Our part-time CTO came in with the remit of expanding into media-driven sports ticketing innovation for a leading UK media house.

Company Profile

One of the largest media houses in the UK and globally, this company aimed to diversify into the sports ticketing business. They specialise in leveraging its existing relationships with various sports bodies.

CEO’s Mission

Facing declining revenues due to global competitors entering the UK market, the CEO was eager to find new revenue streams. The decision was to launch a challenger brand to Ticketmaster, the market monopoly at the time. However, this venture carried risks, including potential high costs, reputation damage. Furthermore, the time and resources needed for a successful launch.

CTO’s Objectives

  • Redefine the approach to the challenger brand.
  • Reduce market testing exposure and challenge the incumbent more effectively.
  • Achieve a faster time to market for the new venture.
  • Maintain lean operations throughout the project.
  • Ensure the new venture reaches a self-sustaining, cash-positive position quickly.

What the CTO Did

Refine the Approach to the New Business

The CTO revisited the original plan, challenging all existing projections to find efficiencies in:

  • Architecture and technology stack.
  • Operations and operating model.
  • Organisation and personnel.

Building the Initial Business

Reviewing the original plan led to an aggressive proposal to launch the new venture in 6 months with a GBP 550,000 budget. This required applying lean principles to the technology stack, operating model, and organisation.

After board approval, the Director established the technology department, collaborated closely with various stakeholders, and adopted a Skunk Works approach with over 40 technology experts. This collaboration model between the technology team and stakeholders resulted in unprecedented delivery speed and quality.

Launching the New Venture

Despite challenges from legal and compliance teams, merchant banks, ticket suppliers, and a reduced budget (GBP 400,000), the Director achieved an alpha launch within 4.5 months. Following roadshows and feedback from board members and senior stakeholders, the Director addressed requested changes and successfully launched the venture commercially in 6.5 months.

This media-driven sports ticketing innovation not only showcased the ability to rapidly develop and launch a new product in a highly competitive market but also demonstrated the media house’s capacity for diversification and adaptability in the face of changing market dynamics.  

The Results

  • Launched a challenger brand whilst taking the repetitional and commercial risk out of the parent company’s stature.  
  • Achieved the lowest possible cost profile for the launch of the new venture whilst dealing with budgetary setbacks. 
  • Launched the new venture in 6.5 months, something that the parent company had never achieved prior to this. 
  • Kept the technology stack, operations, and organisation as lean as possible.  
  • Due to the lean nature of operations, the new venture turned cash-positive in less than 9 months from launch.