An international sporting league launched its discount benefit with the goal to inspire a high level of engagement within the first year, as told by the number of member registrations and redemptions. After trying diverse forms of communication to accomplish an ambition goal, the organization found the most long-lasting results came from a registration competition.

The Opportunity

The sporting league hosts competitive tournaments to 37,000 registered members internationally. In addition to tournament eligibility, membership also grants fans and enthusiasts with resources, entertainment, and savings.

But the sporting league also wanted a member benefit with broader appeal that could encourage renewal. A national discount program could do this by offsetting the price of membership and providing savings on travel costs to destinations. After vetting many benefit programs, the sporting league decided to team up with Access Development because the number and quality of deals exceeded all others.

The league’s director of business development said, “Access’ mobile app was also a huge deal for us. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say how easy it is to find deals for free with a little bit of searching online. Having all those deals housed on a sleek app is really appealing to a lot of our members.”

In January 2018, the sporting league launched the World’s Greatest Deals program to all members. And at the same time, it set two main goals to accomplish within the first year:

Enroll 35% of members (for reference, the established industry standard benchmark is 10%).
Generate ongoing usage among enrolled members.
“You have to aim high to get better-than-average results,” said the director of business development. “We knew our members would love the program if we could just get them to sign up.”

To accomplish this, the sporting league dedicated all established methods of member communication. It announced the program and encouraged registration via welcome letters mailed to new members, emails, and social media updates.

But to meet a goal of this ambition, it needed to branch out with new ideas. the sporting league approached Access and together they came up with a solution.

The Solution

Access proposed a registration contest. For one month between April 23 and May 13, all members who registered for World’s Greatest Deals would be entered to win one of five $100 AMEX gift cards, chosen for their flexibility of use. And to inspire members to use the deals early and often, they could also earn up to 2 additional entries for downloading the app, and redeeming their first deal.

“We chose a prize they could use anywhere, including any of the 300,000 participating deals,” said the director of business development. “In fact, we encouraged the winners to use them on merchant deals to stretch the value even further.”

To get word out about the competition, Access and the sporting league created a marketing plan that took advantage of each company’s strengths. Access created an email campaign of one email a week for 3 weeks to 30,000 member email addresses. The sporting league posted to its Facebook page which has nearly 600,000 followers.

The Results

While registrations and redeems did rise during the 3 week long contest, the real results came after. Before the competition, the average redeems per new member was 73%. During the contest that number jumped to 103%, proving the contest encouraged people to save more often – an effect that lasted long after the contest. The months following the conclusion of the contest showed 161% redeems per new member.

Registered members have saved an average of $54, more than enough to cover their $50 membership fee. And they’ve kept on saving, redeeming an average of 2 deals per month.

“The giveaway gave members some immediate gratification and urgency to register now,” said the director of business development. “But even those who didn’t win benefited from logging in and discovering all the great places they could be saving.

One of the most powerful benefits for our organization is the everyday value of the savings network. Our members can use this benefit all year, even during the off-season when we’re not always top of mind.”