has changed since SeatGeek’s launch, including the blending of primary and secondary sales, the adoption of mobile ticketing and the amount of data now available to teams and platforms. He also provides some optimism about the next 18 months for the industry. Despite lagging attendance at major sports venues, Groetzinger says he expects the industry to see large growth next year.
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“Mark my words, 2022 is going to be a bonanza for both sports and music,” he says. “The cover is coming off the ball.”
SeatGeek’s investors include actor Ashton Kutcher, rapper Nas, retired NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, NBA player Carmelo Anthony, and a handful of pro sports owners. Groetzinger discusses the advantages of having relationships with those backers, and the delicate balance of when to lean on them for advice, connections and support.
Lastly, Groetzinger talks about SeatGeek’s negotiations with RedBall, a SPAC led by RedBird Capital’s Gerry Cardinale and longtime baseball executive Billy Beane. The $1.35 billion deal is expected to close in early 2022.