Why the A’s Access Pass is a Grand Slam

This week The San Francisco Chronicle reported that A’s Access has drawn a team record 7,000 new customers, and renewals for existing plans were running at 95 percent.

Last August we talked to Chris Giles, Chief Operating Officer for the Oakland A’s, about the team’s decision to eliminate traditional season tickets starting in the 2019 season.

Instead, team officials launched a new membership program called A’s Access. A’s Access includes elements of a premium loyalty program in that it offers attractive benefits for fans that are practical and elevates engagement.

Check out the blog post about the A’s Access Pass launch here.

At the time of our interview, Giles said that the goal for A’s Access was to grow the team’s membership base with a value-rich program, which we predicted would be a hit!

Here are some other takeaways from our 2018 interview with Giles:

  • As a member, you can come to any game that you’d like. While your membership may include 10 games where you have a reserved seat, it also includes 71 games that have general admission to the ball park.
  • The program is similar to a gym membership model. Just like you might have 10 personal training sessions, you could have 10 games with reserved seats.
  • Giles believes that baseball is at a crossroads as far as what fans are looking for in their experience. Traditional fans look for consistency and ownership and the neighborhood of people that sits around them for the same games as close to home plate as possible.
  • We’re now seeing a rapidly growing group of fans that want something completely different. Selling them an old package is unappealing. They want something more flexible and something more social. They liken it to a food tour or bar hopping.
  • As an industry, we need to do a much better job of providing exclusive member benefits. We’re undermining the core value proposition as an industry to become a member of the club. We’ve created some things that are proxies for member benefits, such as half off concessions and 25 percent off merchandise.
  • At a very high level, this is an initial pilot to a program we will build out over time.

Just three weeks away from the A’s home opener, A’s Access appears to be the hit we forecast last August.

Giles attributed the success to a “much better business model.”

A’s officials listened to their fans and presented them with a winning program called A’s Access.

After all, isn’t listening to your customers to the key to success?

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