Each year, the University of Kentucky’s football program hosts pivotal matchups at Kroger Field against nonconference opponents and rival Southeastern Conference foes. Kentucky fans, affectionately known as Big Blue Nation, are vital to generating a home-field advantage for the team. To maximize this advantage, Kentucky needs an efficient way to sell tickets to ensure the stadium is filled with fans. The University of Kentucky approached Ticketmaster, its official ticketing marketplace, to not only boost ticket sales but also grow its fan database for years to come.

Developing an Effective Partnership

In preparation for the 2022 football season, Ticketmaster and the University of Kentucky developed a multi-touchpoint strategy to achieve the desired sales goals. The first step was collaborating with Ticketmaster’s Marketing Solutions team to create a plan and timeline for understanding potential fans, creating compelling advertising and selling tickets. Ticketmaster’s Marketing Solutions team aims to help clients deliver personalized content to fans on the sites they love. Ticketmaster’s ability to provide valuable insights helps clients to understand, target and convert fans through digital channels. Leading up to the season, the two teams worked closely together, regularly communicating to ensure a successful campaign.

The strategic planning began by understanding the fans in the Meta and Ticketmaster databases most likely to purchase season tickets or mini-plans, or renew existing ticket plans. This strategy would utilize Ticketmaster’s fan database to help communicate to Kentucky football fans in the greater Lexington, Kentucky area the offers available for the upcoming season.

The goal was to reach as many fans within 50 miles of Lexington as possible. This was done by leveraging Artist/Event page retargeting, Lookalike and Cart Abandoner audiences to find potential new fans interested in purchasing season tickets or mini-plans.

Ticketmaster’s team was confident that with the available insights, Kentucky could not only achieve its goal but surpass it easily.

The University of Kentucky has always been willing to experiment with new budgets, audiences and creatives within their campaigns to find success. When we started planning the 2022 football season campaign, I was confident that with the right roadmap and collaboration, we could achieve remarkable results and maximize their investment.

Whitney Edwards

Manager – Client Marketing, Ticketmaster North America

Strategic Planning Leads to Record Number Of Leads

Ticketmaster’s targeted advertising capabilities propelled the campaign alongside the creative advertisement designed by the University’s creative department. Utilizing Ticketmaster’s paid advertising services, the University reached new fans at the point of discovery — social media. The campaign exceeded expectations, and within one month into their initial football ticket sales, the University experienced a surge in demand, producing a record number of leads.

The list of leads generated was robust. These allowed us to reach fans who exhibited interest and were more successful than targeting single-game buyers.

Ben Boaz

Vice President & General Manager – Ticket Sales & Service, University of Kentucky Athletics & Taymar Sales U.

As the campaign progressed, the school experienced a 5% conversion rate of leads and a significant decrease in the cost per lead compared to the previous year.

Maximizing Market Success Delivers 3x Return on Advertising Budget

Kentucky saw tremendous success in partnering with Ticketmaster’s Marketing Solutions team, which led to an increase in its budget allocation during the campaign. The additional funding enabled the campaign to be prolonged, resulting in a 3x return on advertising spending throughout its duration.

Going into this football season, we wanted to be able to offer great options for our fanbase that was excited as ever about our team and home schedule. We sought to build on our track record of success in past campaigns by utilizing Ticketmaster’s unmatched market knowledge and top-class strategic insights when it comes to smart targeting and creative pathways. Given the results, we are glad we teamed up with Ticketmaster once again.

Jake Most

Director of Strategic Communication, University of Kentucky Athletics Brand and Content

The University of Kentucky’s partnership with Ticketmaster proved to be a resounding success, producing record numbers of high-quality leads and surpassing sales goals for the 2022 football season. As the University prepares to expand this strategy into other athletic programs and future football seasons, it will continue to rely on Ticketmaster’s valuable insights and strategic marketing capabilities to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

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