Online payments and e-commerce play an important role in one of the world’s biggest sports events – the Australian Open. Find out how Tennis Australia uses a SecurePay payment gateway for online memberships.
Regarded internationally as the “Happy Slam”, the Australian Open tennis tournament is a highlight of summer Down Under. That’s especially true for Melburnians, who descend on Rod Laver Arena in droves, ready for a full day or night’s worth of world-class tennis and entertainment.
Many of the visitors who flock to Melbourne Park over the course of the two weeks are Australian Open members, which gives them a host of tournament benefits.
Top international sporting event
The Australian Open (AO) kicks off the tennis year and the tournament has grown quickly over the years. Now known as the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific, the tournament attracts hundreds of thousands of fans from all over Australia, Asia and the rest of the world.
Many of these tennis fans opt for a Australian Open membership, which offers early access to tickets before the general public.
Membership also offers a range of other benefits, including merchandise discounts, ground passes to the event, access to the members’ lounge during the tournament, discount court hire at Melbourne Park and, for tennis diehards, the opportunity to enter ticket ballots for the other three grand slams: Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open.
There are three tiers of membership available – entry-level Game ($99 for one year), mid-level Set ($149 for one year) and top-level Match ($249 for one year) – which guarantee access to lower-level tickets for the tournament’s final five sessions, including the much sought after men’s final.
The e-commerce challenge
The Australian Open memberships are highly popular, and Tennis Australia needed systems that would provide fans with a convenient and secure way to buy their annual membership. The online solution needed to appeal to both existing members and new ones signing up for the first time. In addition, Tennis Australia also needed its online booking system and payment gateway to easily integrate with its other systems, such as its accounting software.
The e-commerce solution
James Rowett, the Australian Open Memberships Coordinator, explains that Australian Open memberships can be purchased online through a SecurePay payment gateway. This, says Rowett, gives customers the chance to review membership information and benefits easily online, in their own time. If they would like to go ahead and purchase a membership, they can do so by following a series of quick and easy steps.
Online access is also handy for the many international tennis fans who take out memberships. Rowett estimates that of the 10,000 primary members, around 75 per cent are Australian, with the remainder coming from overseas.
Navigating the world of online payments
Despite the high demand for Australian Open memberships, Rowett says his experience of working with SecurePay has been a smooth one. “We always find SecurePay’s reporting system to be accurate and it balances with our accounts department each month.
“AO members are very open to the online booking service these days and they are very accepting of e-commerce – not only for memberships, but in all areas. It’s definitely the way forward for us,” he adds.
In fact, Rowett foresees more of Tennis Australia’s systems and payment processes coming together online through one CRM portal that has an existing relationship with SecurePay.
For now, though, Rowett has his hands full helping to grow awareness of the Australian Open Membership program and its many benefits for tennis fans in Australia and the rest of the world.
Facts and figures
Customer: Tennis Australia
Challenge: Tennis Australia needed an easy-to-use online system and payment solution for its popular Australian Open Membership program. This had to cater to existing members, as well as new ones, both in Australia and overseas.
Solution: A SecurePay payment gateway allows members to pay for, or renew annual memberships, safely and securely online, using their credit card.
- 24/7 booking and payment availability
- 10,000 primary members are now able to renew their memberships online
- National and international reach
- Payment gateway integrates with booking, CRM and accounting systems.