Why mobile ticketing will take sports to the next level

Image credit: Vector-3D | shutterstock.com

When you see a press release from Juniper Research with the headline that mobile ticketing users will reach almost 2 billion by 2023, you would be forgiven for shrugging and passing on. It may be a statistic but supported by other stats (sports fans will spend $23 billion on ticketing by 2023) it draws you back.

Sports is obviously enormous. The way we interact with sports is enormous and changing fundamentally (think AR meets Super Bowl) and instead of just stats about apps and mobile usage from the press release you see a proper ecosystem emerge.

As Kent Steffen, head of OTT at CSG says, ‘today’s fans want to watch the game on their mobile devices, with apps, across social media, with virtual reality devices and more’.

It turns out that fans want to buy tickets via their mobiles too. In fact, what better way to lock in your fan base than by making it easy and compelling to buy tickets with an extra click – and to take advantage of a team offer while you are at it?

‘They say’ that people do things because they want to, not because they need to (exceptions apply) and what better way of encouraging people to use a mobile ecosystem than with an application they want to use – a lot.

It may be a journey and we are certainly not at that 5G, AI driven, AR, ‘actually there’ experiences but we are on the way. CSG’s Steffen says that ‘while our survey found that the majority of today’s consumers aren’t yet ready for this stadium-like experience from their couch, this could be changing with nearly half (44%) of Gen Z and millennials noting they are interested in exploring what VR/AR have to offer as a way to get the court-side experience at home’. So it definitely looks like the future and one that telecoms operators can take advantage of with in-app billing.

Slightly buried in the press release was something quite important.

The future of not only smart cities but of urban mobility itself. The release says this: ‘Mobile as a Service, (MaaS) is set to become the central pillar of smart city transport initiatives, which will lead to 60% of all mobile ticketing users using metro and rail ticketing by 2023.

It is entirely possible that this figure will be much more.


Because the people who will be used to buying tickets with their mobiles for things they want to do will be more than used to buying tickets for things they have to do.

What is also interesting is that good old billing (perhaps not quite as we know it) is at the heart of revolution. Mind you, we always said it would be.

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