If you’ve ever been a part of a street team, you know first hand the amount of work it takes to go out and promote a band or event. If you’ve never heard of a street team, well, let’s just say it’s a marketing term that refers to a group of people who promote events or products “out on the streets.”
Ah, now you get it. You’ve seen those people, often young adults or teenagers, handing out stickers and taping yet another flier to a paper-covered telephone pole. They shout you out while you’re walking and try to sell you tickets to an event you’ve never heard of.
Regardless of your experience and knowledge of street teams, it’s interesting to think about how this marketing concept has changed over the years, especially alongside the emergence of powerful social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Naturally, you would think that those would only help street teams to become more powerful. Social media has helped turn street teams into being less about going out on the streets and promoting events, and more about promoting events on line.
But the big issue still remains with the street team model: people don’t care to hear about events from random strangers.
23-year-old Liam Negus-Fancey is an entrepreneur who saw an opportunity to help change the old, traditional model of street teams. As the President and Co-founder of StreetTeam, Negus-Fancey is building a platform worldwide to help events grow their ticket sales while also empowering music lovers to be more engaged with the events and brands they love.
The previous, traditional way a street team worked was very hands-on and consisted of a lot of work for street team members. Most record labels or ad companies created street teams in big cities and paid individuals an hourly wage to go out and promote events, sell tickets and poster their city.
Before launching StreetTeam in 2012, Negus-Fancey ran the U.K’s largest under-age event company, Let’s Go Crazy. While him and his brother were running the company, they noticed a trend in how people were buying tickets-pointing out that most people sell to their friends. Moreover, they noticed that selling peer-to-peer was something events and music festivals were struggling to capitalize on.
“It became clear to us that the number one reason anyone goes to an event is because their friends are going,” says Negus-Fancey. “We started thinking about how we could support that.”
Currently, StreetTeam is the world’s leading peer-to-peer sales software for live entertainment. By partnering with music festivals and live events in over 14 countries, StreetTeam turns the most influential fans into ambassadors who sell tickets to their friends. In return, the ambassadors’ receive unique rewards, starting with a free ticket to the event, and growing to VIP access, reserved camping sport, a speedboat Taxi at Bestival or a Golden Toilet at Bonnaroo as their sales increase.
Anyone can sign up to be an ambassador, but Negus-Fancey says it’s critical that ambassadors love the brand they are selling for.
“We want to make sure that the ambassadors really love the events they’re representing so they can make honest recommendations to their friends and make the show better for everyone.”
Negus-Fancey stresses that authenticity is really important to StreetTeam, so rather than paying people to go out and sell tickets to strangers, they want to focus on what’s actually good for an event and will give the overall audience a great experience.
One of the biggest insights Negus-Fancey learned from growing Let’s Go Crazy was that the best way to bring people to an event was to offer a genuine recommendation from someone they know and trust. Think about it: you’re more likely to go to an event or festival that your best friend invites you to-and is also attending-as opposed to a stranger you ran into.
“That’s why we reward ambassadors with experiential rewards,” Negus-Fancey explains. “It ensures that our ambassadors are going to the event themselves and want to share the experience with their friends.”
StreetTeam takes a commission on each ticket sold by an ambassador. Negus-Fancey explains the commission is taken from inside the value of the ticket, rather than being an additional booking fee. Due to their previous experience running events and knowledge that results are what event organizers care about the most, they decided to charge based on performance.
Currently, Negus-Fancey says StreetTeam sells about 5-8 percent of an event’s total attendance when it’s their first year working together. The beast part about this model is how predictable its growth is-so by their third year, Negus-Fancey knows they will be selling closer to 10-15 percent of an event’s attendance solely through their ambassadors. In example, StreetTeam worked with React presents in The U.S. on their “Freaky Deaky” show. In 2015, Freaky Deaky’s ambassadors sold 2,000 tickets, but, last year, they sold 5,000 and it continues to grow.
Currently, StreetTeam works with 250 festivals around the world, including Bonnaroo, Spring Awakening, Imagine Music Festival, the California Root Music and Arts Experience and more.