How Loyalty Programs Transform the Sports Fan Viewing Experience

Loyalty programs in sports

The atmosphere of a packed stadium is unique. If you have ever experienced it, you know what I mean—cheers rising, fans spread in team colors, and the collective comraderie is incredible. Yet, in today’s digital age, loyalty programs are enhancing this experience, transforming fans from mere spectators into active participants, both at home and in the stadium.

It’s a strategy that many sports brands are attempting to perfect: how do we capture or maintain the attention of our fans on AND around gameday? Loyalty programs are multi-faceted in the sense that they not only improve engagement but they also provide business value through sponsorships.

The following statistics are quite illuminating are display some of the financial benefits:

  1. 12-18% increased average spending (ARPU) shown by loyalty program members over non-members (Accenture)
  2. 43% of consumers are more likely to buy weekly after joining a loyalty program (McKinsey)
  3. $1 trillion of value potential across US industries alone by improving personalization with first-party data (McKinsey)

A well-designed loyalty program helps you to maximize your fans’ lifetime value. 

  • Grow user activity and retention across all your channels
  • Optimize personalization of your own and your partners’ activations based on deeper user profiles
  • Increase average spending and purchase frequency

Loyalty programs definitely offer financial inventives for brands to start them but how do they impact the actual product: sports viewing?

This post explores how loyalty programs are enriching the sports watching experience and introduces Unyfy’s role in this evolution.

Enhancing the At-Home Viewing Experience

Loyalty programs significantly improve the at-home viewing experience by offering a range of personalized rewards and perks. For instance, fans can earn points through various activities such as watching games, sharing content on social media, or purchasing team merchandise. Acvitivites that also help your brand, mind you. These points can be redeemed for exclusive benefits like virtual meet-and-greets with players, access to unique content, or advanced streaming features.

A practical example is our first imaginary person, Jane, a dedicated baseball fan. Through her team’s loyalty program, Jane earns points that she can use to enhance her viewing experience. She can choose different camera angles, access alternative commentaries, or even enjoy interactive features that bring her closer to the action. These rewards make her feel more connected to the team, even from her living room.

This quenches the growing thirst of building hollistic “virtual” ecosystems where even the fans at home can feel more involved.

We expanded more on this topic in our post titled: Enhancing the At-Home Sports Viewing Experience with Loyalty Programs. Be sure to check it out.

Improving the In-Stadium Experience

Loyalty programs significantly enhance the in-stadium experience by providing fans with added value and exclusive opportunities. Season ticket holders, for example, often enjoy access to members-only lounges, discounts on food and beverages, and invitations to special events. These perks enhance the game day experience and foster a deeper connection with the team.

Take Mike, a soccer enthusiast and loyalty program member. He benefits from pre-game access to exclusive areas, discounts on refreshments, and meet-and-greet sessions with club legends. These advantages make each match more memorable and deepen his loyalty to the club.

Additionally, loyalty programs enhance the emotional and social aspects of attending games. Fans feel a greater sense of belonging and pride, knowing they are part of an exclusive group. Activities such as fan forums and behind-the-scenes tours further strengthen this community feeling.

Modern technology has revolutionized the in-stadium experience, making it more interactive and engaging. Mobile apps linked to loyalty programs provide real-time updates, exclusive content, and interactive features like live polls and trivia contests. For fans like Mike, this means staying informed and participating in game day activities, which can earn points for more rewards.

Moreover, tiered membership levels offer escalating benefits based on engagement or spending, incentivizing continued support. Advancing to a higher tier might mean additional perks like complimentary merchandise, priority seating, or exclusive travel packages to away games.

Fans like Mike become integral members of a dedicated community, with each game providing unique and memorable experiences. This deepened engagement helps build a passionate fan base crucial team’s long-term success. This engagement strategy not only enhances the immediate game day experience but also fosters enduring loyalty and a sense of ownership among fans.

Enhancing the in-stadium experience through well-designed loyalty programs creates a win-win scenario for both fans and teams. Fans enjoy a richer, more engaging experience, while teams build a more devoted and resilient fan base.

Unyfy: Pioneering Fan Engagement

Unyfy plays a crucial role in revolutionizing fan engagement through its comprehensive loyalty program platform. Our goal is to enhance the overall fan experience by offering a range of features that cater to both fans and sports teams. Unyfy is a platform builder that offers sports brands a host of features to connect with fans.

The loyalty toolkit includes:

  1. Personalized Offers: Unyfy allows teams to create tailored offers based on individual fan preferences, ensuring that each interaction feels personal and relevant.
  2. Seamless Reward Management: Our platform simplifies the process of earning and redeeming points, making it easy for fans to enjoy their rewards.
  3. Data-Driven Insights: Unyfy provides teams with valuable data about their fans’ behaviors and preferences, enabling them to make informed decisions and enhance engagement strategies.
  4. Targeted Communication: With Unyfy, teams can send personalized notifications and updates, keeping fans informed and engaged with timely and relevant content.
  5. Community Engagement: Unyfy’s platform supports initiatives that allow fans to contribute to community projects, fostering a sense of collective purpose and engagement.

By leveraging these features, Unyfy ensures that fans feel valued and connected to their teams, enhancing their overall experience and loyalty.

The Broader Impact of Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs go beyond simple transactions; they foster a sense of community and shared purpose among fans. For example, some programs allow fans to donate their points to community projects, such as refurbishing local sports facilities or organizing youth sports camps. This communal approach not only strengthens the bond between fans and their teams but also promotes positive social impact.

Loyalty programs are no longer just about collecting points; they are about creating meaningful experiences that deepen the connection between fans and their teams. These programs enhance the sports watching experience both at home and in the stadium, making each interaction more personal and engaging. Unyfy is at the forefront of this transformation, offering tools and features that ensure fans feel valued and connected.

As we continue to innovate in the loyalty space, our goal remains to match the passion of the fans with programs that reward and resonate. Let’s work together to create more inclusive, innovative, and engaging sports experiences. 

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