SBD/March 28, 2011/Franchises
Magic Carpet Ride: Nationals Relaunch Fan Rewards Program As Online Effort
The Nationals have relaunched their fan loyalty effort, the Red Carpet Rewards Program, as an online amenity. Believed to be the first of its type in MLB, the new, Internet-based Red Carpet Rewards Program was created through a partnership between the club, MLBAM and London-based customer management outfit Fortress GB. Fans earn points for season-ticket purchases, and redemption awards include additional tickets and preferred parking. But a second and more dynamic phase to the program is under development in which radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is being tested at Nationals Park this season. Program members eventually will be able to earn points from concession and merchandise purchases and other activities to their accounts. "This is another beginning of how we use technology to enhance the fan experience. We see this as a big step forward," said Nationals COO Andy Feffer. "The rewards program needed to be faster and more efficient." The Nationals also plan at some future point to tie the rewards program into virtual ticketing. The club in recent months also has pursued several other interactive elements to drive awareness and ticket sales, including a microsite launched in December devoted to season-ticket purchasing. The online functionality will allow easier sharing of points and rewards with friends, family, and co-owners of season-ticket plans, particularly a large number of Nationals season-ticket accounts that are shared in some way.
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