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For the past three years, the San Francisco 49ers have offered fans a loyalty program called Faithful 49 presented by Esurance.
The program has been successful, but team officials sought deeper fan engagement.
Matt Crowell, senior manager of experience sales & service for the 49ers, talked to Loyalty360 about the changes that were made to the program before the 2017 regular season kicked off on Sunday.
“Every year we take a look at what we’re doing and evaluate it,” Crowell explained. “For us, we looked at who was benefitting the most from the program. When we first started the program three years ago, we were trying to engage the fans across the board. Not that those goals have shifted, but at this point, we started to look at some of the metrics related to who’s consistently engaging with the program (online/in-stadium), how many are actively tracking points, how many are identifying with the program, and what kind of an impact are we having with the program.”
Crowell said that program officials “weren’t seeing a high percentage of folks truly engaged and saw it as a powerful tool. Certainly, there is a niche of folks very engaged with it. But, at the same time, it wasn’t having a wider effect and wider impact that we truly wanted.”
Armed with that logic, Crowell said that program officials married it with Golden Opportunities, which were VIP once-in-a-lifetime game day experiences that launched last season.
“We wanted to cross-pollinate the program,” Crowell explained. “And we wanted to put that experiential inventory into the program to create a bigger and better program.”
In the past, Crowell said that program members who accrued points were reluctant to “pull the trigger on a reward or an experience. They would hoard their points, feeling like their chances of winning weren’t that great.”
Last year, the 49ers unveiled Golden Opportunities, which are once-in-a-lifetime game day experiences that were sold to fans.
“We wanted to make that bigger and better and we integrated Golden Opportunities into the Faithful Rewards program to create more value for members,” Crowell said. “In late spring, we started to go in this direction. We expired the old loyalty program.”
With the new program, now called Faithful Rewards, Crowell said there is “a lot more meat in the rewards and we created a program where folks see it as a benefit to being loyal to the 49ers. A lot of ways to get points and rewards are tied to enhancing that game day experience.”
Some of the experiential rewards include:
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