First USA Signs Deal to Issue Ticketmaster MasterCard in the Spring

Article excerpt

First USA Inc. has bought its ticket to the entertainment industry.

The Dallas-based issuer signed a deal Tuesday with Ticketmaster Group Inc. to issue a no-fee cobranded Ticketmaster MasterCard in the spring.

Although details of the pact are incomplete, cardholders are expected to net rewards on events ranging from concerts and sporting events to movies and plays.

"The significance of the deal will only be determined by the value of the benefits to consumers," said Frances M. Dale, president of Entandem, Reston, Va.

Ms. Dale said the program had the potential to rival Viacom Inc.'s Blockbuster Visa program. At the time of its launch in 1995, the card was said to have opened the entertainment category for the cobranding industry. The Blockbuster card offers discounts at Paramount theme parks, for the Showtime cable television channel, and rebates on Blockbuster video and music purchases.

The agreement allows First USA, an aggressive leader in cobranding and affinity marketing, to benefit from the $1.6 billion tickets Ticketmaster sells each year.

What's more, it gives First USA access to Ticketmaster's proprietary data base of 25 million ticket buyers. …