Friday, June 17, 2011


Local events ticketing is getting more competitive as another US operation drums up resale business.
FOR a nation that is well known for staging major events, Australian companies struggle to get a slice of the action when it comes to selling the actual tickets.
US-owned Ticketmaster is the dominant player, although Nine-owned Ticketek gets a slice of the action.
It now looks up to another US company, eBay, to try to shake up the local scene and crack Ticketmaster's near-monopoly.
Back in 2007, eBay forked out $US310 million for American ticket onseller StubHub, a company that boasted Allen & Co, Frank Biondi, and Steve Young, the former champion quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, as investors.
Formed in 2000, StubHub had developed a secure way to connect buyers and sellers of tickets over the internet. Using its system, sellers send tickets via overnight delivery to buyers, with StubHub acting as middleman to ensure the privacy of buyers.
In effect, StubHub was competing with eBay in what big corporations like to call the ''secondary ticket market''. Others, such as sports fans and members of the Victoria Police, prefer to call it ''scalping''.
Finer distinctions aside, it's a $US10 billion ($A9.4 billion) global market, of which $US3 billion of transactions are conducted online.
Now it's Australia's turn to join StubHub, the biggest global market of online ticket ''reselling''. In March this year, StubHub's website was enabled for cross-border trading.
That opened the market up to more than 55 countries, including Australia.
Indeed, Australians are already the biggest users of StubHub outside the US.
Reselling of tickets on eBay - StubHub's parent company - has been controversial in Australia, especially for marquee sporting events.
In a warning to the AFL, it should be noted that almost 90 per cent of the tickets bought by Australians on StubHub are to sporting events.
In the year to April, eBay resold an astonishing 160,000 tickets to Australian events. With StubHub alongside eBay - and ''paperless'' ticketing options planned to stop street scalping - Ticketmaster might just have a real competitor.
Goosen to the WigglesTHE notion of six degrees of separation - the idea that all people on earth are separated by six steps - is an old one, but who would have thought you could get from golfer Retief Goosen (pictured) to The Wiggles in just two.
The link is America's Internal Revenue Service, and a US Tax Court challenge made by the star golfer that will affect just about every professional athlete and performer who works in the US.
Goosen's lawyers challenged the IRS's analysis of his endorsement income, primarily from his main sponsors adidas, Electronic Arts and Rolex.
The case provides guidelines for how endorsement income should be taxed, in particular some distinction on earnings made because of an image and on performance. It's unclear just what sort of bill Goosen might get from the IRS.
The end result, however, will affect not only sport's international stars but also performers, such as Australia's merchandising and sponsorship juggernaut the Wiggles.
Frequent Pacific flyersCOLLINS & Spencer notes that Voyager Travel, which provides travel services to corporations, has been named ''Travel Management Services Supplier of the Year'' for Australasia for the second year running.
The gong is given by industry professionals, who assess ''quantitative and qualitative factors'' when handing out the prizes. If ''quantity'' gets a look in, then Voyager's win is hardly surprising - a key client is Pacific Brands. One assumes just the odd journey to China has been booked over the past two years for PacBrands management. Other Voyager clients include John Holland Group.

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