Cornish Pirates embrace digital ticketing

by | Dec 1, 2021

Credit: Brian Tempest

Cornwall’s only professional sports club has revolutionised its ticket office by providing fans with an easy-to-use, cashless, digital ticketing platform.

Cornish Pirates have partnered with TicketCo to provide an online hub which enables supporters to buy tickets for RFU Championship fixtures wherever and whenever they wish.

Fans are sent QR codes directly to their smartphones which can be scanned at turnstiles to unlock a smooth admission experience with a print-at-home option also available.

Rebecca Thomas, Chief Executive Officer and Finance Director at Cornish Pirates, said “user focused” digital ticketing is the way forward for all professional and semi-professional clubs.

User friendly

Pirates’ shift to a digital ticket office was prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By allowing supporters to buy tickets online 24/7 and develop a subsequent digital database, the club believes it has provided supporters with a far greater user-friendly platform.

“I was regularly in touch with Gareth Alred, Chief Operating Officer at Beford Blues,” said Rebecca. “He was our touch point concerning the benefits of turning our ticket office digital after they partnered with TicketCo last season.

“Before this season, we had been using the same ticketing platform for 10+ years. We wanted to make our ticketing platform more user-focused where they could print or download tickets at a time that suited them.”

Digital shift

Since establishing a digital ticketing office, the majority of supporters have made the switch from paper to smartphone and print-at-home tickets.

It meant Pirates’ initial nervousness around implementing the first step towards establishing a cashless future was quashed.
Rebecca said: “Paper tickets are quickly becoming a thing of the past, we have sold very few of those since partnering with TicketCo.

“We’ve not received a single complaint yet because the technology is so simple and easy to operate. Of course, we still accommodate for fans who want to buy paper tickets at the ground to ensure everyone can gain entry to the stadium how they wish.”

Seamless ticketing

Creating a digital ticket office also helps cut down on unnecessary matchday queues and weekly club responsibilities such as printing, packaging and posting.

Rebecca added: “Turning digital has cut down on postage costs and allowed our staff to work more efficiently on a matchday. We’re adapting to the times and by turning our ticket office digital we’ve cut out the laborious tasks of posting tickets every day to our supporters.

“We have one designated gate for advanced tickets where stewards can scan supporters’ QR codes quickly to cut down on queues outside the ground on a matchday.

“I believe the pandemic has acted as an accelerator for change, we’re very pleased with the seamless structure we now have in place.”

High aspirations

On the pitch, the future looks bright for Cornish Pirates.

The Penzance outfit welcomes an average of 1,600 supporters through its turnstiles on matchdays with plans to grow that figure year-on-year.

“It’s always our ambition to be a top Championship club,” said Rebecca. “We’re currently working towards securing a new stadium which would help open up the horizon for our future.

“We want to push towards the next level. We have a great platform as Cornwall’s only professional sports club and to have our supporters back in the stadium creating that matchday buzz is very special indeed.”

Tickets for Cornish Pirates’ next home match against Doncaster on Sunday, December 5th (2.30pm), are on sale now.
To secure you seat, click here. Digital tickets can be purchased on the day of the match until full-time.

Written by Shaun Reynolds

Communications advisor and expert storyteller with Fortitude Communications. A former news reporter and sports editor of five years across several UK regional titles. Experienced in photography and social media management with a passion for the outdoors.

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