Demonstrating the growing effectiveness of data-driven marketing, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are finding success with the Ticats All Access fan loyalty program.

The Canadian Football League team launched the digital platform prior to the 2015 season with the goal of enhancing the fan experience and maximizing sponsor engagement.

Ticats All Access rewards fans for game attendance, concession and merchandise purchases and digital engagement before, during and after games. That includes entering contests, watching highlights, playing fantasy games, using stadium Wi-Fi and participating in sponsor promotions.

Fans receive “yards” throughout the season that can be redeemed for unique experiences and products such as road trips, visits with players and alumni and signed merchandise.

“All Access gives fans a reason to interact with the team beyond the game itself,” said Shaun Guest, Hamilton Tiger-Cats vice president, sales & revenue.

The program supports the team’s goal of delivering a best-in-class experience via personalized messaging to fans at home and in-stadium.   

“If we know a longtime fan is in the stadium we can deliver relevant offers or even something extra to make it special. Whether it’s posting their Gameday Predictor score on the video board, offering a special ticket package or having fans join Stripes (team mascot) on the field before the game, the All Access program allows us to find and engage fans who we may not otherwise be aware of because they’re not necessarily a ticket purchaser.”

Using All Access To Drive Sponsor Engagement
The Tiger-Cats use the All Access program to drive sponsorship value by helping sponsors natively connect with fans--and measure their interactions.

Sponsor integration ranges from ticket promotions to special offers. Nissan, for example, offered All Access users the opportunity to digitally register for tickets to the team’s preseason game—a program that helped support lead acquisition for local dealers—while Buffalo Wild Wings offered a $5 coupon that could be redeemed at restaurants close to the stadium.

The digital platform allows the team to track a fan’s journey through sponsor content and activations, information it can use to re-target the fan with personalized offers and content. The ability to offer personalized messages (contests, events, content, etc.) is one of the most powerful features of the program, said Guest.

“We can custom offers based on their activity in the program, demographic information, current location and whether they’re a season ticket holder. Through Wi-Fi and geo-fencing, in real-time we’re able to target in-stadium contests and merchandise offers while also using in-stadium marketing assets to drive sign-ups.”

Guest points to the Designated Driver Challenge sponsored by Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers as an example of using real-time data to distribute location-relevant offers. The promotion gave users the opportunity to win a prize pack in exchange for taking a designated driver pledge.

All Access used a geo-fence to restrict entry to those in the stadium.

The ability to offer ROI measurement has played a key role in designing and packaging future activation programs, said Guest.

“Generating relevant data around our fans in a quick and effective manner with little to no added activation cost is valuable for our partners’ and stretches their dollar far beyond where we could previously take them.”

Data has been the team’s biggest learning, he said.

“Previously, we would analyze sponsorships with industry standard metrics: uniques, page views, etc. With All Access, we’re now able to monitor and track the entire fan journey through digital.”

Data shows that fans nearly always engage the All Access program through multiple activations. Ninety-four percent of consumers who enter a contest re-engage in another loyalty or engagement program (content, fantasy, etc.).

“Our ability to form meaningful and ongoing relationships through digital engagement, and the data to back it, is truly our greatest learning.”

All Access is powered by Stadium Digital, the Tiger-Cats’ digital agency of record.