Vet Tix has distributed more than 15 million tickets to military members, veterans, first responders and their families since its creation in 2008. In 2022, the non-profit got more tickets to vets, service members and first responders than it did in its first eight years of operation, a feat accomplished through partnerships and good relations with some of the biggest teams, venues, and ticketing partners across the country.
In 2023, Vet Tix was able to send 8 of its members and their guest to the big game: the Super Bowl. Specifically, Super Bowl LVII, to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles. It wasn’t just a memorable game for the Vet Tixers who went; it was a milestone for Vet Tix.
“I joined the staff at Vet Tix in 2016, and since I’ve been here, we’ve gone from distributing over three million to more than 15 million tickets,” Vet Tix Chief Strategy Officer Steven Weintraub said. “We’ve been able to grow our members, and when teams, leagues and promoters see how we’ve been able to get fans to their shows and games, it’s like a snowball rolling down a hill.”
The number of events and shows has snowballed, too. Vet Tix was able to offer tickets to some of college football’s biggest games during the 2022 season, securing seats for the Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Peach Bowl and the College Football National Championship game for the coming years. Some of these venues will host National Championship qualifiers. The biggest game in the country was still to come.
Although a nominal delivery fee is required to receive tickets, it is per transaction and not for each ticket requested. As a nonprofit organization, 95% of the funds that Vet Tix receives via the delivery fee, and 100% of every dollar donated goes to programs.
“That’s important to our donors because they donate these tickets,” Weintraub said. “They want people to go and our members use their tickets.”
The fact that Vet Tix members pay a nominal delivery for their tickets and go to the events keeps donors happy and keeps them donating tickets. Vet Tix members can search for shows and events, then and request tickets for events in their area. The 16 tickets Vet Tix had for the Super Bowl were open to the entire country. Veterans who wanted to go requested tickets via a lottery system.
Some events are just going to be more popular and more requested than others. Nothing against your local symphony orchestra, but a Beyonce concert is just going to get more requests for tickets. To handle this, Vet Tix allows users to gather coins, which can be earned in various ways.
Referring an eligible friend to Vet Tix will net a member 15 coins once they sign up and their status is verified. Submitting an optional thank you note accompanied by a photo of you at the event which Vet Tix shares with the event donor earns you a minimum of three and as many as 30 coins per thank you note.
Virtual coins can't be bought or transferred, they can only be earned. Coins are used for wagering ticket requests for high-demand or popular events that are available via a lottery. Events that have a lottery associated with them will state that in the event notification.
“For every coin wagered in the lottery, your name goes into the lottery that many times," Weintraub explained. “Then our algorithm selects the winners completely at random and sends an email notification to those selected for the event. Once the delivery fee is paid, the tickets are transferred. If you're not selected, you're notified and you get all your coins back so there's nothing to lose by wagering coins."
As Vet Tix grows, so does its visibility and record of success among donors, performers, promoters, and sports leagues. This success, which is especially dependent on the veterans who use those tickets, has allowed Vet Tix to get veterans and military members to the Super Bowl. In the future, Vet Tix hopes to get its membership to the biggest games in sports, including the NFL games, MLB World Series, the NBA and NCAA Basketball Finals, and the Stanley Cup.
“We rely on the generosity of our donors, but we can make some smart spends. You just never know what's gonna pop up,” Weintraub said. “We do want our Vet Tix members to have access to the experiences they’ll never forget.”