Sunday, March 6, 2011

What if there was a Boston Sports Rewards Program?

I was talking to somebody recently who was going down to Florida. Knowing that he was a big UNC basketball fan, I said he should stop on the way and catch the UNC-Duke game. He laughed. He’d never be able to get tickets. Students have trouble getting tickets. He told me about a girl he knew who was a student there. She joined a sports booster club. Basically, if she went to swim meets or volleyball games, she earned the right to get basketball tickets. We joked that The Red Sox and their New England Sports Ventures should do something like that to spread interest between the Sox, LFC, and Roush-Fenway. Obviously, though, none of those three has any trouble selling tickets. So, that might not be helpful to anyone. But, you know who does have trouble? The NE Revolution. The Bruins have some room to grow. What if there was a system that promoted those other teams, and rewarded them with Red Sox and Celtics tickets?

Introducing the Boston Superfan Card.

What if sporting tickets were assigned a value? Say, 10 points for a Revolution ticket. Five points for a Bruins ticket. Two points for the Celtics or Red Sox. One point for the Patriots. Every time you bought a ticket, that number of points would be added to your card. When you hit a certain level, it allowed to you get tickets to the other teams. If you get a point, you can buy a Revolution ticket. If you get 100 points, you can buy a Red Sox ticket. Something along those lines.

You probably couldn’t guarantee the tickets. There still could be more demand than supply. But, the Red Sox currently give season ticket holders a special date to buy extra tickets prior to the general public. So, allow the BSC holders a day like that. Season ticket holders can buy tickets on Wednesday. BSC holders on Friday. General public on Saturday. So, on Friday at noon, cardholders with at least 100 points can go online and try to get tickets. If they’re successful, the 100 points is deducted from their account, and they can purchase the tickets. If not, better luck next time.

You, obviously have to make the points contingent on attending the games too. So, what if there were “Validation Spots” at the various stadiums. When you buy a ticket, a code is entered on your card. By scanning your card at a kiosk at the stadium, that code is activated, and the points added to your account. That would limit scalpers buying lots of tickets, and reselling them just to collect the points.

And, the point values would vary from year to year. A few years ago, the Celtics weren’t exactly selling out the world. So, they would have had a higher value if you bought their ticket, and a lower number of points needed to buy one. Maybe the points could even vary from game to game. A Wednesday night game in November against the 76ers would get you more points than a Saturday Lakers game in March.

Wouldn’t that help increase interest in all the Boston teams? Wouldn’t I be more likely to try a Revolution game once in a while if it got me a better chance to see the Sox? Who knows, I might get a jersey while I’m there, and become a soccer fan. (Maybe buying a jersey at the team store would get me additional points) And, it’s not like the Red Sox care who they sell their tickets to. Why not allow card members an early shot? And, if they ever stop selling out every game, this card could help them get back to that level.

Doesn’t everybody win?

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