New MLB loyalty scheme debuts with LA Dodgers
A new customer loyalty programme aimed at Major League Baseball fans has been launched by the newly formed Sports Loyalty Systems (SLS), with the Los Angeles Dodgers set to become the first to offer the programme to its loyal fans later in the year.
The new loyalty provider, Sports Loyalty Systems (SLS), was formed to design, operate, and market the programme for MLB franchises, and was launched by Les Otten, vice chairman of the Boston Red Sox and founder of the American Skiing company. Also serving on the board of directors are loyalty veterans Jeff Bussgang (co-founder and former president of Upromise) and Craig Underwood (co-founder of The Loyalty Group, which operates Air Miles in Canada).
Preferred provider SLS has signed a joint agreement with MLB Advanced Media (the interactive media and internet arm of MLB, which manages the 30 individual team web sites) to be the preferred provider of customer rewards programmes to MLB franchises. SLS will provide the technology platform and marketing services to power the team-oriented loyalty programmes.
How it works The loyalty programme allows fans to show their loyalty to their MLB team of choice by earning points inside and outside the ballpark. Those points can then be redeemed for game tickets and club merchandise, as well as for admission to members-only fan events.
Fans join the programme at the ballpark or via their team's web site, and receive a team loyalty card that they can use to earn points with cash, credit or debit card transactions. Fans accumulate rewards points whenever they buy tickets, merchandise or concessions at the ballpark (or at other participating merchants), including local area restaurants, hotels, cinemas, retail stores and even online retailers.
Key factor According to Otten, "Fan loyalty is a key factor in the success of most sports franchises and, with one of the largest sports fan bases in the US, baseball has recognised the importance of fostering the relationships it has with each fan. We created SLS with the goal of providing fans with a more enjoyable experience with their favourite team while, at the same time, enabling teams and their sponsors and merchants to create new revenue streams."