The fast-growing Greenville company that aims to provide fans with options to purchase tickets is expanding to all schools in the Power Five conferences for the 2017 football season.
Instead of just buying random tickets for football Saturdays, BANDWAGON allows users to customize purchases around preferences such as a family-friendly section, near college students, shaded seats, or near fans of a certain school.
“We want this to be about what the fan experience,” said Harold Hughes, the company’s founder and a Clemson University graduate. “Tickets are a big investment for a lot of people. Why not get the most out of them?”
BANDWAGON has raised $310,000 in its latest round of funding, allowing the company to expand.
The fundraising was co-led by the Black Angel Tech Fund, based in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Blue Vista Ventures of Atlanta. The round closed after Hughes participated in the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Program in Durham, N.C.
“BANDWAGON is a true millennial company that is in tune with what the millennial market is seeking – a mobile-driven platform that harnesses data to build a customized experience,” said Greg Smith, president of Blue Vista Ventures. “Between the data-driven business model and the clear vision for expansion and opportunity, we see BANDWAGON as a company with potential for significant disruption in the online ticket marketplace.”
The new funds will allow BANDWAGON to increase its platform capacity for ticket sales in preparation for the 2017 college football season, as well as expand the level of customization available, company officials said.
BANDWAGON recently signed an agreement with UTrip, an online personal travel planner, to incorporate its technology and allow users to build a curated weekend itinerary for away games and bowl games.
The idea for BANDWAGON, founded in 2014, came from Hughes trying to sell extra tickets to a Clemson-Ole Miss game several years ago.
The company tested its concept this past season with Clemson fans after doing major research into the sports-ticket buying audience, Hughes said.
BANDWAGON is trying to differentiate itself from the giants in the ticket resale space, like StubHub, VividSeats and Ticketmaster, Hughes said.
When fans sign up on the BANDWAGON platform, they join their favorite team’s “Bandwagon” and when the time comes for them to sell a ticket, they have the option of using the “Bandwagon Only” feature, which restricts sale to fans of the same team.
“Reaction to the model was strong the first season and we feel confident that football fans across the country will want to check it out this season,” Hughes said.
The five power conferences are the Atlantic Coast (ACC), Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern (SEC).