Monday, July 02, 2007

Losing my Redskins special priviledge

I have Redskins season tickets to lower bowl seats at FedEx -- tickets that have been in my family for four decades. I've always felt like minor royalty with those tickets in my possession.

One of the neat things Daniel Snyder did was to introduce the Forward Pass card that was tied to a personal credit card. With it, the carrier could stand in a special line, just for Forward Pass carriers, at concession stands, place their order, wave the Forward Pass card near a proximity reader for payment and walk away with their food & beer. Short wait. Fast service. quick transaction. Snyder genius. By making the whole transaction so damned convenient, I and a lot of Forward Pass users, visited the food and beer stands more frequently and bought more stuff. It was a special privilege to go along with the privilege of holding season tickets.

Two seasons ago, the Redskins tried to force season ticket holders to charge their tickets exclusively to a Redskins MasterCard. Ticket holders squawked and the practice violated MasterCard's business practice. The Redskins relented. Now they are back with a more subtle approach. Master4caster received this email from the team last week:

"With the opening game less than 60 days away, the Redskins are getting ready for the new season on the field and in the stadium. One change that directly affects you is that as of July 1, the Redskins Forward Pass program is being discontinued. Forward Pass cards will not be valid at FedExField this season. All outstanding rebates will be calculated in July and disbursed in August. These rebates will be good for 6 months.

"The great news is you can still “Tap and Go” AND earn rewards on purchases at FedExField and almost everywhere else, with the Redskins Extra Points™ MasterCard with PayPass®! As a Forward Pass member, you’re invited to upgrade to the Redskins Extra Points card, provided by Bank of America."

So my Forward Pass card is dead, and so is my fast path in the food line. Maybe some people sign-up willey-nilley for credit cards based on promotions, but I learned the hard way to limit the number and use of credit. So, I'm going to pass on the Redskins Extra Points™ MasterCard with PayPass® and stand in line with the common people. I'll be in that line less often and spending less when I do, because I'll be using cash. I doubt I will be the only one taking that approach. Maybe the Redskins will make up for the loss with interest income from the card.

Promoting your affinity card is one thing. Restricting services exclusively to an affinity card is usually a bad business idea. That's unlike Snyder. Your customers will smell a rat, and they will think it's you. The better practice is to allow any PayPass enabled card at the concessions while promoting your own Redskin affinity card.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Email from the team? That must have been the only notice given. I became aware of the situation at the game LAST NIGHT. Another brilliant move by dumb Dan!