Success in card at Sports Authority

Sports Authority will start a media outreach campaign this month for its first loyalty-card program, "The League."

Company: Sports Authority
The League
PR agency:
June 4

Objective: Sports Authority will start a media outreach campaign this month for its first loyalty-card program, “The League.” The program rolled out in April in response to customer requests for a loyalty card. Agency ICR will highlight the program's simplicity and benefits for customers.

“The card is now a core part of our marketing mix,” says Joe Newsum, SVP of marketing at Sports Authority.

Idea: Sports Authority conducts customer surveys periodically and respondents listed a loyalty card as one of their top priorities, says Newsum.

“A lot of our competitors have loyalty programs,” he explains. “We wanted to be on the same playing field.”

League cardholders earn one point for every dollar they spend in Sports Authority stores. Customers receive a 5% rebate if they rack up 100 points within a three-month period, valid for any item on sale. Additional benefits include rewards for birthdays, members-only offers, and access to exclusive events.

“We wanted a really simple program,” adds Newsum.

Tools: Sports Authority will target media including broadcast, radio, newspapers, magazines, and mom and shopping bloggers. The company will create goodie bags for TV stations and hold a sweepstakes promoting the loyalty program. Outreach will also include Facebook and Twitter posts to generate buzz.

“The League is a simple and direct program that has the lowest reward threshold among core competitors, meaning members will receive rewards faster,” says Michael Fox, president of corporate communications at ICR. “Our challenge is to ensure that we clearly communicate this message.”

Measurement: Sports Authority will gauge success using established loyalty metrics that show customer behavior and whether spending habits have changed.

The company has already received positive feedback on the program and is signing up a large percentage of customers, Newsum reports. “We've been able to talk directly to our customers and understand their behavior,” he adds.

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