Serial entrepreneur, investor, boundless optimist, tech geek, die-hard Browns fan: that’s Ben Young, in a nutshell. In 2017, after two previous successful ventures, he melded these facets together with the founding of Vozzi, a unique software platform helping the sports, entertainment, and endurance industries drive revenue via SMS. The Utah-based company took off and now stands as a mass SMS leader in sports, servicing over 400 partners, including teams such as the Philadelphia Flyers, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Coyotes, Memphis Grizzlies, and Pittsburgh Pirates, Spartan Race, and Tough Mudder. They’re delivering for every one of them with an average of 25 times their return on investment and an ecstatic, loyal fan base that feels like they’re part of the team rather than just a faceless ticket buyer. Vozzi counts Ticketmaster, Salesforce, Tickets.com, and Microsoft Dynamics among its tech integrators. As an approved vendor with Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T, they’re helping teams put the buying experience where their fans want it—in the palm of their hands—with a seamless purchase journey, from tickets, merchandise, experiences, and everything in between.
We spoke with Ben to learn more about Vozzi and how they bring teams and fans together in a home-run experience.
What compelled you to start Vozzi?
It came out of my passion for sports. I’ve been a season ticket holder for multiple organizations but always felt the communication was chaotic and needed improvement and streamlining. I wanted to develop something that would help teams communicate but not be punishing on their budgets. That’s our goal. We’re assisting teams to increase revenue by making the fan experience better.
What services do you offer, and how do they benefit your clients?
Our goal is to make the experiences of our partners’ fans easier and better. Communication and purchasing are going mobile. That’s what fans want, and we’re giving them. Statistics show that emails only have a 13% open rate and a 17% return rate, whereas text messages have a 98% open rate, with an average reply time of 47 seconds. Teams still using email solely or social media will get left behind. Fans want immediacy, ease of use, and use of their phones—and more and more of them want to feel a real connection with their team. We’re helping our partners deliver this to them and access more significant revenue with feature sets that meet three goals: First, building a reliable database of usable phone numbers. Second, driving revenue with that database, and third, doing it all compliantly. With these objectives in mind, we offer a suite of feature sets. We provide a mass text option, which alerts the entire database to promotions, events, and offers, and we also offer a text-to-buy opportunity. With this automated text system, fans text the number of tickets and dates.
They want, and the system does the rest; the tickets are automatically sent to their phone, so their whole experience is covered from beginning to end. It’s a revolutionary feature we’ve become known for. We also offer one-on-one SMS that gives fans immediate, personalized responses to establish genuine relationships with the teams. And with every text our partners send, they see a significant return on investment, and we want nothing less than that.
What do you enjoy most about your work? What drives you?
What drives me is to be cutting-edge in an industry that I love. I love sports and have so much passion for it; I wanted to improve it. So that’s what we do. We improve the team side and the fan experience, which gives me the passion for what I do.
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