With his transfer to Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo reached the front pages of newspapers all over the United Kingdom and Europe. In both the search volume and the ticket sales, the ‘Ronaldo effect’ was immediately noticeable: within a day, ticket sales for Manchester United’s matches increased sevenfold.
All sails up
“On Friday evening, we immediately sat in the office with a project team to manage the ‘Ronaldo effect’ online,” says Roy Wouters of P1 Travel. “And that was a good thing, because the website could hardly handle the traffic.” P1 Travel, ‘official authorized reseller’ of Manchester United, recorded a 700% increase in organic traffic to the pages with tickets for Manchester United within 24 hours. “We even had to turn off our ads in Google for a while to ensure that our website remained up and running.”
The most popular matches are the home games against Newcastle on September 11th and Villarreal on September 29th. Many fans, of course, hope to see Ronaldo’s comeback with their own eyes.
Ticket sales follow trend
Ticket sales for football matches follow the trend of search volume: P1 Travel saw a sevenfold increase in turnover in the same 24 hours. The travel company currently operates in four countries and concludes that 70% of these sales were made by British customers. There is a logical explanation for this; Many travellers from abroad are currently subject to local travel restrictions when arriving in the UK. For the British, of course, these restrictions do not apply, which makes visiting a football match more accessible to these fans at the moment. Most orders are therefore ticket-only and concern groups of two to three people.
“Meanwhile, the peak is behind us, and both the traffic and the number of bookings are stable, but that level is many times higher than before the Ronaldo transfer. After a tough period due to Corona, this is a big bright spot that we need and that shows that the fans really crave live events.” Wouters expects that the higher, stable line of bookings will continue for the time being. “Although of course that also depends on the success of the club in the Champions League and Premier League.”