If you are anything like myself, you would love to attend the world’s premier ticketed events like the Olympics, the Super Bowl or the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Unfortunately in my case, I have yet to actually act on it. Why? Two problems. First, access to premier tickets is near to impossible on an individual level. Second, many of these said events require travel and if I’m travelling, I want more than just a one-night-stand. I want to get something else out of the experience. Successful trips require research. And research requires both time and patience to inspect the wide array of information with a fine-toothed comb. What was once a fun thought are now a much larger undertaking, and all just because I want to get the most for my money and actually know if I am being recommended the good stuff.
Enter Beck & Score, a members-only travel company offering tailor-made experiences and a personal on-site concierge to the world’s premier ticketed events. Upon arrival, you are not only greeted by your agent, but each group is equipped with a mobile device containing activity schedules, local vetted recommendations, and suggestions on where to eat, shop and play. Your personal, customized guide is accessible from palm of your hand.
Tell me more, you say? Well I had the opportunity to interview the founders of Beck & Score, Chris Stone and Mitchell Jolley. And they are “kicking off” their company around none other than…wait for it…yep, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
Why start a worldwide concierge company?
Stone: We decided to start Beck & Score after doing some research for our own personal travel to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. We noticed a huge void in the marketplace for the Frequent Independent Traveler (FIT) customer to gain access to hospitality tickets, accommodations and concierge service while attending these major world events. Today, most travel companies have conformed to a business model that pushes volume of sales over the quality of the sale. We are trying to revert back to the traditional travel agency model, where personalized service and attention-to-detail are at the core of our value proposition.
Is there a demand for this service?
Stone: In the case of the FIFA World Cup, you are taking the most popular sporting event and putting it one of the most desirable tourist destinations in the world. Big corporate sponsors sweep up all the tickets and hotel inventory and the customer has little chance of gaining VIP access to the event. This is where we come in. Beck & Score aggregates our member network to purchase large quantities of ticket-inclusive hospitality packages. We then package these hospitality packages with accommodations, security, and first-hand knowledge logistics. We will apply this same philosophy and method of operation to all of the events we host clients at in the future.
Focusing specifically on the World Cup, this is the first time it’s being hosted in Brazil. In launching with this event, what do you think this experience will be like for your clients?
Jolley: I’ve spent several months on the ground in Brazil preparing for the World Cup and I’m still taken back by its natural beauty. Even though each region has its own unique landscape and rich culture, the love for soccer unites all 200 million Brazilians. With its unlimited offerings and the passion for the beautiful game, I can’t imagine a better host country for the World Cup. With the time we have put into vetting every aspect of the journey for our members, the experience will be unlike any other.
First-hand knowledge of what you offer is obviously an important part of your company. And the concierge/agent aspect of Beck & Score is a big part of the experience. Who are these people and how are they part of the experience?
Stone: Our agents come from very diverse backgrounds, but all of them bring a unique attribute to the team. We have French, Spanish, and Portuguese speaking agents. We have agents that have experience in event planning and are use to handling all sorts of ad hoc situations. We have an agent that has a Masters in education and will be responsible for taking care of our younger members.
We have local agents that are privy to all the happenings and best spots in each city within Brazil. We want our members to experience the best options in each city, not just the tourist driven options you read about in Frommer’s or Trip Advisor. That is why it is so important to have knowledgeable agents in the area who are also fun people to be around.
So Beck & Score can easily connect with their customers while ensuring honest and in-the-know recommendations. How were the accommodations chosen for Brazil?
Jolley: In a country with a very limited supply of luxury accommodations, we recognized the importance of moving early.
We made the strategic decision to secure accommodations inventory as early as 18 months in advance of the World Cup. Over the course of the last 12 months, I’ve personally vetted all of our properties, both hotels and private residences and can assure all Beck & Score members that they’ll staying in the safest and most luxurious accommodations that Brazil has to offer.
You bring up a good point about safety and large-scale events. How has Brazil prepared for this and specifically how do you plan on protecting your clients?
Stone: This is Brazil’s chance to shine on the international stage. They are not taking security risks lightly and this will be on display during the World Cup. However, Beck & Score has been extremely proactive in providing our own security solutions for the event. We work with a security company called Patriot Group. They have already visited every single one of our accommodations, event venues, stadiums, etc. We will have one security manager in every Beck & Score hub city, as well as a team of local agents underneath them. They will be in charge of all client transfers and will be delivering daily threat analyses to all of our members.
What I also appreciate is Beck & Score’s attention to “outside the stadium” experiences. What are you most excited for your travelers to experience in Brazil?
Jolley: One Beck & Score staple will be priceless experiences that we plan for our members that are unique to the culture and event. For the World Cup, we’ve got some incredible adventures in the works. We’re doing a Brazilian jiu-jitsu experience with legends of the art, 7v7 soccer matches with current and former professionals and regional culinary experiences with some of the best chefs and restaurants in Brazil. My personal favorite is surfing with big-wave rider Garrett McNamara in our amazing getaway city Búzios.
Lastly, and maybe the most important question of this interview…who is your pick to win the FIFA World Cup?
Stone: Brazil will win and USA will make it to the Quarters.
And there you have it… Beck & Score for an experience above all other experiences.
A Los Angeles native, Michael Grady is an alumnus of both Loyola High School and Loyola Marymount University (LMU). While attending LMU and shortly thereafter, Michael was an assistant football coach under his father Steve Grady, head football coach at Loyola High School for more than 30 years. Whether it is working with a first time homebuyer, a luxury home listing or a seasoned investor, Michael prides himself on his unparalleled service with an aptitude for problem solving – something essential for navigating clients through the challenges of today’s real estate market.
Should you need any assistance on on finding or selling a home, please feel free to contact Michael.