(Connect&Go is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
In professional football, halftime lasts roughly 15 minutes. This leaves a small window of time for fans to get in line, purchase concessions, and return to their seats without missing much of the action. Teams that take action to reduce time spent in line will, in turn, be rewarded by their fans.
The Montreal Alouettes are currently in the fourth year of a partnership with Connect&GO: a Montreal based company specializing in Radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions. Specifically, Connect&GO’s FastPass has been a part of the package for season ticket holders the last several seasons. Season ticket holders receive a card attached to a lanyard that allows them to get into the stadium faster via an express lane as well as skip certain concessions lines. The lanyard also enables fans to preload it with money or link it to their credit card, enabling cashless payment. Paying with the FastPass also gets season ticket holders a discount on select items.
According to Alouettes’ Manager of Ticketing Operations and Business Intelligence Mike Misischia, this was part of a larger plan to eventually phase out cash and physical tickets at the stadium.
“We went into it with a mindset that we wanted to find a way to slowly ease people towards a cashless environment full mobile ticketing,” he says. “We found that it had been really harsh to go from paper tickets to mobile in one year, especially having somewhat of an older fan base. So we worked with Connect&GO to get the fast pass so that fans still had a physical card to use.”
In addition to the benefits that FastPass provides fans, it also allows concessions staff to turn over customers faster, thus increasing sales. The Alouettes approached Connect&GO after seeing success the company had with an RFID solution for Budweiser and a number of other brands. Connect&GO Co-Founder Anthony Palermo detailed to FOS more of the benefits that users can see.
“The Alouettes looked at FastPass and saw the operational potential for efficiency,” Palermo says. “They also saw that they were able to track the spending habits of season ticket holders. Because of the fast lane, season ticket holders were coming multiple times throughout a game to purchase things because it was a faster experience. So they increased their sales per head for season ticket holders by about 40% over the course of a season. The ROI was clear in this case.”
According to Palermo, the company opted to make FastPass a solution that was not connected to phones or a mobile app in an effort to encourage people to take in the sights and sounds of the game.
“Almost no one wants to be a general admission ticket holder at a live event,” Palermo says. “Everyone wants something to make them feel special. It’s quite universal that almost any property is looking to create a better experience for their guests and trying to create value per season ticket. So I don’t know that what we’re doing is a necessarily creating loyalty to the sport or the team, but it’s definitely making the guests’ experience much better. That means they’re enjoying themselves and that plays a big part in making them want to come back.”
By utilizing RFID solutions like FastPass to get their most devoted fans into their seats faster, the Montreal Alouettes are taking a big step in making sure the memories being made at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium are great ones.
Learn more about Connect&GO and how they connect the fan experience at live games in their latest white paper here.