Tired of painting your body to be the ultimate fan? Show your true colors online with the announcement of the NFL’s very first fan rewards program. Going to the homepage will immediately net you 2 points that are redeemable for actual NFL merchandise, including NFL apparel, discount codes, and even a chance to win tickets to the Pro Bowl.
The choice for the NFL to gamify their rewards program is nearly a no-brainer at this point in time; sports fans are some of the most loyal people that have ever existed. Given that the MLB was gamified last year with BigDoor technology, it makes sense that a peep into the NFL Coins Terms of Service agreement shows that BigDoor is behind the NFL Rewards implementation as well. The NFL brand’s full commitment to a site-wide implementation must be one of the biggest gamification implementations on the web today.
NFL Fan Rewards makes use of all the standard gamification elements of points, leaderboards, social elements and achievements. What’s unique is that the points are actually redeemable for prizes as well. Even if you don’t register, you can gain points for watching videos, reading articles, commenting, and engaging with the site as any NFL fan would. The points in the system are also set up to engage users in the NFL store as well; points can be redeemed for physical goods but its the discount codes for purchasable items in the store that are the cheapest. Redeemable point systems are not uncommon in F2P games, but this one of the few gamified systems that contain it.
Another strong facet of gamification from this implementation is the ability to earn points for interacting with the site without needing to register. The catch is that all earned points are lost if registration isn’t completed. This element is also seamlessly integrated into the mobile version of the site (m.nfl.com) without the need for any external applications. We’ve recently covered how effective using loss aversion can really be, so to see a large brand like the NFL use this strategy is very eye-opening.
With the implementation of gamification into both the NFL and the MLB now, it will be important to keep an eye on the other major sports leagues to see how they react to this new rewards system and if they adopt one of their own. There is still major untapped potential for gamification within the live user experience in the stadium, in the television viewing of each event, and even within the 32M+ users who play fantasy sports.