Liam Holton, Futureticketing
TULLAMORE ticketing software company Future Ticketing has insisted that the Covid-19 pandemic will help the business in the long run.
The company, which reported profits of nearly €256,000 last year on the back of sales jumping more than 50 per cent to €1.2 million, now faces a summer without lucrative events like Punchestown races and the Tullamore Show.
And the suspension of soccer and rugby in Britain and Ireland will also hit sales in 2020.
“It's certainly no fun being a ticketing company which relies on sport and tourism for its revenue,” said company director Liam Holton. “2021 is going to be a great year.”
Future Ticketing has just announced multi-year ticketing partnerships with two more football clubs in England, Rochdale, which is managed by Brian Barry-Murphy, son of Cork GAA legend Jimmy, and Fleetwood Town, a club managed by one of the game's most colourful characters, Joey Barton.
Mr Holton says the company is currently creating plenty of new business with at least another six new customers signed up since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
“I continue to be optimistic,” he remarked. “A lot of sports and organisations are using this as an opportunity to look at their software. We have to look forward. Our business is based on long-term partnerships with our customers and growing their business so whereas we're all going through this short-term pain, long-term we're going to be stronger as a result.”
Mr Holton added: “The fundamentals won't change. If anything, in our business, people's shopping patterns will change and there'll be even more of a migration online.”
Some customers have put their season tickets online now instead of November and operators of Santa Claus businesses have already begun taking bookings from families for Christmas 2020.
Interviewed by the Tullamore Tribune last October Mr Holton said Future Ticketing employed 14 people but had many more on the payroll temporarily and part-time.
Despite the lockdown downturn since, the company has retained its staff. “Our biggest asset is our staff, our software and our customers,” said Mr Holton.
Prior to the addition of English clubs Rochdale and Fleetwood, Future Ticketing's sporting stable in Ireland and Scotland (sales outside Ireland accounted for €337,000 last year) grew to 23 professional clubs.
“Our football successes in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland gave us a great platform to expand further in the UK and so we are delighted that Fleetwood Town and Rochdale have become early adopters of our market leading software. Our guiding philosophy is to enable our clients to have control, accountability and transparency of their customer relationships and revenue streams,” said Mr Holton.