Storied Clemson Athletics dates to 1896 when the school fielded just two of the six ticketed sports it hosts today, football and baseball. The program also boasts having started America’s first scholarship fundraising organization in 1934, where donors gave $10 a year to help support the school’s athletic department. It became known as “I Pay Ten A Year,” or IPTAY, which it is still called today.

While rich in history, Clemson was in need of better technology and reliability and switched to Ticketmaster in 2022 to make the ticket management and donation process seamless for their fans and donors.

The Search for Better Technology and Reliability

Before moving to Ticketmaster, Clemson had struggled with adapting their technology to new processes and standards, particularly leveraging mobile devices. To resolve issues on game day, they still had to print hard tickets in the box office without an option to provide them digitally via email or text.

Clemson Development required their new ticketing provider to work closely with them to retain donors within the Ticketmaster system. They aimed to establish a collaborative relationship that evolves over time to match the needs of IPTAY donors from one season to another.

The school was excited to work with Ticketmaster to deliver a more consistent and dependable customer experience on game day, beginning with Clemson’s participation in the ACC Championship and College Football Playoff games. After these games, fans and donors quickly experienced the benefits of Ticketmaster and the ease of mobile ticketing, resulting in efficient ticket management and smooth entry.

The Move Made Easier With Experts

The decision process in reviewing ticketing partners had two key stakeholders — ticketing and development (the IPTAY Foundation).

“Change is difficult, but Ticketmaster’s advantages made it where we couldn’t say no. The ticketing technology was a no-brainer, but we also needed to have a single system that maintained development.”

Ryan King, Assistant AD of Ticket Operations & Sales, Clemson Athletics

Ticketmaster provided a highly orchestrated and proven onboarding process that included weekly calls and in-person onsite training for both the ticketing and development teams. Ticketmaster’s experts guided the Clemson team and assisted with cross-platform knowledge, maintaining much-needed data that spanned over two decades.

The University of Tennessee and the University of South Carolina were great sounding boards during the switch, with Tennessee onboarding simultaneously and South Carolina being a long-time Ticketmaster partner.

Nearby Ticketmaster partners, Atlanta Braves, Bon Secours Arena and Carolina Panthers, also gave insights on maximizing the tools available.

Success and Opportunities Ahead

“Leaning on Ticketmaster’s support was key for our first year. Getting through all six ticketed sports without any issues was our biggest success.”

Ryan King, Assistant AD of Ticket Operations & Sales, Clemson Athletics

The move has provided Clemson with tools that improve the fan experience and how they approach the event lifecycle. For fans and donors, having single sign-on (SSO) to access their tickets is convenient and creates a seamless experience on game day. Ticket holders have provided feedback that transfer is much easier. Education for fans was also vital as Clemson prioritized fan messaging about the change and capabilities.

Clemson has not only improved the fan experience by adopting digital tickets but has also reaped other benefits of being a Ticketmaster client. Listing events on Ticketmaster.com has elevated awareness by being included in a global live event marketplace. Powerful tools such as dynamic pricing are exciting capabilities that Clemson looks to utilize in the coming year — and they will be the first college to leverage Ticketmaster’s VIP offerings and add-ons.

“Single sign-on, co-mingled inventory, dynamic pricing and Nexus partners like VetTix are all tools we’ve never had before. With the technology of Ticketmaster, we’re now taking advantage of these opportunities to better our processes and the experience of the fans.”

Ryan King, Assistant AD of Ticket Operations & Sales, Clemson Athletics

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