By Lisa Capobianco
For Southington brothers Evan and Steven Honeyman, launching their own ticket-selling website happened just by taking a trip to Australia.
In March, Evan decided to visit his younger brother Steven, who was studying abroad in the “land down under.” After the two brothers went cage diving with great white sharks, Evan said they felt an adrenaline rush that ultimately sparked an idea.
“The adrenaline rush really jolted our brains,” said Evan, a graduate student of the MBA program at Bentley University. “We felt inspired.”
“We just decided to start our own company—going shark diving gave an adrenaline rush,” added Steven, a junior at Endicott College who is majoring in business with a concentration in entrepreneurship.
When Evan and Steven were waiting on a delayed flight in Adelaide, they ventured over to the Rundle Mall, where they listened to a live performance of different musicians.
The brothers said they have always had a passion for concerts and sports, and wanted to offer a service that would allow consumers to enjoy live performances or games at competitive prices while building trust with them.
“We knew we wanted to do something with tickets or music,” said Evan.
In a partnership with Connecticut-based TicketNetwork Private Label, the brothers launched TicketCorral.com in April. Their website offers more than $3 billion worth of ticket inventory, along with a 125 percent money-back guarantee on all tickets.
Whether customers are looking to see a live musical like “Wicked” or to watch a live Major League Baseball game, Ticket Corral connects them to different forms of entertainment.
In less than a month, the brothers have sold over 100 tickets.
“It’s definitely an interesting business and I’m excited about it,” said Steven. “We want to build a relationship with customers to keep them coming back.”
“We’re trying to build trust and loyalty with our customers,” said Evan, adding that currently, Ticket Corral has sold a lot of baseball tickets. “We want to build a long-term relationship.”
The brothers also launched a Ticket Corral affiliate marketing program, which involves other individuals who are motivated to help market the site. Through the program, their sales are tracked and then paid a percentage of the net profit. Evan said currently, the affiliates have generated about 25 percent of Ticket Corral sales.
“My brother and I wanted to bring great people on board,” said Evan, adding that the majority of people in the affiliate marketing program happen to be a combination of his friends and friends of his brother.
“I really hope to grow the affiliate program,” added Steven, who also plans to focus on the advertising and marketing aspect of the website. “One of my best friends is taking a huge role in it…he has really helped push the name.”
Evan and Steven’s niche for business runs in their family. Evan said their father currently works at TicketNetwork to drive efficiency and continued success, and has spent years restructuring or rebuilding companies. Both Evan and Steven have spent time with their father, who they said taught them how to focus on the customer—to build relationships, which is something they have applied to their new business.
Being exposed to the business industry at a young age ultimately inspired the two brothers, who had their own lemonade stand as children.
“We’ve been exposed to it for so long,” said Evan, adding his mother also taught them interpersonal skills. “In business, it’s really about the relationships.”
“We want to build a long-term relationship,” said Steven, adding how his father’s experience in the business taught him how to treat all customers with respect.
Looking ahead, Evan and Steven said they plan to take their business one step at a time, but currently plan to “ramp up” their marketing efforts to increase traffic as well as complete an overhaul of TicketCorral.com to give the website a “better feel” for users.
The revamped website will include more features tailored toward consumers, such as blogs for users and feeds that include recent updates on musicians and athletes.
Evan and Steven, who recently released a cartoon commercial promoting their business, are also looking into endorsements with athletes and musicians for a new commercial series.
“We want to bring consumers closer to a favorite sports team or artist,” said Evan, adding that having a blog available for users will allow them to share their thoughts or experiences on a certain concert or game.
For more information about Ticket Corral, visit www.ticketcorral.com. Anyone interested in joining the Ticket Corral affiliate marketing program can send an e-mail to Evan or Steven Honeyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By Lisa Capobianco