Several prominent Milwaukee business leaders have teamed up to launch an entertainment package provider called Wisconsin Ticket Concierge.
[caption id="attachment_123453" align="alignright" width="403"] SURG Restaurant Group co-owner and president Omar Shaikh speaks at the 2015 BizTimes Get Smarter Talent Development Conference.[/caption]
The founders and partners in the business are: Omar Shaikh, co-owner of SURG Restaurant Group; Brian Lammi, principal at Lammi Sports Management; Tan Lo, partner at Barrett Lo Visionary Development; Buddy Julius, founder of of The Firm Consulting; and Jason Sharkey, an investor and medical sales professional. Each invested some capital in the business, but the structure will not be disclosed, Shaikh said.
Wisconsin Ticket Concierge is an online ticket marketplace for sports, concerts and performing arts performances targeted at both individuals and corporate groups, both in Wisconsin and outside the state. It allows fans to buy or sell tickets, and purchase concierge or experience packages. The concierge services include booking hotel rooms, arranging ground transportation and making dinner reservations. Experience packages include throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game or getting backstage at a concert.
“We’re doing it with several other friends, but it was natural being in the restaurant business and talking to a lot of people,” Shaikh said. “It was one of the No. 1 requested things people were asking for.”
Most of WTC’s customers are expected to be Wisconsinites, but the events could be anywhere, Shaikh said.
“We’ve already done it for ‘Hamilton,’ where we’ve had customers from Wisconsin get tickets to 'Hamilton' in Chicago and New York,” he said.
While ticket resale is a competitive space, the inside connections and familiarity WTC has with local venues is an advantage, Shaikh said.
“It’s really tough to compete with the StubHubs, but what we can offer is that personalized service,” he said.
WTC will work to establish partnerships with transportation providers, hotels and restaurants. SURG could stand to benefit, but those aren’t the only restaurants to which customers will be referred, Shaikh said.
“It really depends upon what the customer wants,” he said. “It’s early on for experiences, but we’re willing to listen to requests and put things together for people.”
Wisconsin Ticket Concierge has Green Bay Packers fan experiences like meeting players, behind-the-scenes access to a taping of “Green Bay Nation,” and lunch with a star player. The "Lunch with a Packer" experience is priced at $3,000 and takes place at Lambeau Field, with food and beverage, a Q&A, and photo and autograph opportunities. A “Meet Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb” experience is priced at $5,000 and takes place at a taping of “Inside the Huddle,” with a reserved VIP table for four and complimentary food and drinks, and a private backstage meet and greet with picture and autograph.
The day-to-day operation of WTC will fall to experienced industry professional Hunter Rees.
“Wisconsin Ticket Concierge’s partners have connections to the state’s major hospitality players and team executives, which national ticket providers simply don’t have,” Lammi said. “We’re elevating the fan experience by offering personalized ticket service and concierge services that will make your sports, musical or entertainment experience a memorable one.”