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SeatGeek’s Plan to Get Gen Z to the Game

As Gen Z becomes more important to the future of sports fandom, SeatGeek is furthering its reach into the demographic.

With spring upon us and attendance restrictions mostly lifted at outdoor gatherings, the return of baseball games, concerts, and other live events will be one of the defining cultural themes of mid-2022.

With that return, event organizers around the world are figuring out ways to lure fans back and bring in some new ones. Namely, Generation Z.

As Gen Z grows in relevance and disposable income, it has become a highly valuable demographic to reach. However, it’s also one that does not seem inclined to regularly watch sports. 

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In an effort to bridge this gap, SeatGeek is partnering with brands and personalities that resonate with Gen Z consumers. A September Morning Consult report found that just 53% of Gen Z-ers consider themselves sports fans, compared to 63% of all adults and 69% of millennials. They’re half as likely as millennials to regularly watch sports and twice as likely to never watch at all, with esports more popular than MLB, NASCAR, and the NHL. 

As the sports fans of the future, locking in Gen Z now is vital to the industry’s future success and vitality. SeatGeek recognized this issue early on and is helping lead the way in making the 10-25 age group feel closer to the action. It already has partnerships with former NFL player, popular podcaster and WWE commentator Pat McAfee, as well as YouTube and social media influencer Emma Chamberlain. This week, SeatGeek announced an extension of its original deal with sports and pop culture multimedia company Jomboy Media

“Jomboy Media didn’t try to be like the sports media brands before them, they came as fans-first,” said Ian Borthwick, SeatGeek’s vice president of influencer marketing. “From the first moment we worked with Jomboy, there was an incredible fan response and we knew we were tapping into something very authentic. And for us, that’s what it’s all about— reaching fans where they are, through the voice of their favorite personalities.“

Per SeatGeek’s October investor presentation, the company has been successful with Gen Z through differentiated marketing by leveraging YouTube, an influencer network of 2,400 people, more than two billion audio and video views, and an Instagram account with 900,000 followers.

Internal SeatGeek research from that investor presentation found that:

  • 36% of its ticketing customers are Gen Z, compared to
  • 19% for Vivid Seats
  • 18% for TicketMaster
  • 15% for StubHub

SeatGeek announced a record $82.5 million in revenue for Q4 of 2021, 17 times the number from the year before, as its SPAC merger with RedBall Acquisition Corp. to bring the company public is expected to close in Q2 of 2022. Proceeds from the transaction will be used to expand SeatGeek’s enterprise partnerships in additional markets and scale marketing, while also investing in continued technology development, strategic mergers and acquisition, and international expansion.

“The way we reach consumers today is different to how we did it 10, even five years ago,” Borthwick said. “Partnering with creators like Jomboy is a significant part of our larger marketing strategy and a natural fit for SeatGeek as a live entertainment company. We’re authentically reaching and scaling new audiences and future generations to continue growing with a community that craves the excitement of live events.”

SeatGeek now finds itself in a strong position to maintain and grow its share of the Gen Z market, reaching them where they are through social media, influencers, and key partnerships. In the battle to keep the younger generation watching sports and attending events, SeatGeek is one of the major companies leading the charge as the industry looks to rebound from COVID-19.

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