Total North American sports industry revenue will grow at a compounded annual rate of 4.8% to $67.7 billion by 2017, and LeBron’s return to Cleveland is expected to boon the local economy by $500M.
Earlier this month, the news broke around the world – yes, the WORLD – that “King James” was returning to his Northeast Ohio roots to play once again for the Cleveland Cavaliers. And if you weren’t already on the phone to buy those Cavs season tickets when the announcement came, you were out of luck. Shortly before 12:30 p.m. ET, when James’ decision was revealed, the Cavaliers’ ticket phone lines were so jammed that they were rerouting lines in the office to be used for ticket sales.
Cleveland, once crushed by LeBron’s decision to leave in 2010, now gave LeBron James a full embrace – selling out season tickets in less than 8 hours after the announcement.
It’s been reported that LeBron’s return could be worth $500M to the local Cleveland economy. And you can bet that a good chunk of that Cleveland cha-ching will be put on credit and debit cards. In 2012, there were 26.2 billion credit card transactions in the U.S. And for Cleveland, it will be revenue from everything around the Cavs, from tickets, to merchandise, to increased patronage of restaurants and bars on game night.
And today, merchants can accept credit card transactions just about any way. Take the Cavaliers season ticket sales – they only sell season tickets over the phone, no one is paying cash over the phone, it has to be a card transaction, so the sales representative takes that card information over the phone and inputs it into a credit card acceptance device.
Here at Bluefin, we recently certified our point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution with ID Tech’s magstripe/keypad SREDKey device, which allows call center sales reps to key in the credit card information and get the benefits of PCI-validated P2PE. While it can’t prevent fraudsters from using a stolen card and charging goods over the phone (that’s a whole other problem entirely) – our P2PE Solution can prevent clear-text cardholder data from ever being available in the device, systems or networks.
It’s definitely not just LeBron though – here’s some more sports stats: FIFA World Cup Revenue is expected to reach over $4B from this year’s tournament, March Madness ad revenue reached $1.5B in 2013, and total North American sports industry revenue will grow at a compounded annual rate of 4.8% to $67.7 billion by 2017!
From in-person ticket sales at the gate (yes, you can actually still buy tickets at the gate for some sports teams), to buying your team jersey online, to swiping your card on a mobile tablet, the payments industry has made it pretty easy to keep our economy humming and giving our sports fans a convenient way to pay. But a secure way to pay? That’s an ongoing conversation for our industry and there isn’t just one solution needed but several working in conjunction to secure payments in North America.
In the meantime – get your FIFA recovery on, because it’s almost time to kick off the NFL season, then the World Series, and then NBA hoop time, where all eyes will surely be on the Cavs and the King.