E-ticketing: A necessary tool to improve Ghana’s sports economy... But challenges must be resolved
In March last year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports introduced the e-ticketing digital platform intending to make it easier and more convenient for football fans to purchase match tickets online and have quick access to match venues around the country.
It was tested at the Baba Yara Stadium during the Ghana versus Nigeria World Cup play-off and it went smoothly, yielding GH¢1,423,400 in sales, the highest in the annals of the country’s sporting history, according to officials.
The success of the usage confirmed the new platform as one that brought efficiency, helped to reduce corruption and increased revenue.
Subsequently, the Premier League Board (PLB) and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) also adopted the platform and sold match tickets via digital portals. Fans can purchase tickets using the e-ticketing app on their mobile phones and laptops.
What is e-ticketing?
An e-ticket (electronic ticket) is a paperless electronic document used for ticketing purposes, such as sports attendance or concert admission. E-tickets are stored in a database and can be printed out at home or the ticket counter of the venue.
E-ticketing is user-friendly, data-driven and very interactive with the buyer. It is also personalised to ensure privacy and is always available anytime anywhere.
Europe and America
In the more advanced countries where sports are big business tickets are sold via e-ticketing for the entire season.
One can purchase tickets for the entire season through the e-ticket platform. It is more convenient and reliable and also stress-free. Since it is an online platform, ticket identities and particulars can always be traced.
Ticketgum.com and Ticketmaster
In the United Kingdom (UK) ticketgum.com is the most widely used ticket online platform to purchase tickets to watch the English Premier League, rugby, tennis, cricket, etc… while spectators in the US mostly use the Ticketmaster app to purchase tickets for sports and entertainment events.
This is evidence that there is a lot to benefit from strengthening its use and, therefore, sports merchandisers and marketers in Ghana can take advantage of the advent of e-ticketing to create digital platforms where fans can purchase tickets and derive the necessary benefits from it.
Such platforms can be created with permission from the GRA, the Gaming Commission, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and other stakeholders in sports.
This is a huge digital space where ticket sales to the premier league matches can accrue huge financial benefits for pioneers who create the digital platform for such sales.
Glitches and Challenges
After the Black Stars versus the Super Eagles encounter that witnessed the wide usage of e-ticketing, the Ghana Premier League fully embraced it but challenges emerged.
The most telling one was when the President of the Ghana Football Association, (GFA), Simeon Kurt Okraku, blamed e-ticketing for the lack of fans at the stadia during league matches.
He asserted that lack of education and information about e-ticketing before its introduction in the country made fans jittery and apprehensive; hence, their reluctance to go to the app and purchase tickets to the major stadia in the country.
The FA must collaborate with the Sports Ministry and the Gaming Commission to sensitise Ghanaians to e-ticketing and its well-intended advantages.
Despite the over 53 per cent internet penetration in the country, the emergence of online fraudsters and scammers and the numerous glitches faced when conducting online business have made many a Ghanaian apathetic towards engaging in any online activity.
The big onus lies on the Sports Ministry and the FA to disabuse the minds of Ghanaians and educate them about the huge benefits of e-ticketing and how stress-free it is, compared to the purchasing of tickets at the gate.
We cannot fail in promoting e-ticketing in our sporting industry. It comes with many positives for the sports economy and cuts down on bureaucracy and time wasting. It will greatly help and save our sports economy. A stitch in time saves nine.