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Volume 26 No. 178
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NBA Kings Hope New Royalty Pass App Helps Fan Experience

Petkus (r) wants the Kings' customer service teams to have real-time, in-venue interaction with fans
Photo: TONY FLOREZ
Petkus (r) wants the Kings' customer service teams to have real-time, in-venue interaction with fans
Photo: TONY FLOREZ
Petkus (r) wants the Kings' customer service teams to have real-time, in-venue interaction with fans
Photo: TONY FLOREZ

With an eye on customizing and personalizing the fan experience, the NBA Kings want their fans to consider their app a "true arena remote control." Kings VP/Ticket Sales & Services Justin Petkus spoke at the '19 AXS Ticketing Symposium in L.A. on Tuesday about the next phase in that experience: real-time, in-venue interaction with fans, moving far beyond simply sending courtesy emails to ticket holders before and after they attend a specific game. Petkus said the Kings for years brainstormed with Wen Miao, CEO and co-Founder of real-time customer marketing platform Lava, about how to engage with their fans in the moment throughout a game, providing experiences for season ticket holders and fans to get them talking and engaged in a way they have never been before. Their Royalty Pass, which they roll out this year, allows the Kings to be proactive and deliver on these experiences in real-time. "If somebody has an issue with a long line in a bathroom, and they come to one of our reps, or they come to me and complain about it," Petkus said, "I can then log in to their account with their mobile number, and I can shoot them a voucher for a free beer and tell them, 'Well, hey, at least while you wait, you can enjoy a cold beer on me.' That way, we eliminate the ability for things to linger ... We're also going to be able, with Royalty Pass, to understand where our customers are at during the games, where they are spending their money -- where their trends tend to be."

TAKING CARE OF THINGS IN THE MOMENT: Miao elaborated on the restroom line hypothetical, saying that when you provide the fan a service recovery coupon in the moment during the game, it may cost $4. However, if you wait until the following Monday to try to get that fan back, it may cost $40 and you also have to deal with "whatever damage they have done on Twitter or Instagram," Miao said. Miao: "Being able to be in that moment with the fan is a huge opportunity, and that's really what we're focusing on with the Kings." Instead of taking the ROI approach, Petkus said, it is the return on objective approach, with the Kings looking to engage with fans differently than they ever have before. In that moment during the game, they hope to affect the fan's mindset and, he said, "maybe win a fan for life."