StubHub Interim President Krimmel on COVID-19 Impacts
StubHub, like most companies in the live event industry, faces major headwinds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Events have been canceled and postponed. Ticket refund policies have come under major fire.
However, the winds that StubHub and new owner Viagogo are much stronger for them. This is due to one of the most poorly timed acquisitions in history. Viagogo purchased StubHub from eBay for a whopping $4.05 billion in November 2019. We all now know what happened only a few short months later as the threat of COVID-19 shut down events and put companies like StubHub under major risks almost instantly. The deal is also facing scrutiny in the UK that the companies must deal with now as well.
The Daily Headliner recently wrote about the negative press that StubHub is receiving and pressure from ticket buyers and fans. We wondered if it could survive?
StubHub Interim President Jill Krimmel is slightly more optimistic for the industry and hence the company. Krimmel stepped into her interim role at the beginning of June when Sukhinder Singh Cassidy transitioned out of the position during the turbulent time. No doubt it is a trying time for Krimmel to take the helm.
Quartz recently put together a series called The New Normal on the Impact of COVID-19 over the next five years. They interviewed experts from a variety of fields from Academia to Food to Health & Science to Tech for their perspectives related to their industry.
Krimmel was under the Business category and gave her thoughts specific to the live event industry. She acknowledges the challenges and mentions changes such as temperature checks, limited capacities, drive-in concerts, and live streaming. However, she places a lot of faith in the power and unique experience of live events and its ability to come back.
Now I do not disagree with her. Live events cannot be fully replaced and will eventually be back. However, I would not be counting the seconds until that happens, nor would I want to be in the place of StubHub with a business that depends on that happening sooner rather than later.