Ticketing companies are increasingly looking for ways to upsell and upgrade the ticket buying experience and one firm has come up with a unique offer — a free ride to the show.

Concert fans who buy their tickets through the Etix platform will be given a $20 credit for a ride to the concert through mobile transportation app Uber. 

Brian Bauer with Rockhouse Partners, Etix’s digital marketing agency, said the agreement is an in-kind marketing partnership and is only available to new Uber users. While no cash or data will be exchanged in the deal, Etix has agreed to send ticket buyers a promo code for a $20 credit on Uber.

Bauer said the deal was attractive because “Etix gets to ally with a hot brand and it’s a differentiator for us. Uber wins because they get new riders and the venue will see a boost in alcohol sales as more people arrange for transportation” instead of driving themselves.

The email offer sent to ticket buyers will include a promotion code and a link to download the Uber app. Unlike traditional taxi companies, Uber maintains a large network of drivers across North America that often offer rates and services that are highly competitive with traditional cab services.  Uber users can order, track, and pay for their rides through their mobile phones, as well as rate Uber drivers and share their experiences with other users. For Uber, the partnership with Etix is about growing their customer base — the hope is that the initial $20 investment spent acquiring a new customer will result in a repeat spend in the future.

The program has been beta-tested at several venues including Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, Ky. According to Marketing Director Lizi Hagan, “adoption and use has been slow, but Uber is still relatively new in our market and we’re hopeful that more people will use it as the company grows.”

For Uber, the Louisville market has plenty of potential. As Hagan points out, “cab service in the city is practically nonexistent” and “everyone is waiting for an alternative. We’ve got to keep putting it out there and, slowly, we think people will respond.”

She expects a big push for the service will come next month during the city’s Forecastle Festival, July 18-20.

“We have two after-party shows during the festival that don’t start until midnight, and run until 2 a.m.,” she said. “There will be a need for transportation services at both shows.”

Bauer said that open rates on the promotional offers have been over 50 percent and that click-through rates “are nearly four times what we normally see.”

With a general rollout slated to begin this week, the Uber promotion will be offered in 55 cities where both companies operate. The next phase of the partnership is to begin offering exclusive presales to Uber users.

Interviewed for this article: Brian Bauer, (646) 484-6187; Lizi Hagan, (502) 584-8088