With the preseason games about to begin for the New Jersey Devils, season ticket holders have received or will soon receive a box from the New Jersey Devils. This seems a bit unnecessary in a day and age where tickets are now digital instead of a big stack of tickets. However, season ticket holders continue to get gifts and these kinds of presentations are always appreciated for the money they spend on the team. I should know. I am one. I receive my box today so let us take a look inside.
The headline photo, off center as it may look, is pretty much the front of the box. It’s red. It’s got the Devils 40th Anniversary Logo on it. It also has an glossy outline of a township map of central New Jersey. The logo is touching Morris, Somerset, and a bit of Union counties. No, Edison is not in it. Strangely, Newark is not in it. On the back of the box is more of Morris county. All the same, the Devils are very much a New Jersey team and that’s what I think they were going for it. This is supported just as one opens the box flap from the bottom.
Immediately, you are welcomed with a very red collage of Devils pictures past and present. It is very nice. You are also welcomed by a black box with some white text as well as the sponsored Black and Red logo. The text may be a bit hard to read, so I shall transcribe it here:
For 40 Years
We did things out way. The Jersey way.
We played by our own rules, so the League had to change theirs. From traps to trapezoids, the game was change on Garden State ice.
We partied with the Cup in a parking lot. And let the world know which goalie was better.
We had a Captain who made you think twice about crossing the blueline. And a new one who’s leading us into the next era.
We yelled “Let’s go Devils!” After we picked the guy who yelled “Let’s go, baby!”
We were born in red and green. But bred in Black & Red.
Over 40 years, the colors may have changed. But the passion remains the same.
That attitude, noise, and energy...It can be only made by one fanbase.
Made in one place. Made in Jersey.
As far as marketing write-ups go, that’s pretty good. I like it. I would also expect more “Jersey”-heavy promotions and such from the team in 2022-23. I am not against that. Why would I be? I’m from New Jersey.
Anyway, under the flap is the actual goods in the box. It is certainly not tickets, so what is it?
There are a couple of things in here. The gift for this season in the box: a commemorative ticket, complete in its own magnetic casing. There is a QR code on it, which brings you to a page on the Membership HQ portion of the Devils’ website. A simple introductory page with a Vimeo-encoded video playing with what could be something played before games. That is just a guess. There is also a card that could be attached to the lanyard (top right) that has your seat number, account number, and how long you’ve since been a member. I want to say that’s the card you can use for any team store discounts and getting in through the membership door. I am not certain. There’s a 40th anniversary Devils pin. Some of the People Who Matter love to collect and wear pins, so there’s that. There is also a short welcome guidebook. Let’s leaf through that.
The welcome book states what’s in the kit - you know, the box I am describing in this post. The introductory page mentions “Jack, Nico, Dougie and the rest of the team” in case you were wondering who the organization feels are the most important players.
The second page reveals a gift not in the box. Before any regular season home games through October 30, members can pick up additional pins and an exclusive Black & Red 40th Anniversary t-shirt (one per seat on the account). The pick up is at the top of the Lafayette Street escalators, behind Sections 11 and 12. The page also describes a new mobile app for the Devils and the Prudential Center. It is appropriately called the New Jersey Devils + Prudential Center Mobile App. It provides news, schedules, box scores, highlights, and (most importantly) access to tickets. If you have the New York Red Bulls app, then it works pretty much like that. And if you are a member, you’ll have access to member exclusive stuff there too.
The third page describes a Black and Red Rewards Program with a QR code, which brings you to another app to get access to the program. This is annoying since, well, couldn’t this be part of the Devils app? That’s what the Red Bulls do. Anyway, if you check in regularly and use it during games, you can get points. Points can be redeemed for merch, autographs, tickets, and more. OK.
The next few pages go into what’s new for the season. The Devils Buyback Program for members allows up to 8 games for a member to redeem back to the Devils for a game they cannot make. This is an increase over the 6 that were allowed last season, The buyback must be done at least 3 days before the game and the redemption is credit that can be used for renewing for 2023-24. The Devils Ticket Swap program is also returning; members can swap tickets for games that they cannot attend for tickets for games that they can up to 6 times in a season. And every Devils member is getting a complimentary upgrade, which is already within the Devils Account Manager. So check your ticket account.
More relevant for all fans and not just members are apparently new concession items. The food and beverage operator is Legends. New options include Piez Italian Eatery (Sections 4, 16, 130), Street Taco Cantina (Section 107, kiosks in 2, 12, and 133), Black Board Burgers (Sections 111 and 132), and a cocktail bar called On the Rocks (Section 12 and 130). There will also be a children’s menu by Sections 12 and 130 and other kiosks. I know food and drinks have been a sign of frustration for some fans. Hopefully, the operator and the new places are better.
And right by the end is some fantastic news for everyone. The bag policy has been changed! The permitted bag size at the Rock has been increased from 4” by 7” to 12” by 14”! After seeing at least one to several people walk away from the entrance in frustration because their bags were just too big, which also holds up anyone else from entering the building, this is a great change. Plenty of purses, pocketbooks, and small business bags can go in and continue to cause the no harm that a 4” by 7” bag did for the last few years at the arena. Backpacks and larger bags are still not allowed unless they are for medical or childcare reasons. Weirdly, this news made me smile the most.
That is pretty much it. One can question the need for this kind of thing in an age of digital tickets. But, the Devils (and every other sports team that does something like this) are trying. The box is of high-quality. The information is easy to understand. I’m annoyed at now needing two apps for what one can do, but it’s not my system. The only thing they could have done is made a larger box and thrown that t-shirt (or some other gift) in there. But it is easier to get someone to a game and give it to them in person.
That’s the box that season ticket holders received this year for the Devils. What do you make of the box? What could the Devils have done differently? Are you pleased that there will be different food options? Are you more pleased of the new bag policy? Please leave your thoughts about the box in the comments. Thank you for reading.