Blue Jackets Launch Uptix to Make the Gameday Experience More Convenient for Fans
Givex, the global cloud-based customer engagement solution that encompasses leading loyalty and gift card solutions, recently expanded its partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets to offer fans a new mobile ticketing solution, Uptix. Through Uptix, Blue Jackets fans are able to add stored value to the barcode on their tickets that is also scannable on their smartphones. The platform also gives customers the ability to add stored value to their stock tickets prior to the game that can be used toward food, beverage and merchandise purchases.
The Columbus Blue Jackets turned to Givex before the start of the 2015-16 season for their unique gift card technology. At the time, the arena had different partners for rewards and loyalty, but through Givex, they were able to merge the two and give fans access to gift cards on their mobile devices that could be used at all POS stations throughout the arena.
“Two years ago, we were working with a number of vendors that had competing ideas and platforms. Givex was already our partner for our rewards program and they were the only vendor that gave us the ability to integrate within one system, making the partnership an obvious choice,” said Columbus Blue Jackets Director of Ticket Operations Mark Metz. “Our customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far. Today’s fans are incredibly tech savvy, so we’re excited to make their ticketing experience more user friendly.”
In the past, customers and clients were tasked with keeping track of paper tickets, gift cards and fan loyalty cards. Now, season ticket holders can access everything on their phone. This technology also gives fans the ability to load money, also known as stored value, onto their tickets prior the start of the game that they are able to use on purchases throughout the arena. This access to stored value has added an average of half a million dollars in merchandise and concession sales for the Blue Jackets.
One way the arena has been able to boost revenue is through the sale of group tickets. The Blue Jackets used to offer physical gifts to those that purchase group tickets – knickknacks like a hat or t-shirts, but it was nearly impossible to determine how much inventory the arena should order from year to year. With the addition of stored value, the Blue Jackets can now offer groups the ability to choose a value that they’d like to give their guests, like a $5 credit to use towards any purchase in the arena, giving the guest the option of choosing exactly what they want to buy.
“We want those that purchase group tickets to feel like their guests are being taken care of. Physical gifts made the most sense at the time, but we never knew what to order,” said Metz. “Stored value is great alternative for our clients and requires little involvement on their part. They choose the value and we can add it to their tickets. The purchaser sees an immediate incentive to buy something and for us, it’s a minimal cost that is much cheaper than buying a physical gift. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
For Givex, results like these are what continues to fuel their innovation, building on two decades of experience in cloud-based gift card and loyalty solutions. The company provides a higher quality of guest experience to fans, while also opening access to detailed consumer data for sports teams, arena operators and vendors. Givex has already partnered with teams across all major sports, including MLB, MiLB, the NHL, NFL, NBA and Division I NCAA schools and continues to aggressively pursue additional team partnerships.
“As the capabilities that we offer our clients continues to grow, we’re excited to work with even more valued partners like the Columbus Blue Jackets,” said Debbi Blackburn, Vice President of Business Development at Givex. “The results that they’ve reported are promising and are something that we hope we can mimic with future partnerships by enhancing their fans experience.”