RealTime IT News

eBay Markets 'One-of-a-Kind Experiences'

Online auction operation eBay is teaming up with UltimateBid.com to launch "Tickets and Experiences," a co-branded theme page on eBay that will market one-of-a-kind experiences with celebs of all kinds.

More conventional ticket sales also will be conducted there. The new area "is expected to be a premier online destination for the buying and selling of tickets, experiences and lifestyle activities," eBay said.

eBay members can bid for UltimateBid's proprietary experiences -- such as getting behind the scenes on the set of television's "ER" or gaining exclusive access to the cast party and final performance of "Cats" on Broadway.

At launch the new venture is offering packages for fans to join Grammy Award-winning artist Christina Aguilera on stage during her summer concert tour. Next week, UltimateBid will offer exclusive access to a star-studded "New York Tennis Bash" hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum.

Upcoming items will include Lance Armstrong presenting his 1999 Tour de France bike and jersey to the highest bidder and an offer to be a crew member for NASCAR driver Jeff Burton at a race this fall.

These once-in-a-lifetime experiences offered by UltimateBid are complementary to the thousands of tickets and experiences items listed regularly by eBay sellers, the companies said. Such items on eBay have grown organically and now will be more prominent. Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

UltimateBid, supported by its primary content partners SFX Entertainment and IMG, plans to market the "Tickets and Experiences" area in SFX entertainment venues and at IMG sports events.

The co-branded area will have prominent placement on the eBay site, with specialized searches and enhanced features for both buyers and sellers. The theme page will highlight the vast variety of tickets already available for sale at eBay -- organized by artist, genre, and type of ticket.

"This will be an active marketplace, with something for every interest," said Andrew Jody Gessow, co-founder and chairman of UltimateBid. "Whether it's local concert tickets, a boat charter or a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet your hero, now there's a convenient and extraordinary place to buy it or sell it."

UltimateBid was launched last February 2000 with the aim of providing consumers access to previously unavailable or difficult-to-obtain experiences.