E-ticketing for sports: How making ticketing easy for Ghana vs. Nigeria game enhanced fans participation

E Ticketing  2.png E-ticketing for sports

Tue, 3 May 2022 Source: Samuel Abeiku Dadson

Just about a month ago, on Friday, March 25, 2022, the Blackstars of Ghana hosted the Super Eagles of Nigeria for the first leg of a decisive World Cup Qualifiers in Kumasi, Ghana.

Both teams needed to win badly, not only to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 but also to establish dominance over the other it’s a rivalry thing. Nigerians in Ghana were hyped. Ghanaians were charged. Fans of both teams were eager to support their respective teams. But there were concerns from a section of fans.

In the past, fans have raised concern over the overcrowding at the gates on match day, and for that reason, most choose to watch the game from the comfort of their homes. The decision not to go to the stadium meant a loss of revenue to the Football Association, the football teams, and patrons.

Introduction of e-ticketing

To increase participation, the government of Ghana, through the National Sports Authority, launched e-ticketing to digitize ticket sales. This was made possible through a private partnership between NSA, a private ticketing vendor, and ghana.gov (Ghana government’s maiden, fully-integrated payments processing, and settlements platform).

With a USSD short code, fans bought tickets to the game with little to no hassle using Mobile Money via the shortcode (*711#) and then obtained a unique code that they presented on game day to gain admission to the stadium. This made entry to the stadium seamless and safe.

The Impact

The results of the ease and convenience of purchasing tickets to this highly anticipated game were clear to the sight of many. The stadium was filled to capacity, and for the first time in the history of the National Sports Authority, proceeds to a single game were in excess of GHS1.4m.

This unprecedented feat led to the NSA implementing the same strategy to deploy the sale of tickets electronically tickets for local club games between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak on April 10, which realized revenue in excess of GHS591,000 with 15,965 attendances, translating to a whopping 103% increase in revenue. Two months prior, Hearts of Oak hosted Kotoko at the Ohene Djan sports stadium where tickets were sold the traditional way. With more than twice the attendance, revenue realized from that game summed up to GHS643,000.

Speaking on the impact of the rollout of the e-ticketing system at the National Youth Volunteers Programme in Kumasi, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, without mincing words, attributed the surge in ticket proceeds to the latest innovation. Adding that digitization, when done right, can help fight corruption.

As expected, and most feared, the system initially experienced challenges with verifying tickets when it was first launched for Ghana vs. Nigeria game, but this was quickly resolved and readied to be used for the next game. The verification process for the subsequent games (Kotoko vs. Hearts) was much more efficient, sealing all possibilities of other ticketing-related issues like ticket racketeering which is very prevalent in the industry.

What next?

“The digital economy has come to stay”, the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif said as he led the launch of the platform in Kumasi.

And with that statement of assurance, fans look into the future with optimism that purchasing tickets to go watch their teams play and enjoy the game they so much love will not have to be a hassle anymore.

“Onwards, anybody accessing the stadium, whether it is a national team game or the Premier League, once it is a government facility, fans will be accessing it through the e-ticket platform which is a policy of the government.,” he added.

Source: Samuel Abeiku Dadson