- The New York Jets football team this week rolled out the National Football League’s first season-long mobile ticketing subscription service. The Jets Boarding Pass is a $725 package in the team’s app that lets fans sit in a different seat each time they attend a home game, according to a statement made available to Mobile Marketer. The pass is sponsored by discount airline JetBlue.
- Experience, an Atlanta-based software company, developed the mobile pass that provides seat numbers to fans who check in at MetLife Stadium within two hours before kickoff. Up to six people can buy the pass and request to sit together. The seating depends on availability at each game.
- A fan who attends all 10 pre-season and regular home games is guaranteed to spend more than the purchase price of the mobile pass, according to the press release. The pass is available on the team's mobile app for Apple iOS and Android.
The New York Jets recognizes that the team needs to harness mobile technology to boost game attendance, especially to cultivate the next generation of fans who are embracing mobile ticketing. The team has been fortunate to have consistent attendance of about 78,000 fans at each home game since it started playing in a new stadium eight years ago, but about 5% of seats continue to go unsold — somewhat surprising for one of the most densely populated regions of the country. Unlike deals with cell phone companies or social media apps like Twitter that stream games live, the Jets mobile pass is intended to drive game attendance rather than just boost viewers across all platforms. The team’s pass seeks to attract younger mobile-savvy fans to games with a lottery-like system that may give them premium seating at the 50-yard line or in upper decks, depending on the week.
The random seat placement adds an exciting element of prize-winning to each game, especially for the lucky few who get seats in club boxes. “There’s a little bit of a sense of adventure,” Seth Rabinowitz, the team’s senior vice president of marketing and fan engagement, told SportTechie. “We think that’s part of the fun.”
The Boarding Pass program is the latest push to build loyalty among game attendees, who can earn points and redeem them for prizes like autographed memorabilia, collectibles or dinner with Jets players. As a sponsor, JetBlue also is offering related perks and awards, giving away a chance to fly with the team on its charter plane to away games. This fall, the Jets will be coming back from a losing season, and its mobile ticketing system will be closely watched for its effect on helping to drive attendance and mobile engagement this year.