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    Few companies are able to truly excel in multiple categories of customer loyalty. Many brands find and build their identity in one particular aspect of customer loyalty. Such is not the case with the San Francisco 49ers, nominated in a total of three categories at the third annual Loyalty360 Awards.
    The Niners have demonstrated excellence in both customer engagement and utilizing technology, and are being recognized accordingly at the 2016 Loyalty Expo, powered by Loyalty360.
    Levi’s® Stadium, the home of the 49ers, has played a large role in the team’s use of technology.
    “Our stadium has some of the most advanced technology found in any sporting venue, and that’s been a big advantage,” Tori Willis, marketing programs manager for the 49ers, told Loyalty360. “We’ve been able to put our loyalty program content both on the team app and the Levi’s Stadium app.”
    This dual-app approach has served to bolster the team’s loyalty program, Faithful 49 presented by Esurance, giving fans the chance to earn points – referred to as “yards” in the program – for a variety of 49ers-related activities.  Buying tickets, attending games, purchasing merchandise, and reading content all earn yards that can be redeemed for rewards.
    In terms of effectively engaging fans, Willis says that the team’s strategy is to keep all levels of followers in mind. 
    “We have a wide variety of engagement levels within our fan base, from the barely engaged who may have seen the team on TV a few times, all the way up to our diehard season ticket members.” Willis continued, “We built our loyalty program with this in mind and designed it to bring all fans, regardless of engagement level, one step closer to the brand.”
    The sports industry is unique in that engaging fans isn’t a matter of gaining customers from other teams. Many markets have only one team per sport, shifting the challenge into improving the engagement of non-fans within the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
    By accomplishing this through effective use of technology and engagement strategies, the brand has earned the right to present its case for a potential three-trophy showing—in the Customer Experience & Engagement, Technology & Trends, and 360-Degree award categories—at the 2016 Loyalty Expo, which will be held May 24-26, 2016 at the Universal DoubleTree in Orlando, Florida.

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