Today, we would like to talk about the value-proposition of loyalty programs in sports and entertainment. I guess by now, we have all figured out that in some way or the other, engaging our fan in the stadium, on the leading social media platforms and all other online, mobile and offline touch-points is crucial in driving our business and success.
Therefore 2-3 years ago, many SaaS companies started to offer loyalty & reward program solutions to sports and entertainment enterprises. Especially in the context of giving back to season ticket holders, they became increasingly popular for good reasons. However, creating a closed loyalty program for your Fans, especially one that adds real value to your Fans is challenging. The reason is quite simple: Rewarding Fans requires a per user budget. The program value per user is limited to the possibilities a user has to earn up to his or her reward.
If we look at other industries, we can learn from more than 25 years of experience what is essential in running a successful loyalty rewards program. And one of the major components is the coalition of major partners. Almost none of the successful program operate alone. Especially reward programs (in contrast to cash-back programs) require multiple strong partners to maximise the value-proposition to your Fans. We can learn that from retail, airline, hotel and even railroad loyalty programs.
This is why you should build your Fan engagement / loyalty program with a clear focus on maximising the real value your Fans can earn up to in rewards. Meaning, if you yourself are willing to invest e.g. $1 per year / fan, you need to enter into partnerships, that add another $9 per year / fan in reward value. Otherwise, your program ecosystem will fail.
We experienced this ourselves when we developed and operated closed Fan loyalty programs with leading Bundesliga soccer teams in Germany. We have signed up more than 300.000 Fans and generated substantial 6 digit revenues across the programs.
We did have partial proof-of-concept with signups and revenues and also did succeed in creating value for the top 10% percentile. However, we found it challenging to create value for the other 90% of users.
With this learning and insight, we developed Fanmiles as the first open Fan Loyalty ecosystem. The idea is quite simple: We create one platform and especially only one Fanmiles account. Fans can earn one digital Fan Loyalty currency called #fanmiles with all their favourite stars and brands. Fans can redeem earned #fanmiles with any participating partner for tickets, music, movies, merchandise, games and other relevant Fan rewards.
This way, even the smallest Fan loyalty program or even a single loyalty campaign adds to the overall value proposition of a Fan and profits from the Fanmiles Ecosystem. E.g. your Fans could earn #fanmiles when they enter your stadium, listen to your music on Spotify, watch your movie trailer on your website, engage with one of your sponsors or shop with an unrelated partner. All those #fanmiles can be redeemed for rewards that you offer.
We strongly believe that in order to attract major revenues from sponsors and brands that are seeking to engage and win loyal Fans as customers, sports and entertainment partners have to join in one ecosystem to increase the value proposition to Fans and create one marketplace for sponsored campaigns. This is what we set out to do – to join sports and entertainment publishers and advertisers in one ecosystem to maximize the value to Fans.
You can contact us anytime to discuss your Fan loyalty strategy. Fanmiles offers turnkey solutions to setup your own Fan engagement campaigns or programs within the Fanmiles ecosystem. If you are already running your own engagement, loyalty or rewards program, you can now join Fanmiles to increase the value to your Fans, while profiting from the largest marketplace for sponsor and brand partnerships.
Contact us for more information or comment to share your view on the topic.