Vox Media Strikes Deal to Promote StubHub With Content, Integrations and Ads

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A restaurant 'Heatmap' on Vox Media's Eater includes a StubHub-sponsored integration for Madison Square Garden, where StubHub is selling tickets to events.
A restaurant 'Heatmap' on Vox Media's Eater includes a StubHub-sponsored integration for Madison Square Garden, where StubHub is selling tickets to events. Credit: Vox Media
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Digital publisher Vox Media and eBay-owned StubHub have entered into a multi-year custom content partnership that will result in integrations and advertising across Vox's eight media brands, the companies announced Wednesday.

Most prominently, team pages on the Vox sports network SB Nation will now have StubHub ticket widgets, though Vox will not get a cut of revenue from sales made using them. On food brand Eater's popular "Heatmaps," which display some of the most buzzed-about restaurants in a city, ticketed events at nearby venues will be promoted.

The companies declined to disclose terms of the deal.

The Vox partnership is part of a larger campaign by StubHub to become known for more than just selling sports tickets. The digital marketplace also sells tickets to cultural events like concerts and theater performances.

David Pierotti, StubHub's head of media and distribution, said the company is "really looking for ways that go beyond typical advertising in media." As such, Vox's custom content operation, Vox Creative, will create custom, StubHub-branded Heatmaps, among other things.

"For us, this is unique," said Michael Hadgis, Vox's global head of revenue and partnerships. He said the deal is "more complex than anything we've ever done."

The deal is an expansion of the existing relationship between StubHub and Vox, which have been working together for a few years. Vox, StubHub, and StubHub's agencies met in San Francisco in early July to hash out what a bigger advertising and content partnership would look like.

"We honestly sat down and didn't really pitch them," Mr. Hadgis said. Appraising the deal, he said, "Our goal of this partnership is to continue to do hackathons and share data and really figure out how we can continue to build on top of this. ... They want to learn and innovate together."