How Wisconsin is Rewarding Loyal Fans with Priority Seating

The University of Wisconsin uses FanMaker to power a ticket priority system which rewards students that attend the most games with the best seats. When students check-in at games through Badger Rewards, they earn points to receive eligibility for priority seating for men’s basketball games.

“We are really focused on rewarding students who come to games; we found out through our survey that students value the best seats in the student section so we developed this program to speak to that and help reward those fans.”

– Adam Ahearn, Associate Director of Marketing Wisconsin

Wisconsin automatically registers each student season ticket holder at the beginning of the season, but other students who attend games can also register for an account. Students then check-in with the Badger Rewards app, iBeacons or the custom iPad kiosks near the student entrances.

The custom kiosks, similar to the ones used by Mississippi State, allow the student to check-in to games or create a Badger Rewards account by swiping their student ID. After the students check-in they receive points for attending as well as bonus points for early arrival.


Before automating the process with FanMaker, Wisconsin scanned students tickets to track attendance. But this didn’t work for students without season tickets and was also very time-consuming. Since using the custom kiosks and other check-in methods, Wisconsin can allow any student to participate in Badger Rewards and can automate tracking of points, reporting, and ticket priority list creation.

Badger Rewards has helped Wisconsin increase attendance for non-conference games. Since the ticket priority seats normally don’t kick in til Big Ten games, students must earn their points during the non-conference games. Badger Rewards hands out more points for less attended non-conference games to draw more students to those events.

Once students go over a certain threshold, like 15,000 points for Michigan State, they obtain priority seating for that game if they RSVP before the event. Students then simply pick up their ticket and enjoy the game. Wisconsin has great success and high participation with Badger Rewards during gameday. Most students check-in with Badger Rewards at games throughout the season. For instance, 96% of the students that attended the men’s basketball game against Siena checked-in. 

Wisconsin attributes high participation with Badger Rewards due to efforts in educating the students about the program. Badger Rewards heavily markets the program during the beginning of the season through video board messages, social media, displaying messages on the TV’s in the concourse as well as leaving marketing material on student’s seats.

“Throughout the season, we didn’t get any feedback from people like, ‘hey I didn’t know about [Badger Rewards],’ we never heard that once, so we felt like our education process worked in terms of getting students to participate.”

– Adam Ahearn, Associate Director of Marketing Wisconsin

Through Badger Rewards, Wisconsin basketball recognizes its loyal student fans by granting them the best seats in the house without making them wait in line hours before the game. Badger Rewards seating priority encourages students to attend games while rewarding the most loyal students at the University.

Scroll to Top