Challenger ticketing company iTICKET has signed a deal to sell $400,000 worth of tickets over the rugby season with its first rugby client.

Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union has assigned the locally-owned ticketing agency to look after the promotion and ticket processing for its home games this year.

iTICKET managing director Reece Preston says the contract is a milestone for the private company because it marks its entry into major sports.

“The world of New Zealand rugby can be a tough one to break into. Many of the bigger unions have been tied into ticketing contracts for a number of years, so we just had to bide our time,” he says.

Mr Preston says the incumbent ticketing agency was TicketDirect.

The contract will see iTICKET process up to 30,000 tickets for Counties Manukau Steeler games in the season starting July 2015.

Who and what is iTICKET?

iTICKET specialises in online and mobile ticketing, box office software, outlet sales, as well as on-site services at events.

It was founded in 2004 by Mr Preston and Phil Jobbins, both software engineers.

The Ponsonby-based company employs 12 staff and turns over gross ticket sales of $20 million a year.

Mr Preston estimates his company has about 5-10% of the market share. The other five major ticketing companies are Ticketek, Ticketmaster, TicketDirect, Dash and Eventfinder.

iTICKET delivers tickets for events such as community shows and local sports events, through to major concerts and large-scale festivals throughout New Zealand and some in Australia.

By Campbell Gibson, NBR