Flemington Racecourse and its Victoria Racing Club (VRC) launched a completely reimagined Racing Rewards loyalty program on January 30 of this year, putting customer intimacy at the forefront for the world’s largest racing club program.

In an Australian first for a racing club, VRC members will receive tailored offers including invitations to exclusive events, access to “money can’t buy” experiences and opportunities to win prizes - all based on their individual buying habits, preferences and interests.

It’s clear that loyalty programs in the gaming and sports industry are becoming more common, but just because they are abundant doesn’t mean they are successful.  Here are three reasons why VRC is doing loyalty right and why they continue to top the gaming leaderboard:

  1. Timing is everything – they were first to the race 
Flemington’s original VRC Racing Rewards program was first introduced in 2001. It was Australia’s first sports industry loyalty program designed to increase visits by recognizing and rewarding frequently attending members. VRC saw the importance of loyalty then, and they have now pushed the pace by completely revamping their program.

VRC Chief Executive Simon Love said the program update was important in creating a stronger connection between the Club and its members. “We are proud to be the first racing club in Australia to introduce truly data-driven loyalty for our members, just as we were the first to introduce a loyalty program 15 years ago.”
  1. They know their members and reward them for engagement
The points-based program relies on more than just attendance - it uses data obtained from membership cards scanned at turnstiles, purchases on-course and online at Flemington, and interactions with VRC customer service. The data then places members in categories based on demographics, purchasing habits, tenure and race day attendance, ensuring communications between the Club and its members are relevant and rewards are achievable.

“Knowing our customers and their behaviors will provide the VRC and Flemington with the ability to tailor member experiences and deliver rewards beyond their expectations,” Mr. Love said. In addition to reward points, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum status tiers are earned through spend, tenure and attendance. The tiers offer aspirational privileges including complimentary guest passes, priority bookings, access to prize draws and exclusive event invitations.
  1. They use the right technology for their industry and their program
Aimia’s Smart Button technology platform powers the new Racing Rewards program and enables a more meaningful and emotional connection to the Club’s 30,000-strong membership base. The Smart Button platform - which is used around the world to power loyalty in retail, financial services, CPG and travel organizations (as well as racing clubs and casinos) – has fully integrated with the Club’s systems and digital assets to provide a seamless customer experience.

“The VRC’s success relies on our loyal members and their ongoing support and advocacy, so it’s critical that we further understand and build on our relationships with them. Customer intimacy is vital to continue to improve our offering - and Aimia technology ensures we can deliver this,” Mr. Love said.

In the fast-paced world of sports and gaming, continuous change is the only constant. By focusing on customer behavior and picking the right vehicle to do so, change for VRC looks very positive.

For more information on Aimia’s Smart Button loyalty platform, solutions or strategic expertise, contact us at [email protected] or visit www.aimia.com.

Author:Description: Paul Smitton
Paul Smitton, Managing Director, Aimia Australia
Paul provides overall leadership for the Aimia global loyalty solutions business in the Australia and New Zealand markets.

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