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No upfront cost, high-tech ticket management system appealing

TicketXChange rolls to mid-size universities

Oxford — After scoring deals with Ole Miss and Louisiana State University last year, Oxford-based TicketsXChange (TXC) began rolling out ticketing programs targeted exclusively to cash- and personnel-strapped mid-size universities. As a result, they’ve closed nearly every deal with prospects because of the company’s appealing technology, no upfront fee and no hassle solution to ticket management.

Among those mid-size universities that have recently inked deals with TXC: Delta State, East Tennessee State, Georgia State, Mississippi Valley State, Southeastern Louisiana, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Xavier of Louisiana and Wofford College. Western Carolina University is on a trial basis for this service.

“It’s been great for me,” said Elizabeth Wilkes, director of compliance and ticketing at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., who also juggles the job of head cheerleading coach. “I don’t like dealing with paper. I’m a Web-based girl. I’d rather get an e-mail than a sticky note. TicketsXChange gives our patrons the opportunity to purchase tickets online, which has been a huge help. Being a small school with a small alumni base, those traveling far away can’t necessarily get here on Friday. They can purchase online and we leave tickets at will-call.”

TXC spokesperson Ed Yelverton said one of the reasons the young company has quickly progressed to 11 clients in six southeastern states is because of referrals from satisfied customers like Wilkes.

“One of the best ways to sell more to our clientele is to provide superior customer service,” he said. “And we do that.”

Last year, the company signed a three-year deal with the University of Mississippi ticket office to exclusively handle e-ticket management for three key college sports: football, basketball and baseball. The company also signed Louisiana State University to handle its e-ticketing solutions for basketball and baseball games. With two Southeastern Conference (SEC) Division 1-A schools in hand, the company pursued selling the system to other SEC schools before focusing more attention on mid-size schools and universities.

“In a large school, you have committee involvement in the decision-making process,” explained company founder and CEO Steve McDavid. “There’s a lot of bureaucracy to get a decision made. In mid-size schools, the person in charge is usually younger and has the authority to make decisions. It’s a less bureaucratic system, but still has a good financial upside for them and us. Also, larger schools are used to being courted heavily compared to mid-size schools, where the people we’re selling to have been using yellow pads or excel spreadsheets. With us, they’re now high-tech. They love that.”

Rather than charge upfront licensing fees or annual maintenance fees, TXC provides software at no charge to the universities and 100% of profits are derived from transaction fees.

“Our system is Web-based, so besides being free, anyone with a Web browser and a password has access to their ticketing information,” said McDavid. “There’s no need for special computers or a high-tech IT guy standing by to reboot and save data. It’s all saved at our data facility in Atlanta.”

In addition to basic ticketing software, TXC’s ticket management system features other integrated modules at no cost, from resale features and fundraising options to E-Ticketing and E-Card solutions for all community events.

“A strong secondary growth path for our company is our community-based calendaring and ticketing system, where people can post tickets for any community event,” said McDavid.

The company, which employs seven, also plans to launch an eBay-type exchange for e-tickets in the TXC system.

“From the first to the second year, our company grew about 400%,” said McDavid. “Then the second to third year, we grew another 300%. I anticipate 200% to 300% growth by next year. We’re trying to grow and grab as much turf as we can.”

Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at lwjeter@yahoo.com.

About Lynne W. Jeter

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