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Could We See Frequent-Flyer Type Programs in MLB Soon? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 01 May 2009 11:56

Maury BrownEvery once in while, an idea comes along that is so simple and good that you stand back and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” That was the case a few days ago when a baseball insider informed me that Padres were considering reaching out to repeat season ticket holders by offering up something akin to the frequent-flyer program that the airlines now have. If true, the program would offer up rewards to fans that return year after year, not just the “added value” packages that clubs offer for a given season.

While the details were sketchy, let’s consider what could, or might happen if clubs were to implement this program.

If I buy full-season tickets, I would be given more "points" than someone that purchases partial season tickets. If I buy a group of seats, or a suite, then one would accumulate even more points. To incentivize the consumer to renew season tickets the following year, you allow the accumulated points to be rolled over to the following season. These points could be used for everything from premium parking to concessions and other perks afforded a loyal fan base. If you wanted to closely mirror the frequen-flyer model, you could earn points toward tickets that you could give away, or resell through StubHub.

The beauty of this marketing concept is that the club presents itself as respecting repeat customers. This is different than the buffets and other perks that come with current season ticket packages – perks that seem to be added in to justify the lofty prices being asked for premium seating. After all, you have to offer up something if you’re asking anywhere from $300 to over $1000 per game.

As I said, this marketing idea struck me as genius. The game needs owners to look at the value of their most loyal fans, not just this obsession with corporate purchases. This possible marketing concept is a step in the right direction. Now, let’s see if the Padres put it into motion.

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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