August 26, 2015

Attendance Setup and Best Practices

Recently many improvements have been made to the way events and attendance work in your FanMaker Loyalty program. This webinar will focus on those changes as well as best practices for event settings and promotion.

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July 30, 2015

Fanstrike: Turn Your Loyal Fans into Social Ambassadors for your Team

We are pleased to release Fanstrike, an innovative way to get your message out. With Fanstrike you craft a twitter message and members earn points for tweeting it out on their account. So when you have a sale, a schedule release, or great PR, use Fanstrike to leverage members to get the message amplified, fast! It takes just one click to tweet a Fanstrike.

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Houston Dynamo Custom Rewards
July 16, 2015

Houston Dynamo Engage Fans and Sponsors with Custom Rewards and FanMaker Beacons

Houston Dynamo and Major League Soccer fans around the country come as loyal and rabid as any. With success on the field in the form of two MLS Cup victories, Houston Dynamo are now looking to connect with their fans a different level off the field with FanMaker’s rewards program.

Houston Dynamo’s rewards page, Dynamo Custom Rewards, is a fan loyalty hub for those looking to stay “Forever Orange.” Using a unique, customizable platform, Dynamo can now reward fans for their loyalty to the club.

We believe that by offering point earning opportunities for things we want our members to do, such as purchasing specific ticket packages, engaging socially, participating in events, it will encourage them to do these things and do them more often.Kimberly Sutton, Senior Service Specialist of the Houston Dynamo

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July 8, 2015

New Mobile Apps – Version 3.0 is coming

The majority of our clients have seen 60% of user traffic coming from the custom mobile apps we provide. Armed with this information, we’ve spent the last few months focusing on a brand new mobile app experience. We’ve updated every part of the design as well as the background technology to create a better user experience.

Introducing version 3.0 of the FanMaker Apps…

New Header and MenuLogo and Menu

The header now supports a custom graphic background and larger logo. Both provide more branding flexibility and look great! We’ve also developed a new menu system that matches the iOS9 and modern Android looks. In the future it will even be scrollable and fit additional menu items. / continue reading

June 18, 2015

Loyola University Career Services Breaks New Ground with Fanmaker

The career services department plays a vital role at any university. In charge of guiding its students and their newfound education to rewarding, prosperous careers, you’d imagine the offices would be in constant buzz with students looking plan their lives after their education is up.

The Career Center at Loyola University Maryland took a chance to market its services further than the general knowledge of its existence to the student population. In partnering with FanMaker, the Career Center and Andrea Ramsey, Assistant Director of Technology, looked to increase the number of students that participated in the career development services available by instigating some friendly competition with the Career Navigator program.

We felt that a rewards-based program would be a different and more exciting way of reaching our students.Andrea Ramsey, Loyola University Maryland

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June 2, 2015

Florida State Sees 32% Increase in Student Attendance with Spear It Rewards

College football sits atop a pedestal in the south. This is no different at Florida State University. Its long-lasting tradition and school success has always been a draw for diehard football fans on the Tallahassee campus, as well as outside the Florida state boundaries.

Drew Longenecker, Assistant Director of Marketing for the Florida State Athletics Department, searched for a way to spill the popularity of Seminoles football into the other 19 Division 1 sports on campus. After all, success in other sports ought to be celebrated too.

Drew Longenecker

One of the [bonus point games] had the highest attended non football or basketball student crowd in Florida State historyDrew Longenecker, Florida State Athletics

“This program started with the hopes of engaging all Florida State fans a few years ago,” Longenecker told FanMaker. “We morphed it into a student only program last year with the main goal of this program being the central site, program, etc. for all student related objectives with athletics.”

“We wanted to boost our attendance at all 20 of our sports and build awareness through the social marketing channels to boost attendance. We can reward them with prizes and tickets which feeds the program.”

It takes crafty marketing to come up with a clever way to feed the enthusiasm from a nationally loved football program into other sports some hardly knew even existed on campus.

Enter Spear It Rewards days.

FSU player Mosaic

FSU and Longenecker had an idea to intersect the FanMaker rewards program’s objectives with that of boosting attendance of other sports on campus by exploiting the football program’s popularity. By using a flexible point system, FSU created Spear It Rewards days for every sport, which offers extra points to a student’s rewards account.

“We have each sport pick one-third of their home games and designate them as Spear It Rewards games,” Longenecker explained. “These are games the head coaches choose as being the most important for them. We increase the point totals for these games and see the biggest return with the increased point values.”

With those bonus points, students are now able to skyrocket up the FSU rewards leaderboard, which helps determine priority for student football tickets.

“We are unique in that we tie our student ticketing through Paciolan through FanMaker,” Longenecker said. “So essentially these students boost their points by attending the other events and engaging with our athletics channels to ultimately football tickets.”

So far, so good. FSU has seen some significant gains in attendance across other sports. According to Longenecker, on Spear It Rewards days, sports have seen a 32 percent increase in student attendance, and sports such as soccer and volleyball are hosting crowds like never before.

Volleyball also had four matches over 1,000 students. Our gym only seats 1,500 so we went well over capacity for multiple matchesDrew Longenecker, Florida State Athletics

“Women’s soccer had four crowds of over 1,000 students, which has never happened here,” Longenecker said. “One of the games had the highest attended non football or basketball student crowd in Florida State history. This dates back to as long as we have been tracking student attendance. Volleyball also had four matches over 1,000 students. Our gym only seats 1,500 so we went well over capacity for multiple matches.”

The success of utilizing a flexible, bonus points day has been rewarding to FSU. With a new school year full of events coming up, Longenecker is ready to ramp things up a bit by adding more bonus points to the system.

“We are going to increase our point totals more this upcoming season and look at potentially making every home game worth more points,” Longenecker said.

I had to go out and get Nike and Coca-Cola on board as sponsors and now the program is growing and people are taking notice. This is year one of this with just the students so I’m happy about that.Drew Longenecker, Florida State Athletics

“The beacons are something we are going to utilize the upcoming season. I’m looking at getting the Tablet kiosk systems that another school got and place them at our venues and bring them to offsite events and sponsors to really build a following and value to the program.  I had to go out and get Nike and Coca-Cola on board as sponsors and now the program is growing and people are taking notice. This is year one of this with just the students so I’m happy about that.”


May 20, 2015

Coastal Carolina Boosts Student Ticket Revenue 30% YoY with FanMaker Loyalty Program

Coastal Carolina University is a small liberal arts university, located just a few miles from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. CCU has just under 10,000 enrolled students that support 18 Division I intercollegiate sports teams. With a smaller student body and target market and generally lesser resources than others, Michael Jacobs, Assistant Athletic Director for Ticket Operations and Revenue, has had to get creative with ways to achieve their goals.

Surveys from students promoted they wanted to be rewarded for supporting our teamsMichael Jacobs,Coastal Carolina University

“Surveys from students promoted they wanted to be rewarded for supporting our teams,” Jacobs told FanMaker. “The students also got upset when they would attend a variety of events and come late to one and there was no more giveaway items. They shared stories of students who only came and got a t-shirt and then never came to another game. They asked us to come up with a fair way to reward students who are supporting us and allow a way for us to get better items for those that support a lot.”

Coastal Carolina was suffering from a lack of sustained enthusiasm for all sports on campus. Students were buying tickets to single games here and there but weren’t showing season-long loyalty.

“[We had] good attendance at specific sports and certain events but we were not getting the continuous support we wanted,” Jacobs said. “We did not have a way to incentivize students to support our Olympic sports.”

That’s where the relationship with FanMaker came in.

5,023 students have registered for the program, which represents over half the student body

To this point, CCU’s rewards site has been wildly successful. According to Jacobs, 5,023 students have registered for the program, which represents over half the student body. And since automating ticket sales and pairing that with the rewards system, student ticket revenue has increased over 30 percent.

Our attendance at football grew over 10 percent versus last year and baseball over 200 percentMichael Jacobs,Coastal Carolina University

What’s particularly telling about Jacobs’ and CCU’s success to this point is how they’ve been able to gain such amazing traction and results with such a small target audience. Coastal Carolina faces issues that large universities and their athletics departments don’t have to worry about. Instead of benefitting from constant exposure from media or an enormous devoted following based off of constant turnover of tens of thousands of graduates each year, the CCU athletics department literally has to roll their sleeves up and campaign the good old fashioned way.

For starters, Jacobs uses business cards with information all about — how to register and participate in the rewards program. He and his staff hand these out at student entrances and other events on campus, creating a connection with the student base right then and there. Also, this past summer they made a presentation at student orientation — a place to address students when they’re fresh and transformable, — where Jacobs said a majority of students signed up that day on the spot. Finally, on top of weekly emails, reminding students of the potential rewards they could be gaining points towards, they even set up real estate signs all over campus to raise more awareness.

Coastal Site

Using tried-and-true methods of marketing the site isn’t all Jacobs and his staff are doing, though. They’re taking advantage of being able to use push notifications from the site to keep students engaged and actively thinking about the rewards program, even when they’re not attending a game or buying tickets.

Frequency helps with students and getting them to attend the eventsMichael Jacobs,Coastal Carolina University

In talking to Jacobs, the overlying objective of Coastal Carolina’s athletic department is pretty simple to understand: With a smaller student base and fewer resources, Jacobs is able to reach out to the population in ways that have a special, more personal touch. After all, reaching out to your fans, understanding their wants and needs and delivering on ideas that take all that into account is what it’s all about. is doing exactly that.

Mississippi State Kiosk for Attendance and Registration Using the FanMaker API

Over the past year we’ve developed a very powerful API that lets you easily integrate your FanMaker loyalty program with third parties, and enables all kinds of custom campaigns. Mississippi State came to us wanting to integrate their existing student ID cards with the goal of enabling registration, FERPA compliance, and attendance check ins. The Bulldogs had already already purchased an iPad based kiosk system, so the natural solution was to use our API to build a custom interface for the iPads, and after a few weeks the Hail State Rewards Kiosk was born. / continue reading

May 11, 2015

Introducing Micro Surveys – Valuable Data Collection, one Question at a Time

You can now build targeted surveys, and reward members for filling them out. Members use the mobile app to answer, and they are presented with one question at a time – We call them Micro Surveys, here is what one looks like.

FanMaker micro surveys

When members answer the questions, the results flow into a new dashboard. You can see the response rate and effectiveness for each survey, and even drill down to each question’s results. Demographic questions are mapped directly into the fanmaker system, and your custom question results are downloadable at any time.

survey results

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May 1, 2015

The Winner of the Apple Watch is…

Congratulations to Rob Axline, Coordinator of Athletic Marketing & Promotions at Northern Kentucky University for winning the Rob AxlineApril Apple Watch contest. Out of over 300 entries Rob was randomly selected as the winner. Thanks to everyone for participating and following best practices to earn points. Stay tuned for more prizes as the summer moves on!

That might be the first thing I’ve ever won in my life.Rob Axline,Northern Kentucky University

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