How RB Leipzig implemented mobile-only ticketing, about the results and learnings and how they will further develop the solution.
The Initial Situation
Due to the regulations for limiting the Covid 19 pandemic, the German Bundesliga club RB Leipzig was burdened with significant additional work in the area of ticketing. Every single ticket had to be personalized, which was a difficult situation especially in the B2B area, because it was often only determined at short notice which people would use the available tickets, as well as with the guest fans.
Together with ticketing provider Secutix, RB Leipzig brought its own mobile-only solution in the form of a ticketing app to the app stores at short notice, within just about five weeks. At the beginning, this app was largely based on a white-label solution from the provider. In the meantime, the app has been heavily customized. RB Leipzig also continues to develop the app itself and also passes on some of these developments to Secutix, which develops them further as products and integrates them into its offering for other clubs.
The tickets in the app are blockchain-based, i.e. they are stored once on the blockchain and linked to an e-mail address. The respective ticket is only activated once it has been personalized and the barcode on the ticket is activated 24 hours before the match. From this point on, the mobile ticket is also offline-capable. Now the personalization of the ticket is only necessary for using the public transport.
A purely digital solution is also in use for the visiting fans, a copy of the RB Leipzig app without its design and specially tailored to the requirements of the visiting fans.
The rollout had been planned for some time, but in test form, i.e. for smaller parts of the stadium and not immediately for the entire ticketing.
After initial scepticism, the mobile-only solution found increasing acceptance among fans and partners over the course of the first season.
RB Leipzig then decided to keep this ticketing solution even after the end of the pandemic-related restrictions. The app is in use in all areas, so RB Leipzig has a mobile ticketing rate of over 99.5%. Only around 100 tickets per match continue to be issued as “print-at-home” for people from the inclusion area or older people not using a smartphone.
In the customer surveys after each match, satisfaction with the app has improved significantly from an initial 3.3 on a scale of 1 (very good) to 6 (insufficient) and is now in the very good range.
The tangible benefits:
- No losses due to postage
- Hardly any to no clearing cases due to non-functioning tickets
- Significant labour savings related to away ticket contingents – no shipping, returns, cancellations, etc.
- Access process is improved – hardly any or no queues at stadium entrances
- Multiple tickets in one app – for example for families
- Short-term and easy transfer of tickets
- Fan clubs can manage a larger number of tickets at once and issue them to members
- Forgery protection
- Simplified cooperation with the public transport operator thanks to clear personalization of tickets by first and last name – the ticket then entitles the holder to free travel on the public transport system
The ticketing app and the club app are currently separate. Merging both is an option, but not an urgent one at the moment. On match day, the key issue is performance – the fan needs to get into the stadium quickly and smoothly, and in this respect a lean and fast app makes sense.
The tangible learnings:
- Communication is extremely important – questions and problems must be eliminated, the use and also the benefits must be explained
- Regular exchange with the different stakeholders (supporters, sponsors) is necessary
- The commitment of the whole club is needed for the implementation
- There needs to be an emergency scenario in case the system fails – RB Leipzig can react accordingly even in case of a short term system failure on match day
- A modern access system to the stadium is certainly advantageous or even necessary for the implementation mobile-only ticketing solution
The ticketing solution is constantly being further developed by the club and the ticketing provider. Concrete renewals will be:
- Single sign-on for ticketing app and online shop
- Guest access for the app – this allows access to the ticket via a third party and does not require registration by the user.
- Screenshot protection – if a screenshot is taken of the ticket, the barcode will not be displayed
- Secondary market integration – simplified and controlled ticket resale
Want to know more?
Feel free to get in touch with Tobias Fernau, Head of Ticketing & Customer Service at RB Leipzig.
Tobias Fernau on Linkedin