SBD/March 18, 2013/Franchises

Celtics, Red Sox Adopt Digital Ticketing, Including New Rewards Programs

Celtics officials believe the Parquet Pass will be more convenient for fans
The Celtics are “moving to electronic ticketing for season ticket holders with their Parquet Pass, a square of plastic that serves as everything from ticket to stored value card to tracking device,” according to Amalie Benjamin of the BOSTON GLOBE. The Red Sox also will “offer digital ticketing, though they are just beginning their pilot program for 600 members of the Royal Rooters club.” The teams “want their season ticket holders, their highest-spending and most dependable customers, to feel valued and connected to the brand.” To foster that, the teams “will offer loyalty programs, targeted advertising, and promotions.” Celtics President Rich Gotham said, “With everything digital, there’s a trail that you can clearly look at and see how tickets are being utilized. It gives a level of intelligence to deal with your customer. We feel like we should know that person, and they should know us." As technology has “evolved, so, too has the way to reward fan loyalty.” Celtics VP/Strategic Marketing & Business Operations Matt Griffin said, “That’s where this business is headed, from being a ‘season ticket holder’ to you’re becoming a ‘season ticket member.’” The Celtics program, “tested in a pilot program this season, is billed as a way to give control and convenience to the fan, using cards for parking and merchandise, food and beverage, perhaps even outside the arena.” The pilot program “included about 650 people and has taken some time to work seamlessly.” The Celtics estimate that they “will have 70 percent adoption next season.” Ticket holders “can also opt to stay with paper tickets.”

: The Red Sox “have joined with Fortress US on a program based on one used” by the Nationals, while “taking cues from” the MLS Union. The card is “part of a bigger loyalty program the Sox are hoping will change the way fans engage with the team.” Fans enrolled will be able to “earn rewards, much as they might in airline or hotel programs, getting points for attending games, for watching or listening to games at home, for using e-cash at concession stands, for tenure as a season ticket holder.” They then can “use those points for auction items -- like throwing out a first pitch or assisting the scorekeeper behind the Green Monster.” Meanwhile, Patriots Exec Dir of Media Relations Stacey James said that the team has “no plans to give up physical tickets anytime soon” and has “different needs because of the small number of home games.” Bruins President Cam Neely said of the team possibly adopting a similar program, “We haven’t decided what we’re going to do moving forward” (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/16).
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