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StubHub Finds a Way to Give Back by Giving Experiences

Pamela Neronha headshotWords by Pamela Neronha
Community Engagement
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Everyone loves the anticipation and excitement of purchasing tickets to their favorite live show or event, but what if those tickets just do not fit into next month’s (or any month’s) budget? StubHub, owned by eBay, has become the go-to platform for buying and selling tickets to live sports, concerts, theater shows and other events. Similar to eBay, buyers can choose among competing offers from various sellers. As ABC once reported, StubHub “has become the ticket scalper of the digital age.” The service’s community forum engages visitors with updates on new events and sellers, and it contains a Fan Protect Guarantee to ensure the validity of all sales.

Now, StubHub has taken its adage that “joy is at the root of every StubHub experience” to an entirely new level. Recently, the company launched the #TicketForward social media campaign in a drive to grant anyone the experience of attending a live event, irrespective of their ability to pay. The program is focused on those with serious health challenges like the mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In this shared spirit of giving, and with the added declaration that StubHub believes that “live events change lives,” the company collaborated with Make-A-Wish as its first #TicketForward partner. Through the program, anyone in the U.S. and Canada can nominate someone who inspires them to attend a live event of their choice.

This is a compelling decision by a company which, after building a following of enthusiastic ticket-seekers, has found another opportunity to do business while creating social good. The argument for making the business case for sustainability includes leveraging social impact to bolster a company’s bottom line. StubHub recognizes that happy, healthy, fulfilled people in communities drive prosperity. Science has shown that happy and healthy individuals contribute more to society, and in numerous indirect ways bolster all of our lives through their actions.

StubHub has arguably taken the relevance of the Human Happiness Index and World Happiness report and integrated it into its mission and business model. Published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the report measures the state of happiness around the world.  From the perspective of making the case for business sustainability, StubHub is betting that creating a platform to allow their followers to spread more joy, by nominating deserving individuals in their community to attend a live event, will bring more traffic to their site. And the brand is right about this. Allowing more people to attend live events can spread camaraderie, excitement and human sharing on a more profound level to those who do not have access to such events.

Another interesting metric that aligns with StubHub’s mission is the Happy Planet Index. Created by the New Economics Foundation in the United Kingdom, its goal is to promote social, environmental, and economic justice and well-being for people around the world. It’s clear StubHub is meeting the well-being pillar that comprises this index.

To that end, there is no better industry that can spread happiness around than the entertainment and sports sectors. StubHub’s efforts are in lockstep with other companies in the entertainment industry that are harnessing their products to boost social good. Disney, for example, manages several programs that reach out to critically ill children. The owner of the Los Angeles Kings hockey franchise, AEG, has worked with its players to visit child patients in southern California. Finally, similar to how StubHub is granting access to its events, 21st Century Fox has opened its shows to screenings by various youth organizations.

Image credit: Aditya Chinchure/Unsplash

Pamela  Neronha headshotPamela Neronha

Pamela A. Neronha, MPA is founder and CEO of Pluvion, Inc. She is an MBA in Sustainable Solutions candidate at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, and a former Grade 3-certified operator of drinking water and wastewater treatment plants in California. In 2006 she won the Water Environment Federation’s William D. Hatfield Award for excellence and professionalism in the operation of wastewater treatment plants.

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