JMU Launches Duke Rewards to Foster Student Passion and Engagement for Athletics

Students at James Madison University recently got more motivation to cheer, tweet, like, and post–all in the name of school pride and supporting Duke sports.

JMU Athletics recently launched Duke Rewards presented by America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, a student rewards program that is points-based, to encourage students to engage with JMU Athletics via social media and attend JMU sporting events.

“Attendance (at sporting events) wasn’t low, but we were looking for opportunities to improve engagement with our students,” Stephen Pugh, Director of Marketing at JMU, told Loyalty360. “This platform allows us to engage with our students and promote all of our sporting events through a new channel.”

Students can earn points by linking their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to the program, as well as installing the official mobile app. Points are then awarded when students engage with the social media accounts or post utilizing the approved hashtags of #JMUDukes or #GoDukes. After linking accounts, the highest amount of points can be earned by attending sporting events and checking in with the mobile app.

The Dukes Rewards website features a leaderboard of students who are earning the highest amount of points, as well as prizes students can get by redeeming points. Prizes include limited edition giveaways from sporting events, autographed team footballs and jerseys, and unique JMU items. With enough points, students can even be awarded with exclusive experience prizes like lunch with head coaches and the opportunity to be involved in game promotions.

“We’re hoping that the variety of prizes and experiences offered will be another piece in developing loyalty among students,” Pugh said. “We're trying to cultivate passion towards our athletic programs.  There's always special considerations with any demographic. We have to reach them through the platforms they’re engaged in and speak to them in ways that will reach them.”

And so far, the program has been off to a good start, and will be modified and changed as feedback is incorporated.

“We’ve been pleased with the results thus far,” Pugh said. “We’re still learning about the best channels to reach our students and best practices to operate the program.  We are continually evolving as we learn more from our students.”

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