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“We decided to develop a ticketing platform from scratch with a strong focus on professional football organizations”

Within only a few years, Tymes4 become the leading ticketing company in the Netherlands. We spoke to the companies COO, Frank van Eijsden about this development, the reason for their success and the plans for the future.

Tymes4 is a pretty young company, how did it all start?

Actually, Tymes4 is the platform that was developed by Ormer ICT. The platform is called Tymes4, named after the four pillars: Fan engagement, Efficiency, Data/Integrations and Revenue.   

For a long time, Ormer ICT has been the IT partner of Feyenoord Rotterdam. In 2017 Feyenoord launched a major information management project. Being the preferred IT supplier, Ormer ICT played a role by analysing the internal software landscape and advising on the digitalizing strategy. One of the conclusions was that there were a lot of innovations taking place on the different software platforms, but the ticketing solution was slowing down progress as it was not able to integrate in the internal data network, e.g. connect to a CRM or work with something like an external single sign on. in fact, in many cases the data belonged to the ticketing party and the club had to request access to its own data. This is when we decided to do a deep dive in ticketing technology, finding out there was so much to gain in terms of user experience, design, functionality etc. Hence, we decided to develop a ticketing platform from scratch with a strong focus on professional football organizations.

In this short period of time, you managed to become the leading ticketing company in the Netherlands…

We filled the gap that existed due to the fact that no ticketing party had a specific solution for Football clubs, this led to a state-of-the-art platform with apparently a perfect fit for professional football.

What are the key elements to become a market leader?

Having a unique and open platform was only half the game changer; for taking your share of the market you need more than that.
One thing we realised was that our competitors, some of which are huge companies and established internationally names, had a lack of understanding football ticketing dynamics. In terms of both functionality and in service/support a misfit for the Dutch football ticketing market. That’s why we decided to not only focus on a top-notch product, but also on human capital. Currently we have 3 football ticketing experts on board, sharing over 50 years of ticketing experience at top level football organizations.

Become the leader is one thing, how can you maintain to be a leading ticketing company in the Netherlands?

That’s a good question. I guess on the one hand by continuing what we do: continuous development of new features/functionalities/modules and by offering great support and consulting services. To remain relevant, our aim is to stay ahead of the game as there’s so much going on in and around football clubs. We are on top of all new developments (for example, with a partner we’re currently working on a module for the online identification of fans for the purpose of stadium access based on facial recognition) and guide our clients through ticketing related innovations.
Also, we are quite experienced in doing integrations and particular functionalities. The more the ticketing system becomes part of the internal landscape, the more long-term relations grow.    

What is the feedback you get from your clients why they chose Tymes4?

Twofold: satisfaction about the system itself and the people behind it. The boots on the ground and the agility of the software. We are dedicated to continuously invest in the software, to roll out new functionalities and modules to help our clients achieving their goals. We are on top of the game; that’s what we hear from our clients and that’s what we pursue to do. For instance, during the pandemic we’ve developed a method for fans to online request compensations for the games they missed.    

You operate 50% of all Dutch clubs. What is the next market you look at – and why?

This season (2023-2024) we work for more than half of all Dutch clubs. Outside of The Netherlands we work for the Royal Belgian Football Association, and currently we’re evaluating opportunities and working out plans to enter other foreign markets. Personally, I find Germany very interesting with its huge amounts of big clubs with loads of fans. There are a lot of parallels with how the Dutch market was when we started a few years ago.

As mentioned at the beginning, you are a young company. Is that also an advantage because you are working with the latest technology?

Ormer ICT is a 30 years old very stable privately owned company, Tymes4 is a new product developed from scratch with the latest technologies (we’re Microsoft orientated), in an open way for future integrations. But to be fair, looking at other ticketing company’s, the reason most solutions out there are so old/outdated (we call it legacy systems) is because there’s a lot of negligence when it comes to investing in technology. Ticketing companies are focused on selling tickets not investing in software. We are a software development company instead of a ticketing agency and are committed to be best of-breed in the football-ecosystem.

Frank van Eijsden
COO
Tymes4

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