As you may or may not know, I’m not just somebody who writes far too many words for a blog about the New Jersey Devils. I’m also a full season ticket holder. To the Devils, in addition to a stable source of revenue, I am a Devils Member. Today, the team has sent messages out to those members. How do you keep fans buying tickets for a team that has been rebuilding, looked ugly at times in this current rebuild, and has not made the playoffs since 2012? Incentives. The answer is incentives.
This is not really new to the Devils fans who are members. In the past, the team offered various credits for food and merchandise and even prizes through a sweepstakes to go with securing a seat location and (sometimes) last season’s prices. This year, the Devils are considerably more generous. Especially for those who will renew their package by tomorrow. Here’s what is offered:
The latest date to renew by is April 10, which is after the last Devils game of the 2016-17 season. This only secures the same seat from this past season. The Devils usually have a seat relocation event so if you don’t like having the same seat, it can be changed then. That’s not much, really. Just the bare minimum.
If you renew by March 26, then you’ll secure the same seat and keep the prices flat. Meaning whatever you paid for last season will be the price for the next season. That’s OK, but not all that great. It gets better, though.
If you renew by March 10, then you’ll be invited to a Meet the Team event with the 2017-18 squad. This is exclusive to Devils Members, similar to other events the team has had in this and past seasons. You also get the same seat at last season’s prices. That’s not bad of a package. The next tier is the one I’m impressed with.
If you renew by February 24, then you’ll get all of that and an exclusive Devils pullover jacket. Of all of the incentives, this is what I’m looking forward to the most. Why would I want discount or credit to the team store when I can get actual, free merchandise? Especially merchandise I can use? This is something the New York Red Bulls have done for years as their season ticket holders get a free scarf and apparel like a hoodie, jacket, practice jersey, etc. with it. And it’s not cheap apparel, it’s the same stuff that gets charged a pretty penny in a team store, online, or elsewhere. It’s my favorite kind of incentive and I’m glad the Devils have caught onto this. I was hoping they would when they offered a free, customized jersey for long time members (e.g. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years). Better now than never. There’s two more tiers, though.
If you renew by February 10, you will get to pose in front of Martin Brodeur’s retired #30 banner for a photograph - and Brodeur will autograph the photo. Given that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of members, I would think the team would have to set dates and times aside just to bring down the banner. Still, this is something cool, something to frame, and something to remember. I’m impressed that Brodeur would agree to do this given that he’s now working for another organization. Renewing by this time also gets you the jacket, the meet the team event, the 2016-17 pricing, and the same seat.
Lastly, if you renew by tomorrow, you get all of that plus an invitation to play SCORE-O. The prize? No, it’s not for a brand new Ford car. Your season plan. Winning at SCORE-O means the team will pay for your plan. I have no idea if this is with the board where the bottom three to six inches of the net is open or the board where there’s a tiny hole in the middle that will fit maybe two pucks total. I would guess the latter? We’ll see. But an opportunity to make your tickets and subsequent events free is always appreciated.
The biggest aspect of all of this is that this doesn’t appear to be limited. In past seasons, when the Devils would offer sweet prizes and super-prizes, they would be limited to just one or a handful of winners. As I understand it, anyone who renews by those dates will get the incentive itself or the opportunity to have that incentive. I really appreciate that, especially since the Devils have limited their giveaways in this season to the first nine or ten thousand fans. It’s a sign to me, as a member and season ticket holder, that the team isn’t being thrifty to the ones who’ve laid out a lot of money for not a lot of success. They’re willing to give out potentially more than previous seasons under previous owners.
I will also note that that it appears that the food and merchandise credits are out of the picture. That’s kind of a bummer. Food certainly isn’t cheap at the Rock. For those who attend a lot of games, that’s quite a bit of money that could have been saved. I don’t buy much merchandise, but I can see it being a negative for those are who into that too. If there’s a negative about these incentives, then I would say it would be those credits being taken away.
Still (and as a matter of full disclosure), I did get the email and renewed my own invoice for next season during the Detroit-Devils game. If you have a Devils Membership and you got the email today about renewals, then you should strongly consider meeting those dates if you’re interested in keeping said membership for next season. I’ve done so today of my own volition. Whether or not you’re interested and/or able to renew, well, that’s up to you. Only you can decide if you can, when you can, and if you want to do it. But I will credit the Devils for offering more static incentives in place of keeping the seat location, getting invited to a few events, and maybe the prices with the hope of winning prizes. I, for one, am looking forward to the jacket, the photo, and even the 2017-18 season.
What about you? Are you a Devils Member who will renew for next season? Do these incentives, well, incentivize you to renew by one of these dates? Do you think these renewal incentives are better than last season’s? Please let me know your thoughts and answers in the comments. Thank you for reading.