SOURCE: Forward Market Media

Forward Market Media

November 01, 2012 09:00 ET

Fans Set the Price for the 2012 ESPN Champions Classic

With New Ticket Reservation System, Fans Can Bid on Exclusive Access Tickets to the Game

LAKE FOREST, IL--(Marketwire - Nov 1, 2012) - Forward Market Media (FMM), together with ESPN and the State Farm Champions Classic Game, today announced a unique way for fans to access tickets through a new ticket reservation system on www.thechampionsclassicfantix.com. Through this partnership, ESPN harnesses the power of FMM's proprietary ticket reservation system to let fans set the price of admission into the 2012 match-ups at the Georgia Dome this November.

The Champions Classic is a unique game that brings together some of the all-time best college basketball programs and coaches to start the hoop season strong. Through this innovative partnership with FMM, ESPN puts the power in the hands of fans, allowing them to evaluate just how much money an exclusive seat to the Classic is worth. As a result, when four of the top teams in the nation -- Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State -- take it to the hardwood to fight their way to a win this year, the seats are sure to be filled with diehard fans. This year's Classic will take place at the Georgia Dome on November 13, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here's how a FanTix Auction* works: Let's say an event organizer makes 1,000 tickets from a particular seating section to an event, like the Champions Classic, available for bidding in the FanTix Auction starting at $85 (this is face-value plus a $10 service charge which is the lowest acceptable bid for the ticket). Once the auction begins, fans from across the nation can go to the event website to place a bid for a "FanTix" to the game at whatever price they want. Once 1,000 bids have been placed (for each ticket available), the top bidder receives a ticket at the lowest FanTix bid price. For example, if 999 fans bid on their Fantix at somewhere between $100 and $150 but the 1000th fan bids only $80 for their FanTix (face-value), all 1,000 fans will receive a ticket into the Champions Classic for $85 -- the lowest price within the top lot of 1,000. (*based on a Vickrey Auction -- named after Columbia University Mathematician William Vickrey built to gives bidders an incentive to bid their true value.)

In addition, special team-specific Twitter hashtags will enable fans to closely follow the bidding to determine in real time what their ticket into the game will cost -- knowing it cannot be higher than what they bid. If a fan does not qualify as one of the top 1,000 bids, their FanTix will expire and its cost forfeited.

"These are the four best teams in college basketball and nothing beats getting to these November games, especially for fans who have been itching for the first tip-off whistle since March," said Scott McKibben, CEO of Forward Market Media. "We are thrilled to be working with ESPN to put the fan in the driver's seat and build the excitement in the weeks leading up to the game by providing the community a fun, interactive way to get affordable tickets."

Forward Market Media's reservation platform is tested and proven -- all four BCS College Bowl Games are licensees of FMM. The 2013 Discover BCS National Football Championship Game forward market is also active and fans are trading and buying tickets for the January 7th match-up at http://www.orangebowlteamtix.org.

About the State Farm Champions Classic
ESPN launched the State Farm Champions Classic in 2011. The three year men's college basketball event features Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State - perennial top programs who face off at a different neutral site each year. The State Farm Champions Classic matchups serve as prime time telecasts during ESPN's annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. The 2012 event will be held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with Michigan State vs. Kansas and Duke vs. Kentucky. The 2013 classic will be at the United Center in Chicago with Michigan State against Kentucky and Kansas against Duke.

About Forward Market Media
Forward Market Media (FMM) offers unique online ticketing solutions that connect passionate fans and consumers with the events, products and content they value most. Through its proven Forward Market technology platform, FMM delivers entirely new, compelling, engaging, and entertaining ways for the world's most respected brands to reach and interact with their most ardent supporters. More information is available at www.go-forward.com.

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