HKRFU Teams Up with viagogo to Protect Fans

13 December 2014

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) today announced a new partnership with viagogo, the world's largest ticket marketplace.

The HKRFU has engaged with viagogo to protect rugby fans from around the world from ticket fraud by launching an authorised platform for buying and selling unwanted tickets securely to premier international matches and tournaments in Hong Kong, including for the first time the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Marking its 40th year in 2015, the Hong Kong Sevens is one of the highlights of the international rugby calendar, attracting a total of more than 120,000 spectators over the weekend each year for an event that has become one of the most colourful and unique weekends in world sport.

In recent years, the HKRFU has also hosted a series of innovative international test matches including the first British & Irish Lions match in Asia in 2013 and the first ever Bledisloe Cup match held outside of Australia or New Zealand in 2008. The HKRFU hosted a second Bledisloe Cup game in 2010.

However, to date there has not been an authorised marketplace to buy and sell tickets to HKRFU events, despite huge global demand, which has forced fans to look to unauthorised and risky channels to purchase tickets for HKRFU events.

As a consequence, over 90 percent of ticket resale for the Hong Kong Sevens has taken place on unauthorised websites or through street sellers, where there is no consumer protection and no recourse for disappointed fans that have been sold a fraudulent ticket.

HKRFU is following the example that many other sporting federations have taken to address this by working with viagogo, which will become the Official Ticket Marketplace of the HKRFU and the Hong Kong Sevens.

viagogo provides choice, convenience and consumer protection, so that people can buy and sell tickets for live events all over the world with confidence. viagogo monitors every transaction across its 55 international websites and more than 20 different localised payment methods. viagogo ensures that tickets retailed on its site are genuine, with sellers not paid until the buyer has successfully gained entry to the event.

Starting this month, sellers will be able to resell both full event (all three days) tickets and single day tickets for the Hong Kong Sevens for the first time. Enabling sellers to re-sell their tickets for days on which they cannot attend the Sevens will help to make more tickets available to the general public.

The viagogo pricing mechanism also works to ensure that only the most competitive priced tickets appear in a single page of the Hong Kong Sevens section of the viagogo website. Sellers are incentivised to price tickets competitively to ensure their offers are viewed by the highest number of international buyers, meaning that tickets being offered at unrealistic prices will not appear for sale on viagogo.

Only original purchased adult tickets with a printed face value amount on the tickets will be available, thus excluding sponsors and concessionaire tickets from the resale market.

Vern Reid, Chief Executive Officer of the HKRFU said: "For most of the past 40 years, the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens has been heavily over-subscribed. Each year, we identify dozens of risky websites and over one hundred street sellers offering tickets for the Sevens. In some cases these tickets have been proven to not be genuine, leaving consumers with no recourse.

"The HKRFU is partnering with viagogo in an effort to protect fans from the black market and combat touts, while offering our local and global fan base total peace of mind when buying and selling tickets to the Sevens and other premier international matches in Hong Kong," said Mr Reid.

The HKRFU joins a hundred of the biggest names in sport and entertainment that already work with viagogo worldwide. These include Scottish Rugby and 2013 Australian NRL Premiers, the Sydney Roosters, in rugby; European football clubs such as Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain; the Roland-Garros French Open and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournaments; leading music artists such as Madonna and SFX Entertainment.

Steve Roest, Global Head of Business Development at viagogo, said: "We're very proud to be working with HKRFU to protect its fans and promote the renowned Hong Kong Sevens and other world-class rugby events in Hong Kong, as well as continuing our investment in the sport.

"It's our mission to enable people to buy and sell any ticket, to any live event, anywhere in the world, using the language, currency and device of their choice.

Imagine you're a rugby fan in Italy who wants to go to the Hong Kong Sevens. You can now click on viagogo, search for tickets in Italian and pay securely in Euros. That means you can buy before you fly with complete confidence."