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David Rolfe and Steve Dittmore

Traditional sports ticket sales have followed a basic model of tickets in exchange for cash or credit. In an evolving and competitive market, sports marketing professionals must adapt and consider alternate forms of ticket sales. This case study follows Julie Lin, the director of ticket sales for a fictional National Hockey League expansion team, the Seattle Salmon. In an effort to align with the strategic vision of being considered a highly innovative sports franchise, Lin is considering accepting Bitcoin, a virtual currency, as a form of payment. Considered a “cryptocurrency,” Bitcoin is awarded through the solving of complex computer riddles, is devoid of a physical form, has no government or regulatory body backing it, and has value based largely on speculation. Bitcoin has found popularity and legitimacy among technology companies and companies considered to be innovative. At the present time, three professional sports accept Bitcoin for the purchase of tickets. This case will follow Lin and her exploration of Bitcoin within her franchise. Readers will consider positive and negative aspects of Bitcoin in a sports ticketing environment, and ultimately present an educated and data-driven recommendation regarding the details of this case.