George Hellens Client Marketing Manager Marketing - Sports & Special Events, Ticketmaster UK

Our marketing teams across the globe partner with sports clients of every size and shape helping to drive incremental value and real results everytime. George Hellens, Sports & Special Events Client Marketing Manager at Ticketmaster UK, talks us through his role, how the UK marketing team achieves success and how we're leading the way in marketing innovation.

Tell us about your role:

As Client Marketing Manager for Sports & Special Events here at Ticketmaster United Kingdom, I work across multiple events and clients within sport including MLB London Series, Cricket World Cup 2019, UFC, WWE, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Arsenal FC. In addition to sport I also oversee marketing for a number of our special events clients including Secret Cinema, Feld Entertainment and IMG.

Myself and the wider team specialise in ticket sales marketing, utilising Ticketmaster UK's reach and channels to power marketing activity across all fan touch points. Marketing in the ticketing industry directly correlates to revenue and our approach is first and foremost to ensure we have a shared strategic approach. Our aim is always to work collaboratively with our clients to ensure our activity complements their own marketing efforts. We find this works best and generates the best results for all.

Our cross-genre, multi-vertical approach gives us an excellent overview of the individual needs of each and every client. We're always building on our knowledge and we find this varied experience is incredibly helpful when it comes to determining what will work best in terms of driving our clients' objectives.

How is the wider UK marketing team structured?:

Currently the Ticketmaster UK marketing team is a 30-person strong division operating in a structure similar to a marketing agency. We have teams supporting in content, social media, CRM, affiliate marketing, paid search & design all underpinned by the cross-genre client marketing department that helps to maximise the reach of Ticketmaster marketing channels. We can produce our own content and we regularly deliver in-house campaigns promoted via our own channels but also externally through paid media and OOH advertising.

How does Ticketmaster UK deliver success for clients through marketing?

As a leading brand, we're fortunate to have some of the best marketing talent in the business. Every member of our team is an expert in their field and between us we work across many of the UK's most renowned sports and live entertainment events. We are completely digital which means we are constantly analysing the performance of everything we do, learning what works well (and what doesn't !). Our marketing decisions are grounded by data and insight via our in-house proprietary tools and analytics platforms. Of course, we've got fantastic reach and we're really proud to have developed that over many years. Ticketmaster is a destination, trusted not only by our clients but by fans of sport and live entertainment. One of the common objectives of our sports clients is to reach new audiences and using our extensive reach across the market, we're well-placed to help them achieve this objective. Content has always been a vital pillar of our strategy too and with a dedicated in-house content production team we are able to produce our own content to promote discoverability and increase fan engagement.

What do you see as the key challenges for sports event organisers?

There will always be a lot of pressure on marketing teams within sports organisations to successfully deliver against a set of objectives usually with limited resource and under restricted budgets. Marketers need to be able to provide evidence of ROI at every juncture. As technology advances at an ever-increasing pace, society in general spends more time in front of some sort of screen and therefore an ongoing challenge for us all is to grow the sports fanbase and encourage younger generations to get out and experience live sport.

How is Ticketmaster UK helping to overcome these challenges?

One of the principle ways we help overcome some of the challenges above is by providing clients with extended reach via Ticketmaster.co.uk which in turn puts their event in front of new potential fans. Not only can we offer additional reach but we also know how to communicate with these new audiences, with both family audiences and big eventers being vital to many of our clients. Additionally clients not only benefit from the marketing expertise available at Ticketmaster UK but most of the marketing support we offer is entirely complimentary which adds real value to clients with limited marketing budgets. We're using ever more creative ways to bring content and events to life and we know from experience that this helps to give potential fans even more reason to choose to attend an event.

Any career highlights for you so far?

Working on ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 for the past 18 months has been extremely rewarding. One key objective was to bring cricket to new audiences and through our reach we've been successful in introducing over 160k people to the ticketing site and almost 30% went on to make a purchase. It's also been fascinating working on the MLB London Series and helping a major sports league export a traditional American sport to the UK, and to sell out, has been memorable!

How is TMUK leading the way in marketing innovation?

The marketing landscape is constantly changing and so the demands of fans. Our marketing team operates in a highly commercial environment and we're focused on helping our clients to sell their tickets in the most efficient and effective way, including digital tickets. We're very much insight-driven and we're fortunate to have a marketing insights team at Ticketmaster leveraging data from our live entertainment database of over 30m fans in the UK. This offers us information on fan preferences and ticketing trends to give clubs, venues and teams unrivalled insight into how, where and to whom they can sell tickets - and, afterwards measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns whilst events are still on sale to optimise results and ROI. Relevancy in content is not new, however we ensure that we use technology adn predictive intelligence to serve fans relevnt content based on their browsing and spending habits. This together with our automated communications helps to drive conversion for us.