TicketCity, the largest e-commerce company in Austin, TX, built by college sports-loving University of Texas graduates offers numerous lessons for e-commerce entrepreneurs, most importantly: Use passion to drive your business.
TicketCity, which now provides ticketing services to more than 75,000 sports, concerts and theater events like the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby and the Grad Prix, launched more than 20 years ago from the small group of founders’ love of sports, an enthusiasm that continues to drive the core of the business today. But as it evolves, TicketCity is also leveraging technology partnerships with companies like BazaarVoice and Spreadfast to tap a new generation of social-media-savvy users.
A business climate described as “open and collaborative” in a recent press release has had a substantial impact on the company’s organic growth, including 34% year-over-year revenue growth since 2005, the company says. It’s heavily involved in the community with events, sticking to its sports-loving roots by sponsoring several local professional Texan sports teams which also expands its initial focus from initial college-sports.
TicketCity, which has a worldwide customer base, invests significantly in local causes like donating to food banks and the Austin Children’s Museum. More than 90% of its online company’s ticket sales are from outside of central Texas, but it’s charitable efforts remain in its community.
So, in sum, a few lessons ecommerce businesses can gleam from TicketCity’s are: find a focus, stick to your roots, but engage with the community and be willing to change with the times. So, if your focus is sports, scale to sports. Don’t try to expand by moving into other areas of expertise too quickly.