Gophers athletic department to hold second Black Friday sale

The department’s sales went up 2,500 percent during last year’s sale.

Andrew Krammer

The University of Minnesota athletic department is partnering with AudienceView Ticketing for the second year in a row to take advantage of the busiest shopping day in America. 

After tremendous sales last year, the department announced Monday it will host another online Black Friday ticket sale.

The Toronto-based AudienceView helped ticket sales for Gophers athletics increase by 2,500 percent last Black Friday, with revenue increasing by 1,600 percent compared to the standard sales day.

âÄúOur goal is to surpass the $20,000 mark from last year,âÄù the schoolâÄôs ticketing manager Brent Holck said. âÄúI think itâÄôs realistic since we have more options out and the merchandise coming on board.âÄù

The department is expanding its deals from six total events last year, to numerous single-game deals, family weekend packages, discounted merchandise as well as an overnight getaway package.

Deals unique to Minnesota fans will include a $50 âÄúSuperfanâÄù package that includes passes to nine sporting events over a four-day period from Jan. 18-21.

The getaway package costs $189 and includes a hotel, tickets to the Gophers menâÄôs hockey game against Notre Dame on Jan. 7 and the menâÄôs basketball game against Purdue on Jan. 8.

In August, the athletic department and AudienceView combined merchandise sales with ticketing sales to create a unique shopping interface for Gophers fans.

âÄúTo my knowledge, there is no other school in the nation that allows their fans to do that,âÄù Holck said.

While it has been in place for months, Holck said the first test for the combined ticket and merchandise sales will be during Black Friday âÄî when thousands are expected to flock to the website for deals.

Minnesota is one of the first NCAA Division I programs to combine ticket sales with merchandise, according to Holck and Mike Evenson, AudienceViewâÄôs director of business development.

âÄúThe ticketing industry as a whole has been very archaic from a software perspective,âÄù Evenson said. âÄúMost of the companies we compete against are older technologies that arenâÄôt really capable of doing this.âÄù

Minnesota was one of the first schools to join AudienceView in 2006, which allowed it to use the available tools to be more innovative than other schools, Evenson said.

Fans of other Big Ten teams looking to buy tickets online from schools like Ohio State or Penn State are re-routed to the ticketing giant Ticketmaster for services.

If those same fans then wanted to buy merchandise, they must visit a separate website âÄî and most likely create another online membership âÄî to do so.

Now, the company that also sponsors ticket sales for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer and multiple arts and entertainment industries around the world is using the University of Minnesota as a case study for other Division I schools to follow.

âÄúMinnesota is doing a lot of things that counterparts across the country are starting to look at and aspire to do,âÄù Evenson said.