Mr. Steinbrenner, Tell Us How You Really Feel About StubHub
The playbook for a sponsorship press release is pretty standard. The garden variety presser features pre-packaged, snooze-worthy buzzwords like "really excited," "a perfect match," and "long-term partnership." Insert a few of those, take out anything controversial and you're usually good to go. So it was fantastic to see this feisty nugget from yesterday's generally positive press release announcing the new Yankees-Ticketmaster deal:
“The Yankees Ticket Exchange will be a safe, convenient, reliable and expedient way to purchase and sell guaranteed authentic Yankees tickets," said Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees Managing General Partner. “It is unfortunate that unscrupulous resellers utilize deceptive practices and tactics and employ unofficial websites, all of which give rise to counterfeit tickets. Fans must be careful when purchasing from unauthorized websites as the tickets they are purchasing from the unauthorized resale websites could be counterfeit, stolen or otherwise void and as such will not permit the purchaser to be admitted into Yankee Stadium. We encourage fans to post and purchase tickets only through "Yankees Ticket Exchange," the only authorized resale website for the Yankees and yankees.com," said Steinbrenner.
Though there are many ticket resellers, it would seem highly likely that this was, at least in part, a jab at StubHub, which the club has been at odds with in the past. The differences stretch back to last summer when Team President, Randy Levine, told The New York Post that the club was "actively reviewing more fan-friendly alternatives." In December, every team except the Yankees and Angels agreed to participate in MLBAM's sponsorship renewal with StubHub, which makes the Ebay-owned StubHub the Official Secondary Ticket Marketplace of MLB.com and the participating 28 Major League Baseball clubs.
Bob Bowman, President and CEO of MLBAM, naturally has a much different take on StubHub's role within the ticketing ecosystem. At the time of the renewal last month, Bowman explained, "our original StubHub partnership provided a valuable service, giving fans a secure, simple and affordable solution for the secondary market, and this renewal reflects its successes in an ever-evolving space."