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Boston College Athletics Marketing Idea: Season Ticket Cards & Loyalty Program

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My dad and brother are season ticket holders for the new MLS franchise down in Philadelphia. The Union have a season ticket card and loyalty program which I thought was pretty interesting. Here's the idea as explained on the Union's website:

"By using your Season Ticket Card you will gain loyalty points for the 2011 season. As you surpass different reward levels you will be invited to participate in unique experiences and exclusive events during the year. These loyalty points can also be used to bid on items such as game-worn jerseys, access to exclusive events and unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that are only available for card-carrying season ticket holders. Full Season Ticket holders will be emailed when new auction items are made available."

Points are accrued by scanning in your Season Ticket Card at Union home matches. You get a certain amount of points for attending various home games -- just 10 points for a marquee matchup against the Galaxy vs. 50 points for weekday games and games against Sporting KC and the Colorado Rapids.

Season ticket holders also can earn points for a Union win (10 points) and for getting to the stadium early (20 points).

You can use your points in one of two ways. Based on a certain loyalty level you achieve, you will be invited to participate in unique experiences and exclusive events during the year. Second, you can use your loyalty points to bid on unique auction items made available throughout the year or use your Loyalty status to get discounts for purchasing Union merchandise.

This seems like a generally easy idea to implement for Boston College and a great way to build fan loyalty and drive desirable attendance behavior like getting to Alumni before kickoff. The system also rewards season ticket holders and fans when the team wins, which ties the team's success with the fans, creating a tighter bond between the two.

For a modest investment involved in setting up an online account system, card scanners in Alumni and Conte and issuing cards to all season ticket holders, this seems like a great way of building loyalty and improving attendance at football, basketball and hockey games throughout the year.

Want to get more fans into Alumni Stadium before kickoff? Offer 50 points for getting to the stadium and scanning your season ticket card 15 minutes before kickoff. Want to drive attendance to the non-BCS, non-conference, non-Parents' Weekend home games against UMass, Weber State and the like? Offer a graduated point scale that rewards season ticket holders the most for going to games that are lightly attended. Want to drive attendance to weeknight 9 PM ACC men's hoops tipoffs against Virginia or N.C. State? Offer double points for those games.

The AD could also drive all sorts of other fan behaviors unique to college athletics -- purchasing bowl tickets through the AD, buying a ticket to the ACC Championship Game, ACC Men's Basketball or Hockey East Tournament through the school or rewarding bonus points for attending events in multiple sports.

The points could be redeemed for BC merchandise or tickets auctioned through or for buying tickets to other home contests. The AD already has an online auction site where fans can bid on unique items such as game-worn jerseys, but those auctions are typically cost-prohibitive to students and young alumni. Why not designate some of these future auctions as Loyalty Point only auctions where only Season Ticket Card holders can bid on these unique items? This would be an easy way of getting these unique items like game-worn jerseys in the hands of students and fans who are otherwise priced out of obtaining these items through the existing auction system.

What do you think of a season ticket card and loyalty program? I know the AD tried to implement something similar a few years back for raffling off student tickets, but a program like this could apply to both students and season ticket holders. Would you be more apt to attend a BC sporting event if you could accrue points to be used on auctions, merchandise discounts and unique events?

After the jump, a back of the envelope stab at a similar season ticket card / loyalty program for BC athletics.

Boston College Eagles Season Ticket Card & Loyalty Program Proposal


150 -- Football game against Florida State
250 -- Games against Northwestern, N.C. State, UMass
350 -- Games againstWake Forest, Duke


50 -- Hockey game against Boston U., Maine, New Hampshire
50 -- Hockey game against non-conference opponent
100 -- Hockey game against Northeastern, UMass, Providence
150 -- Hockey game against Vermont, Lowell, Merrimack
75 -- Hockey East Quarterfinals


200 -- Men's/women's basketball game against non-conference opponent
100 -- Basketball game against Duke, North Carolina
150 -- Basketball game against non-Duke, non-Carolina ACC opponent

Bonus Points

50 -- Football Eagles Home Win Bonus
25 -- Basketball / Hockey Eagles Home Win Bonus
100 -- Early Entrance Bonus (30 minutes before kickoff)
50 -- Early Entrance Bonus (30 minutes before tip, faceoff)
100 -- ACC Championship Game ticket purchased through school
500 -- Bowl game purchased through school
500 -- ACC Men's Basketball Tournament book purchased through school
250 -- Hockey East Tournament / Beanpot Tournament tickets purchased
100 -- Non-Friday Weekday Basketball / Hockey game attendance
150 -- 9 PM basketball tipoff

Also, after we install optical scanners, the AD will award 50 bonus points every time you show up to a game wearing a maroon or gold shirt, and subtract 250 points every time you show up wearing a Red Sox shirt or Patriots jersey.