Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

The Mets tap mobile to bring seat upgrades to Citi card holders

The New York Mets are tapping mobile to offer promotional credit for seat upgrades to Citi card holders as well as fans who use the application to check-in at the stadium.

The baseball team has joined forces with technology platform Experience to provide Citi members with early access to tickets for the remainder of the 2015 season, as well as preferred pricing for optimal seats. The promotion is the latest in a slew of recent campaigns that have seen brands offer special perks to card holders, suggesting consumers may find even more credit card benefits on mobile.

“The impetus for this promotion was three-fold – finding a unique way to utilize technology to further engage with our fans who are inside Citi Field attending a Mets game, working with our partner Citi to provide an exclusive benefit for their card members, and encourage fans to download the Ballpark app by providing these enhanced experiences,” said Lou DePaoli, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the New York Mets, New York.

Enticing baseball enthusiasts
The promotion will enable Citi card holders to receive exclusive access to seat upgrade inventory a half hour before the first pitch is thrown. Members will also enjoy a 75 percent discount on all upgrades purchased through the program.

This is an optimal way of rewarding Citi’s customers, while also prompting them to become frequent users of Major League Baseball’s MLB app, which has been targeting baseball fans with increased fervor as of late.

This past April, Domino’s teamed up with Major League Baseball’s Web site to offer 20,000 baseball enthusiasts a code for a free pizza in a bid to drive continued growth of online and mobile sales, and supplemented the campaign with a hashtag and encouragement to check the At Bat app for real-time game updates (see story).

All Mets enthusiasts will be eligible to tap Experience’s mobile technology within the app and receive promotional credit that they may apply to seat upgrades throughout the rest of the season.

“The primary focus initially was finding a better way to engage our fans utilizing technology in-park given the proliferation of smartphone usage along with Citi Field having excellent Wi-Fi throughout the park that is free for fans to use,” Mr. DePaoli said.

“We worked together with Citi to accomplish the goal of rewarding their Citi card members and decided to work with Experience given their expertise as a fan experience technology company and their willingness and ability to help us all reach our goals.”

Consumers who use their smartphones to check-in and tell their friends and family of their whereabouts at the stadium via the Ballpark app will be rewarded with a five-dollar discount on seat upgrades.

This promotion is only available for users who check-in for the first time, but serves as an excellent way of enticing fans to share their location, which in turn may prompt social media friends to consider a trip to a Mets game.

Additionally, the first ticket purchase made through the app is eligible for another five-dollar credit.

Credit cards’ mobile calling
Credit cards are increasingly looking into more mobile-friendly perks to offer existing customers and snatch potential new consumers away from competitors.

Last week, ride-sharing application Uber continued its cross-marketing blitz by joining forces with Capital One to deliver free ice cream to cardholders (see story).

The ticket discounts and advanced access to seating will likely drive more revenue for The New York Mets as well as ramp up awareness of Citi’s services among baseball fans who may not yet be affiliated with a particular credit card brand.

The app is available to download for iOS and Android devices. Consumers can visit their respective app stores or text BALLPARK to 31826.

“We have seen a large increase in Ballpark app downloads and in-park engagement this season, and expect to see the seat upgrade opportunities really take off the second half of this season,” Mr. DePaoli said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York