Fan-Centric Programs Announced on Both Sides of the Pond (April 23, 2013)
StoreFinancial Services has announced a marketing program designed to strengthen the bond between professional sports teams and their fans, as well as ties between team sponsors and their customers.
With the Fan Experience Card program, which features a restricted authorization network (RAN) prepaid card that can be redeemed at any merchant inside or outside the sports team’s stadium, teams and their sponsors can create promotions together by determining the offer details, whether the card is reloadable and specifying participating merchants. A consumer-funded gift card program also is available, according to StoreFinancial, an Overland Park, Kan.-based international payment systems processor and program manager.
“Stadium and sponsor locations can be up-and-running quickly. Their only task is to choose a program that will be most attractive to their fan base,” a StoreFinancial spokesperson tells Paybefore. “For example, fans can purchase and redeem a gift card only at selected stadium and sponsor stores. As a reloadable promotional card, it can act as a vehicle for announcing a new promotion at every game. Cardholders can take advantage of different perks, such as sponsor discounts at one game and free parking at the next, encouraging fans to enjoy cardholder perks all season long.”
One of the big challenges of multimerchant cards is educating the cardholder on where they can use the card, according to Ben Jackson, a senior analyst with Mercator Advisory Group. “StoreFinancial is targeting a psycho-graphic market—all the fans of a sports team—which broadens its potential cardholder base and helps make the card’s use more intuitive,” Jackson tells Paybefore. “There might be some challenges in getting people to understand where they can use their cards outside of sports venues, but the potential for promotions, like game-day food and drink specials at restaurants or grocery store chains, or deals on t-shirts and other fan gear is huge.”
Across the Atlantic Ocean, 2ergo announced that a Premier League football team is testing the U.K.-based contactless mobile technology provider’s podifi platform, which will enable fans to collect loyalty points, view club related content on their phones and download mobile coupons to an e-wallet for use within the stadium. The unspecified team is testing the platform for the rest of the season, with a full rollout planned for the 2013-14 season.