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| May 26, 2017

A Beautiful, Reverse, Dutch Promotion

In English, the adjective ‘Dutch’ can be a code word for a backward situation. A ‘Dutch Treat’ is not a gift; it’s something each person pays for himself. A ‘Dutch Uncle’ isn’t a silly uncle, but anyone giving firm, wise advice. A ‘Dutch Oven’ is a pot. A ‘Dutch Wife’ is a [WE’RE NOT DISCUSSING THAT —Ed.]

So now we turn to our friends at FC Den Bosch, a pro soccer club in Holland, for a performance promotion for season ticket holders we’ve never seen before. It’s exactly the opposite of our usual model.

We do performance promotions all the time. If the team does well, or if a specific player scores, the fans win something. Such as:

–Fans buy furniture at a sponsoring store. If the local team wins the championship, fans receive a refund of the purchase price, effectively getting the furniture for free.

–If a player on the home team scores a hat trick, fans in attendance can redeem their game ticket for a free meal at a restaurant.

What all our promotions have in common is that the team needs to succeed for the fans to win. The fans have an extra reason to cheer the team on.

Enter FC Den Bosch, who are going to punish their season ticket holders when the soccer team does well. It’s a gentle punishment, and an unusual one, but a punishment nonetheless. It’s called ‘Pay Per Point’.

This year, fans paid 150 Euros for a season ticket for 19 home games.

Next year, it’s 25 Euros to start, plus 10 Euros for every home win and EUR 5 for every home draw. The better the team does, the more expensive it gets for season ticket holders.

Ouch.

Marketing and Communications Manager Roel v. d. Krabben was quick to explain to us that the club has put protections in place to stop the season ticket holders from supporting the opposition: First, the total bill will be capped at 160 Euros, even if the club wins every game–just 10 Euros more than the old fixed price. Second, supporters who buy into the plan by June 12th receive the team’s new home jersey as a gift. Further, 25% of the money earned from wins and draws will go directly to the youth program and social foundation. Sounds great to us.

FC Den Bosch is getting something else out of their promotion: oodles of media coverage and new supporters. “[Our fans] really appreciate the concept,” wrote Mr. v.d. Krabben. “[Also], we want to bind new fans with a unique and innovative concept. Fans from other clubs, sport marketers, the Dutch, and European media were really excited, something we of course didn’t expect to such an extent.”

And that’s the genius in their promotion: people are talking positively about the idea and the club. Whether you do performance promotions our way, or FC Den Bosch’s way, the goal’s the same: engagement and excitement for fans old and new. The club scored a massive goal here, a screaming shot right in the net’s top corner.


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