Major League Loyalty
By John Hennessy
Promo P&I informs us of the launch in Tampa last month of the Players Choice Platinum Club, a new loyalty program supporting major league baseball. The program’s goal is to give fans unprecedented access to players.
Membership is $19.95 a month. The monthly membership fee is charged automatically until you ask to be removed from the program. Membership longevity is rewarded with 10,000 RBI (Rewards Batted In) points for each month you remain in the club.
RBI Reward points earned can be redeemed for authentic player autographed merchandise and passes to VIP parties. Members also receive invitations to private events and discounts on autographed merchandise. A passionate and clever Red Sox fan might want to sign up for a month just to save $1,225 off the $3,500 price for the Red Sox jersey autographed by 27 of the 2004 Red Sox.
According to Ravi V. Kothare of Affinity Club Network, which operates the Players Choice Platinum Club under an exclusive license with the Major League Baseball Players Association, “The MLB Players Association wanted the 40 million baseball fans to have the opportunity to get up close and personal with its players.”
Members will get invitations to player parties, meet and greets, road trips, exclusive player signings, charity events, golf tournaments, cruises, camps and clinics, Mr. Kothare said.
The association hopes to capture 200,000 to 300,000 members by the end of the season.
Moderator’s Comment: How can a retailer or manufacturer give its fans access that will reward and engender loyalty?
For a retailer, let’s assume total spending level or spending level in select departments is the fan’s membership fee. Rewards could be:
- Free at-home cooking seminars with prestigious chefs for top buyers of fresh ingredients,
- Grilling instruction for top rib, chicken and steak buyers,
- Invitation-only parties with celebrity vintners for your best premium wine buyers.
Atkins Nutritionals has fans. There are fewer of them but they’ve still got fans.
Atkins could work with stores to identify shoppers who have eschewed white bread and cookies. With that information they could develop a series of programs
that invite shoppers and educate them on low-carb food choices and preparation secrets. A local “meat” and greet with celebrities who have had success with the program would be
a nice touch. That kind of fan appreciation program could gain you new fans and help keep existing fans longer.
There are lots of relevant ways to reward your fans. –
John Hennessy – Moderator
[Note: The link in the online article for Platinum Players Club is wrong. It should take you to www.platinumplayersclub.com,
not www.platinumplayers.com, an award winning community soccer facility in Massachusetts.]