The New York Times, June 14
Who is your client, and what are its media goals?
Nick Ragone: Flash Seats is an innovative ticketing service that eliminates paper tickets and allows fans to easily buy, sell, and transfer seats free of charge via its site. The service also provides individual sports teams with the ability to create the markets and directly interact with new fans. As a relatively young company, Flash Seats was looking for a major national business story that would be seen by sports franchise marketing executives around the country.
What made The New York Times Business section a good hit for Flash Seats, and how did you pitch reporter Brad Stone?
Ragone: Along with The Wall Street Journal and a few others, the Times is tremendously influential in the business community, and Brad Stone is a great writer. My colleague, A.J. Goodman, reached out to Stone by phone, using the fact of Flash Seats' first major client, the Cleveland Cavaliers, going deep into the NBA playoffs as a good, timely hook for this story.
Did you have to provide Stone with third-party testimonials or do a desk-side demonstration of how Flash Seats worked?
Ragone: We did give Stone a full demonstration and set him up with several happy customers, as well as Cavaliers executives. We also did a message-development session with a Flash Seats executive before he talked to Stone to drive home our main points: how the service provides marketing people at various sports franchises with great information on their customer base.
What was the impact of the hit?
Ragone: The story ran on page 1 of the Times' Business section, and the impact has been extraordinary, generating plenty of new-business opportunities for Flash Seats. The story also led to a CNBC segment, so the client was over the moon with the placement.
Name: Nick Ragone, SVP and director of national media, Ketchum (New York)
Placement: The New York Times, June 14
Pitch timeline: Three weeks