Back in 2011 when Peter Joyce first met David Nairn at Azets, neither could have imagined what the next 10 years had in store following Peter’s launch of TopTix Sport UK.
Peter had just agreed a software distribution agreement with Israeli-based software company TopTix to sell and distribute the firm’s ticketing software applications and approached Azets for business advice.
Recalling his decision to launch the business, Peter says: “The UK sports ticketing market was already well represented, but I had a real belief that the technology and quality of software on offer was not at the level it should be for sports clubs who needed their software solutions to be able to deliver on the ideas and vision of the chairman, commercial directors and ticketing managers.
“Just as importantly, the supporters of sports clubs across the UK were beginning to feel left behind as technology progressed but their ticketing solutions did not.
“I felt there was a real gap in the market for the right company who could deliver a modern system that was able to embrace the technology and build long-lasting relationships.
“The link-up with Azets was an important step in building a solid structure for the financial planning aspects of the business.”
Early 2012 marked a number of client wins and with the right structure in place the business could expand. Year two marked a breakthrough when West Bromwich Albion became TopTix Sport’s first Premier League client. Rapid growth followed.
A range of leading UK football and rugby clubs chose TopTix Sport and their software applications. Offices were established in Peter’s native North-East, revenues were growing year on year and he was growing his team to stand out as a leading player in the UK sports ticketing market.
Explaining how Azets helped the business to grow, David Nairn says: “Peter came to us for advice and set out his impressive business plans for launch and growth. It was clear he was well positioned to be competitive in the market.
“We were able to provide Peter with a range of advice that helped with the shareholding aspects of his agreement with TopTix and acted as a sounding board.”
In 2017, the TopTix parent company and its distribution businesses, including Peter’s TopTix Sport UK business, were acquired by US-based ticketing firm SeatGeek who were already established as a major ticketing force in the US.
SeatGeek had impressive plans to expand their overall software stack offering and targeted TopTix’s software applications and its client base as an ideal acquisition.
TopTix Sport became SeatGeek Sport and the growth trend not only continued but catapulted SeatGeek to become a market leader with more than 50 per cent of Premier League clubs as clients. SeatGeek also won their first cricket client, on-boarding the MCC at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground during 2020.
SeatGeek Sport, which now boasts a £3m turnover and 19 employees, recently moved into new offices near Newcastle and Azets helped advise on the capital allowances available, as well as identifying R&D activities providing substantial corporation tax reductions.
David continues: “It has been hugely rewarding for the Azets team to have been involved with Peter and his colleagues. We have worked alongside accountants in Israel and the US, while our payroll team has been taken on by another SeatGeek company in the UK group.
“We also advised them on some of the issues relating to the furlough scheme as they were not conversant with this in the US.”
Having recently been appointed to act for SeatGeek Entertainment, leaders in theatre and concert venue ticketing, David adds: “Our work with Peter and SeatGeek is a great example of how Azets can help a micro-business become a highly successful small business.”