September 27, 2016

7 Effective Ways To Market And Grow Your Rewards Program

Effectively marketing your rewards program is essential to generating new rewards members. Here are several creative marketing techniques to grow your rewards program.

On-Site Advertising

Crimson Guard Rewards and Long Center Rewards remind students to check-in with their rewards app through strategically placed signage throughout the facilities. Long Center Rewards uses signage, so when someone walks in The Long Center, they have a call to action to engage and be part of the show.

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Over-The-Air Contests

Radio and TV are a great resource to spread the word about your rewards program. CFD Rodeo Rewards announces contests through radio and TV, which helps generate new rewards members. 1500 ESPN Rewards rewards loyal listeners of the station by announcing promo codes during the broadcasts.

Video Board Messages

When students attend basketball games, Crimson Guard Rewards and V-Fan Rewards will play video board messages reminding students that they need to download their rewards apps. An engaging graphic or video will encourage your fans to check-in with the app.

Social Media

Crimson Guard Rewards is also marketed heavily through a rewards Twitter account and other Indiana Athletics social media. The athletic programs tweet out ways students can earn points by attending a team’s event. V-Fan Rewards posts photos of students with V-Fan Rewards prizes when they go to pick them up.

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Event Hosting

Hosting an event that may attract new customers is a great way to generate rewards members. Long Center Rewards hosts outdoor events, like an outdoor movie showing, which introduces large audiences to the program.


Off-Site Advertising

V-Fan Rewards reminds students about the program through promotional material across the campus. TV graphics and posters are displayed across campus near walkways so that every student is aware of V-Fan Rewards.

Campus Rewards Annoucement

Weekly Newsletters

Crimson Guard Rewards and V-Fan Rewards both send out emails to remind students of events and the rewards apps. A weekly email is also an excellent place to post an updated leaderboard and tell students to check-out the rewards website. Learn more about crafting great emails for your rewards program here.

All of these marketing techniques are great ways to create new rewards members and to continue to grow your program. If you are a university program, read this story to learn some creative ways to use your rewards program for academic purposes.

September 20, 2016

Western Sydney Wanderer FC use Real-time Polling to Engage With Fans on Match Day

The Western Sydney Wanderer FC (WSW) is using in-game voting to determine the Man of the Match through the rewards program WSW Rewards. By using WSW Rewards, Wanderers Members (season-ticket holders) feel valued and are rewarded for voting for the Man of the Match.


Wanderers set up voting for the Man of the Match before every game through WSW Rewards. The voting takes place in the form of a Micro Survey that every WSW Rewards member can access via the WSW Rewards app.

[Before WSW Rewards], we never had Man of The Match voting. [Now] all Members feel more valued [because] they contribute to the Man of The Match.Nicholas Cakovski, WSW Member Relations Coordinator

Members vote between the last ten minutes of the game to midday the next Monday. The Western Sydney Wanderer FC announce the beginning of the voting period over the speakers and on the big screen at the stadium.

The Micro Survey is an easy and stress-free way for the club to reward all Members. This gives us an insight into what our Members are thinking and which players they enjoy watching.Nicholas Cakovski, WSW Member Relations Coordinator

The Man of the Match Micro Survey also benefits participating Members by rewarding them points through their WSW Rewards account. WSW Rewards allows Members to use those points to redeem prizes and enter contests for exclusive merchandise and post-game experiences. Rewards members also earn points by checking in with the WSW Rewards app when they attend matches.

Lastly, WSW Rewards members also receive a special jersey offer for voting for the Man of the Match. These limited time jersey offers are available to all Members to purchase for the next week after voting closes.

Therefore, Man of the Match voting is an excellent way to reward Members with points and exclusive merchandise offers after every match.Nicholas Cakovski, WSW Member Relations Coordinator

In summary, WSW Rewards help Members engage with the Wanderers through the in-game Man of the Match voting. Through the Man of the Match Micro Survey, Wanderers members get an exclusive opportunity to vote for their favorite player while receiving points and special jersey offers.

September 13, 2016

Using Beacon Triggered Push Notifications to Promote Upcoming Events

Dukes Rewards, James Madison University’s (JMU) rewards program, sets up strategically placed beacons throughout the campus to send notifications to students even when there aren’t any events. James Madison believes that Duke Rewards beacon notifications drives student attendance and increases student engagement with JMU Athletics’ programs.

Since its initiation, Dukes Rewards has helped James Madison drive student attendance to JMU Athletics’ revenue and non-revenue sports, said Director of Marketing Taylor Dewey. Duke Rewards gives points to members that attend JMU Athletic’s events, which encourages students to attend the non-revenue sports, said Dewey.

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Dukes Rewards then allows members to use the points they earn for athletics merchandise, tickets and cool prizes like an Ipad Mini. They can see these prizes, upcoming events, and other ways to earn points on the Duke Rewards website or mobile app.


Dukes Rewards creates new members by encouraging incoming students to sign up. Duke Rewards also uses giveaways on campus and emails to students to promote the use of Duke Rewards during the first weeks of school.

But after the first month, it can be difficult to keep students engaged with the program. So Dukes Rewards plans on using the beacons that they have set up throughout campus to remind students to participate. “Some students will forget to check-in, so the reason we wanted to do the beacons is to make it easier [for student participation],” said Justin Zenz, Assistant Director of Ticketing & Customer Relations.

Beacon notifications will encourage students to open the app, see what prizes they can win and what events they can attend in the future, said Zenz.

Dukes Rewards positions beacons at the entrances of football, softball and basketball stadiums on campus. These entrances are strategic because they can be used during game day but also when students on campus walk by a beacon when an event isn’t happening.

If days before a game, students pass by the entrance to the football stadium, Dukes Rewards may send out a targeted message to them. The message might read something like “Looking forward to having you out Friday night,” or “Check out a big game tomorrow night!”

Beacons requires Bluetooth, so Dukes Rewards encourages students to keep Bluetooth on so they can receive the beacon notifications. They plan to do this through using exclusive promo codes and giveaways that students may only receive through beacon notifications. Another creative way Dukes Rewards intends to use the beacons is to have one with their mascot, Duke Dog when he is walking around. Students are then alerted when he is near with a beacon notification, which creates a reward for students that keep on their Bluetooth.

“Beacons will make it even easier for the students, they don’t even have to remember to take out their phones, they don’t have to remember to open the app, just by being there we can ping them and thank them for coming,” said Dewey.

Through the use of beacons, Dukes Rewards hopes to continue to drive student attendance and maintain steady engagement with James Madison Athletics’ events.

September 6, 2016

Austin’s Long Center Pioneers Rewards Program for Performing Arts Centers

Performing arts centers are struggling to reach the new generation, but the Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin, Texas is bucking the trend by winning over young consumers with the Long Center Rewards program.

“Now is a really tricky time for performing arts centers because sales are down for just about everyone,” said Senior Creative Marketing Manager of the Long Center Brandon Strange.

“Old business models aren’t working like they used to, and people are having difficulty bringing the performing arts to a new generation,” Strange said. But Long Center Rewards has helped them reach these younger consumers, Strange said.

Long Center Rewards is a mobile app and website that gives points to patrons of Long Center events. When someone checks in with the app or passes an IBeacon set up at an event they earn points that they can use at the Long Center Rewards Prize Store.


In the Prize Store, Long Center offers a variety of prizes, contests and auctions. Rewards members can use their points to earn seat upgrades, enter into contests for tickets or bid their points to try to win other exciting experiences.

“Our strategy with the rewards is to do a little bit of everything because we want to appeal to as many people as we can,” Strange said. Long Center Rewards is always updating and creating new giveaways to keep members engaged and to encourage them to earn more points, Strange said.

Long Center Rewards helps differentiate the Long Center from other performing arts centers, Strange said. Usually apps of performing arts centers function as mobile versions of their websites, Strange said, but the Long Center Rewards offers much more.

Through the app, you can receive points by following Long Center social media accounts, which has helped Long Center introduce members to their social content. “Introducing members to our digital channels is probably the biggest benefit of Long Center Rewards,” Strange said.

The second biggest benefit is that the app includes an event page that lists upcoming shows, Strange said. The events page provides an easy way for the Long Center to provide a place for young people to learn about upcoming events.

Long Center App

The benefits of the Long Center Rewards program helps the Long Center feel like a prominent member in the young and tech-friendly city of Austin. “We feel like our app helps us stay in the mind of some of the younger people, and we want people to talk about us and think of us as a popular destination,” Strange said.

Long Center Rewards is continuing to create new members and maintain engagement with current users. Both are signs that Long Center Rewards is a platform that is helping Long Center grow and build lasting relationships with young consumers.

August 30, 2016

Delta Airlines and Chick-fil-a Sponsor Indiana Rewards Program

Indiana University partners with some big sponsors for the Crimson Guard Rewards program, including Delta Airlines and Chick-Fil-A. These sponsors help Indiana give great prizes to the students while cutting costs to Crimson Guard Rewards.

One common goal is to make sure our students are rewarded for coming out to athletics events. By working together [with our sponsors] and the student rewards program we accomplish that.Laura Kneiss, Crimson Guard Director

Indiana attracted Delta Airlines as a sponsor because they were looking to reach the student population. The appeal of nearly 4,000 student rewards members convinced Delta Airlines to partner with Crimson Guard Rewards.

Students at Indiana love Crimson Guard Rewards as well. When students go to athletic events, they earn points to redeem prizes. Students select prizes by going to the Crimson Guard Rewards’ Prize Store that is within the Crimson Guard app and website.

Chick-Fil-A and Delta Airlines works in collaboration with Crimson Guard Rewards to provide prizes for the Prize Store. Chick-Fil-A provides Indiana with free combo meals and breakfast burrito vouchers. Delta Airlines provides Indiana gift cards and a $1600 TV for the grand prize winners at the end of the year.

Through the sponsorship, it save us money [because] we don’t have to go and buy prizes, which helps us with our budget, and the partnership with the companies is always beneficial for us.Laura Kneiss, Crimson Guard Director

Landing Chick-Fil-A and Delta Airlines as sponsors significantly benefits Crimson Guard Rewards. The partnership with Chick-Fil-A and Delta Airlines helps Indiana save money while enabling Delta and Chick-Fil-A to advertise to its large student body.

August 23, 2016

Milwaukee Admirals Offer Exclusive Experiences and Prizes to Increase Fan Engagement

The Milwaukee Admirals, an American Hockey League team, are increasing engagement through exclusive prizes only available on the Admiral Rewards program.

Admiral Rewards offers experiences and autographed material only available through the Admiral Rewards Prize Store. Fans can find The Prize Store in the Admiral Rewards’ app and website.

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Fans earn points to redeem these prizes by attending Admirals games and following the Admiral’s social media. “[Admiral Rewards] is easy to use, is time sensitive and encourages fans to follow social media,” Larson said.

One of the advantages of Admiral Rewards is the ability to measure social engagement, Larson said. With this ability, the Admirals have measured an increase in fan interaction with their social media. For instance, the Admirals have seen triple the number of retweets on Twitter since establishing Admiral Rewards, Larson said. / continue reading

August 16, 2016

How The Invite A Friend Feature Has Grown SW Transit Rewards

SW Transit, an award-winning transit agency, has created new SW Transit Rewards members using the program’s Invite a Friend feature. In fact, 11% of members have joined SW Transit Rewards after receiving an invite from a friend.

SW Transit Rewards members invited a friend by going to and clicking the invite a friend icon on the homepage. There a member could add the email of their friend, which sends them an email with a link to join SW Transit Rewards.

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August 10, 2016

V-Fan Rewards Helps UTRGV Receive Honorable Mention from NACMA

The National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) recognized The University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley as an honorable mention for the Marketing Team of the Year. Rio Grande Valley believes that their rewards system, V-Fan Rewards, is a large part of the athletic department’s marketing success.

We decided to include V-Fan Rewards in our application because we felt like it was one of our strongest digital media components. It drove student engagement offline and online.Kara Lara, Athletic Marketing and Promotions Coordinator at UTRGV

Rio Grande Valley is a new institution created by the Texas State Legislature in 2013 by combining the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas- Pan American. So Rio Grande Valley needed to figure out a way to get people excited about the new athletic program.


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July 21, 2016

How the World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo Uses Contests to Increase Sign-Ups

Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD), the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, uses contests to create loyal rewards members. Fans join CFD’s rewards program, CFD Rodeo Rewards, to gain access to exclusive contests for concerts, meet and greets, free tickets and VIP experiences.

To spread the word about the contests, CFD Rodeo Rewards announces them through radio, tv and social media. After hearing about the contests, fans enter to win through the CFD Rodeo Rewards’ website or mobile app.

Fans must create a CFD Rodeo Rewards account or log-in with an existing one to enter into contests. New CFD Rodeo Rewards members can have one free entry into a contest after creating an account. By generating these new members, CFD Rodeo Rewards has onboarded thousands of fans from these contests.

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July 6, 2016

Crimson Tide Rewards Finds Success with Push Notifications

The University of Alabama uses push notifications at sporting events through the Crimson Tide Rewards program, as previously mentioned in 8 Push Notification Messages you Should be Sending to Your Fans.  In a recent survey conducted by Crimson Tide Rewards, fans let Alabama know they loved the push notifications they send out.

In the survey, Crimson Tide Rewards asked: “Are push notifications on the CTR App helpful?” The answer was yes, as 84% of the 145 respondents said they found the CTR app’s push notifications helpful.

1. Greet Fans Before the Game

Fans may come early to your game, so it is a good idea to welcome fans as they begin to arrive. By adding beacons to parking lot entrances and tailgate areas you can greet fans right away. You can also schedule your push notifications so that they only go out to fans that arrive before the game.

Extra Tip: Include a sponsor in the message and give extra points for tailgaters.

Welcome to your tailgating lot! Remember, a cold Budweiser makes every tailgate better. Can’t wait to see you at the game!

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