Speedway Motorsports app rewards

Author Anne Mielke, University of San Francisco

Posted: April 14, 2016

Tagged: Fan experience / value

Being able to meet customer expectations by providing an easy and engaging experience creates value for the customers. One of the most beneficial ways to meet customer expectations is through experience variables. Creating a rewards program allows for a more personal consumer experience and provides consumers the ability to engage as much or as little as they want.

According to McCarville and Stinson, experience variables focus on personal engagement of the consumer (2014, p. 53). Speedway Motorsports Inc. is working on improving the consumer experience by developing a rewards program at eight speedways which will be individualized for each track (Stern, 2016, p. 8). Not only does each personalization reach consumers in different markets with a personal touch, it keeps the program fresh and exciting for those that might visit the different tracks.

Consumers can earn points by downloading the app, participating in contests, conducting surveys, or even sharing on social media (Stern, 2016, p. 8). Participants can win various prizes that range from collectables to having great seats at a race. Although you can not combine the rewards amongst all the tracks, the hope for Speedway Motorsports Inc. is that it will be integrated and points can be collected across most, if not all of the various speedways (Stern, 2016, p. 8).

The app immediately enhances consumer experience just by the ease of participation. All fans have to do is download the app and they can participate whenever and however much they want. There is no pressure and the amount of points you earn is entirely dependent on your level of participation. Not only is experience value added, but delivery variables are also removed due to ease of involvement.

This rewards program will allow those frequent visitors to have a new interaction with the track and others. This new way of engaging with the sport can eliminate noticeable delivery variables (lines, waiting for the race to start etc.) that the speedway did not address before. It allows for a small distraction away from the race and keeps the consumer’s attention until they are at the front of the line, thus enhancing their overall experience.

What Speedway Motorsport Inc. realized is that this program gave fans the ability and desire to share on social media and utilize the app (Stern, 2016, p. 8). According to Senior VP of national sales and marketing Mike Burch the goal is “How do we make having that device in your hand the key to making sure you have the best possible time that you can?” (Stern, 2016, p. 8).

This program is just an additional touch point for consumers to feel as though they are a greater part of the whole experience. By integrating this program with social media, it increases the social factors as well. Not only can you participate within the stadium, but fans can post things on social media after the fact, which allows social contact and the consumer experience to continue. The new social aspect could also assist with consumer acquisition. If enough people participate this program could introduce the sport to a new group of fans.

According to Hightower, the number of participants can affect the way consumers perceive the product (2014, p. 146). If enough people participate, the likelihood of consumers winning anything substantial decreases. This program can create its own delivery variables, however. For instance, fans who do not want to participate in surveys or respond to company promotions could find this app and rewards program causes too much clutter.

Ultimately, this program should increase the amount of interaction between fans and Speedway Motorsport Inc. Fans will have the ability to choose what is really important to them and this added value gives another dimension to a sport that has a very specific audience.

 

References

Hightower, R. (2014). Leveraging Sport Brands with the Servicescape. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging brands in sport business (pp. 142 – 156). New York, NY: Routledge.

McCarville, R., & Stinson, J. (2014). Creating Value as Part of Sport Marketing. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.). Leveraging brands in sport business (pp. 51 – 63). New York, NY: Routledge.

Stern, A. (2016, February 8). SMI tracks roll out rewards program. SportsBusiness Journal18(41). Retrieved from www.sportsbusinessdaily.com

About Anne Mielke, University of San Francisco

Anne Mielke is a graduate student in the Sport Management program at the University of San Francisco. She graduated from Fordham University in 2014 with a B.S. in Business Administration, concentration in Marketing, and dual secondary concentrations in Sport Business and Communications and Media Management. Anne currently works as an Account Manager with Echo Marketing, a Sports, Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Engagement marketing firm in San Francisco. She is a Bay Area native with a love of all Bay Area sports, but has a very special place in her heart for the San Francisco Giants. In her free time, Anne enjoys watching baseball, drinking wine, and of course, playing with puppies. You can connect with Anne via LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/annemielke55) or on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/almielke). This article is an edited version of a paper Anne prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage by Jacob T. Meltzer, "Lotus Cup - Sonoma", www.flickr.comphotos/jayemphoto/. Accessed via Creative Commons license.