Football Club adds loyalty to membership cards


The Portuguese football club 'Sporting Lisbon FC' has recently contracted loyalty agency ICLP to update and reinvent its existing club membership card to include a new loyalty platform.
Sporting Lisbon FC was founded in 1906 and, apart from football, also works with many other professional sports including swimming, polo, and athletics. The new loyalty programme includes a new card that is branded Rede S3G (Sporting Third Generation), which acts as both a credit card and a loyalty card. dgoble This article is copyright 2008
Co-branded card The new card has been co-branded with a leading Portuguese financial institution, which is also allowing the card to be used for pre-payments along with traditional credit payments.
The card will initially be targeted at the club's existing 90,000 named supporters through a direct mail campaign. Taking on a third role, the card will also act as an access control identity card for registered club supporters. Those who are not old enough (by law) to use the credit card element are able to obtain and use the card, but the financial aspects of the card are disabled.
Initially there are eight launch partners from which Rede S3G cardholders can collect loyalty points, including a country-wide network of petrol stations, travel agents, and a mobile communications brand.
Member benefits Points are redeemable only for Sporting Lisbon FC related goods and services such as game tickets and sporting merchandise (e.g. T-shirts and footballs). There are also frequent promotions and prize draws, with experiential prizes including spending an afternoon playing football with the team's goalkeeper, and a number of autographed Sporting Lisbon FC shirts.
In addition, there is a package of various direct benefits for cardholders, both from the club and from other companies associated with the club's new card programme. According to Stuart Evans of ICLP, "One of the key elements of a loyalty programme, especially with one relating to football teams which evoke strong emotional attachments, is to reward members with benefits that are not usually attainable. These have enormous cache and consequently an associated high net worth to the member."
The programme will also be launched internationally after its Portuguese launch, with the aim of reaching the football team's pan-European and even worldwide fan-base.
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