NFL training camps are starting up this week. That means fans will start getting a better idea of how their teams might perform this season and what games they’ll want to check out. The teams would prefer those fans do their game-watching in stadiums, but that’s a hard sell considering ticket prices for good seats versus the couch-comfy view of one’s HD TV and the relative anonymity of both environments. But the Miami Dolphins are turning to tech as a way to bring fans closer to the field and make sure it’s not just a one-off outing.
“About a year and a half ago, our CEO had challenged us in putting together a plan for how can we maximize the utility of our digital commerce and activity online, and how do we align that to our core objectives in terms of sales and revenue, recognizing those season ticket members that have been with us for a number of years and have shown their loyalty to us,” said the team’s svp and chief technology officer Tery Howard.
In April, the Dolphins rolled out in beta the Fin Club, a social-centric loyalty program that rewards fans for interacting with the team through the site as well as through Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. For example, members can earn points for checking out the team’s site while logged in, liking the team’s Facebook page if they’ve connected their Facebook account or purchasing a team jersey or game ticket. Those points can then be put towards rewards like valet parking at the stadium, autographed merchandise or the chance to carry the team flag onto the field before a game.
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