Kaizen Ticketing Establish Themselves As EFL Club Revenue Booster

Kaizen Ticketing Establish Themselves As EFL Club Revenue Booster

The team at Kaizen Ticketing have just completed their 8th pre-season. It has been their biggest one yet. Now firmly established as a Football League-level ticketing supplier, Kaizen has never been more in demand, as tech-savvy clubs tap into the provider’s innate ability to boost revenues, give better oversight on cashflow and, crucially, improve the experience for any supporter making a purchase from their favourite team. The system swept through the non-league pyramid, refining its software and processes as it went – now it is doing the same in the EFL.

The last 12 months have been extremely productive at Kaizen HQ. Having conquered the Non-League, Founder and Managing Director, David Lynam is now working to do the same in the EFL – and the wheels are turning. Turning fast.

“We’ve added to our team to make sure we can keep the high level of service we’ve become known for with our existing customers, whilst making sure we’re able to comfortably add more. That of course means making the product even better too. We’re on track for our most successful season to-date,” he said.

If there is a secret – or secrets – to Lynam’s success, he is happy to share them. “Kaizen was founded on putting a club and its supporters first – and knowing that every single club is different,” he continued. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach. You have to be bespoke, empathetic and always available at the other end of the phone. That’s not a trendy slogan – but it’s worked for us!”

It is a typically pragmatic answer from Lynam who – alongside a team with a lot of experience at the very top of ticketing – have become renowned for delivering solutions through a highly bespoke and personal touch, as a raft of case studies attest.

 

“They have embedded themselves in our club – we have been hugely impressed with Kaizen for home matches and other stadium events”

Adrian Barry, CEO, Sutton United – League Two

 

In May 2021, Sutton United’s world was turned upside down in the best possible way – promotion to the EFL for the first time in the club’s 123-year history. Progress like that requires infrastructure change, the like not seen before at Gander Green Lane. The 3G pitch went – replaced by real grass to comply with EFL rules – new floodlights, grandstand and turnstiles also followed. In 2022, amidst huge change for the club, they began the process of reviewing their ticketing software. After thorough consultation, in March 2023, Kaizen was appointed.

“We needed a robust solution,” says Adrian Barry, the club’s CEO. “We did our homework, discussing with other clubs what ticketing provider they used and Kaizen’s name kept coming top of the list.”

The relationship has been prosperous. The system not only accommodates season ticket and matchday sales but various memberships to bars and corporate hospitality areas, all of which generate the club crucial income.

Sales are up, supporter feedback is great, and Barry is glowing in his praise, stating: “The Kaizen team spent a huge amount of time on the ground at our stadium building digital plans of the various seating arrangements – they left no stone unturned.”

Even more impressive is the fact the system was able to pivot over the summer to give the club the platform to host a music festival. Not only was the event a standalone success but it has given the club access to a raft of new fans who otherwise would not have visited.

 

“Kaizen ‘held our hand’ through our Wembley play-off final win and have made paying for season tickets more affordable”

Suzanne Kidd, Finance Director, Carlisle United – League One

 

Carlisle United do not play at Wembley Stadium every day – but when they last did, they won! Kaizen administered all ticketing operations as the Cumbrians won promotion to League One in May – with more than 15,000 fans cheering them on. The club’s Finance Director, Suzanne Kidd, recalls: “We changed ticketing provider just before the play-offs, which shouldn’t have made our lives easy, but David and the Kaizen Team held our hands through everything. They came to our offices to make sure everything ran smoothly when we went on sale. They are extremely personable.”

The club had been looking for a new ticketing provider. They needed functionality to sell season tickets online, to upload cup games to season cards and give supporters greater control over their account. Once Kaizen had been identified as the new supplier, a raft of new functionality became available to supporters almost overnight.

“Online sales typically represented about 20% of all sales – now that is at approximately 40%. This shift online has freed up our staff to deal with more nuanced enquiries, which has improved supporter relations significantly,” says Kidd.

Furthermore, season ticket sales are up by over 20% in no small part thanks to the system’s intuitive interface. The main driver of that increase however is the ability supporters now have to buy their season tickets via Direct Debit over the course of 12 months.

Kidd explained: “With the rising cost of living, coupled with supporters already having forked out for a big trip to Wembley, we needed to offer a more affordable way of our supporters buying their season tickets. Kaizen have nailed that for us – and some.”

 

“The quality of data Kaizen supply us means we can interact with our supporters like never before and in a highly targeted way”

Rhys Ellingham, General Manager, Southend United – National League

 

Southend United is a club rich in history and with a passionate fan base. In recent years, the side have found things tough going for a number of reasons. Suffice to say, the off-field necessity to generate revenue is as crucial as ever. They are in effect a Championship-level club, with attendances exceeding many of their peers.

“We had heard good things about Kaizen, so reached out to them last year,” says the Shrimpers’ General Manager, Rhys Ellingham. “We wanted to improve the supporter experience – not just in terms of buying a match ticket but with the offers we brought them too.”

Previously, supporters could not purchase tickets online. This meant big queues on a matchday and extra, unnecessary pressure on a small ticket office operation. Thankfully, that is now a thing of the past. If a Southend fan wants, they could buy a ticket ten minutes before and be in their seat for kick-off – hassle free.

Ellingham remembers: “At a home match against Oldham we had about 6,000 supporters in. I remember watching the live matchday report from the turnstiles and we had 700 supporters through in a minute – that was unheard of previously.”

It is not just the Southend ticket office staff who are impressed though. It’s the commercial and marketing teams too. Kaizen has helped to build a more integrated approach across the club. The data dashboard that the club can access at the touch of the button is bearing fruit.

Ellingham enthuses: “Now supporters are buying online, we can run a report of, say, everyone who has bought a ticket for the last five home matches and get in touch with them to offer a season ticket. We just couldn’t do that previously.”
Article from fcbusiness

David Lynam
David Lynam
Director, Kaizen Ticketing

I have 22 years experience in the Ticketing industry. I’ve worked in operational and technical roles at multi purpose venues, sports governing bodies, teams, suppliers and agencies. In that time I have been involved in ticketing Olympic and Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, International football matches and tournaments, FA Cup Finals and domestic matches at all levels.

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