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Seth Rabinowitz, SVP, Marketing & Fan Engagement, New York Jets believes the team’s loyalty program is not traditional, but straightforward and fair.
“You can’t assume loyalty, but you can reward it,” Rabinowitz said during a session titled, “How the New York Jets Win Year-Round Fan Loyalty On and Off the Field,” at the 9th Annual Loyalty Expo, presented by Loyalty360 – The Association for Customer Loyalty.
Jets Rewards, presented by MasterCard, is a season ticket-holder only program. The main way in which fans receive points is by attending games and, with these points, they can redeem them for unique physical items, autographed items, memorabilia, merchandise, and, more importantly, for experiential rewards. These rewards range from sideline passes to seats on the team charter to an away game and all sorts of things that are truly incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Loyalty program members earn bonus points by attending more games.
Starting with the seventh game, members earn multipliers that advance the level of points collected.
“There is no monetary component,” Rabinowitz said. “Your spend with us does not in any material way influence your points. It is not a point-per-dollar spend, nor can you redeem the points for cash, credit, season ticket purchases in the future, or food and beverage purchases at the stadium or anything like that. The program is earned through your loyalty and your behavior as a fan, not through the thickness of your wallet. That is a very important part of the program. The program is designed for engagement now.”
What’s more, Rabinowitz said points are earned by seat, not account, and cannot be combined. The program runs August through July.
“Each year the program resets and you can’t roll your points over from year to year because the points expire at the end of the program year, nor can you combine the points across the number of seats you hold on your account,” he explained. “If you hold four seats on your account, you hold four separate points earning entities, not one, and you cannot roll up the points to the account level, the points accrue at the seat level. All of those things were done on purpose to keep an even playing field among all the season ticket-holders. You don’t get more points by having more money than me, or more seats than me, or being more patient than me. You don’t get an advantage over me when it comes to the ability to accrue points and importantly to redeem points because many of the experiences are auctioned off to the highest bidder because there is a finite quantity and that is the fairest way to do it.”
Jet Rewards has been very well received by fans and season ticket-holders.
Engagement is well above industry standards based on point activity and website log-ins, Rabinowitz noted. Almost half of all accounts redeemed points in Year One and 91% of members said the program is easy to use.
“We have a very high satisfaction rating with it,” Rabinowitz said. “We also have a very high engagement rate of double, if not more, than industry norms in terms of engagement. The program is only two years old and is in a very crowded landscape.”
Rabinowitz shared some advice for marketers looking to implement or revamp their respective loyalty programs:
-Reward the right people for the right things
-Make technology serve your use case
-Go all-in on communications
-Use data to solve today’s problems
-Stick with your plan, even if it’s different
“We try to make the game experience about more than just what happens on the gridiron,” Rabinowitz said. “We try to make it an event as well as a game. If the game itself lasts three hours, then we try to make the experience last eight hours. We have programming and we have content and we have value for you from the moment we open our outer gates of the parking lot five hours before kickoff until the last person pulls out of the parking lot after the game. We are trying to offer things that you cannot get at home and there are still plenty of things that you can't get at home.”
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