The Binghamton University athletic department has teamed up with loyalty rewards company SuperFanU to create the geolocation application P.R.I.D.E. (Proudly Rewarding Involvement Dedication and Enthusiasm).
P.R.I.D.E. was launched Friday, Sept. 27 during the men’s soccer game versus St. Bonaventure. It allows students to earn reward points, which they can redeem for prizes by attending BU home sports events.
“We created P.R.I.D.E. Points in order to attract students to home games. We were able to get the students to come to special events but we wanted to keep them coming and reward those who support our Bearcats year-round,” said Erin Moore, BU assistant athletic director of ticket sales and service.
Some of the exclusive prizes that are offered to students include drawstring bags, Bearcats sunglasses, BU earbuds, a BU snapback hat, and a dri-fit shirt. These prizes cannot be bought anywhere else and are exclusive to members of the program.
The athletic department feels that BU pride and student attendance are very important parts of sporting events, making these prizes a great way to help motivate students to attend Bearcats events.
Students can redeem their points at events by going to the marketing table for the application or by downloading the application on their smart phone and checking in at a sporting event. Once the application is downloaded on the user’s smart phone, the location services must be turned on in order to confirm that they are indeed at the sports event.
“The goal of P.R.I.D.E Points is to reward students who regularly attend home sporting events by accumulating points that will go toward great prizes,” Moore said.
Some of the features of the application are a check-in system that earns you points for attending Bearcats athletic events (points ranging anywhere from 5-10 per event), a schedule of event dates, game times, the user’s point values, an official leaderboard to note the user’s rank compared to other users and an option to share to social media.
“The app is also a good source of information for when our games and events take place, right at the user’s fingertips,” Moore said.
The application is designed to be more technologically and social media driven in order to gain more users.
“We know that our students have many entertainment options and so we are working on a multifaceted approach to engage our students to support athletic events. This participation rewards app is just one incentive,” said Patrick Elliott, BU athletics director.
The application’s homepage features Baxter the Bearcat and several icons including events, awards, account, leaders, social and audio.
“I am happy with the look and functionality of the app so far,” Elliot said. “We have worked with Apple to get the necessary approvals, and we’re excited to move forward with implementation. As with all software, we expect to continually assess and upgrade the product.”
The BU athletics department has expanded P.R.I.D.E to Binghamton University, so that BU is now among other universities, such as University of Michigan, Seton Hall University and UC Santa Barbara, that use this particular rewards application.
Belle Yoeli, a senior triple-majoring in political science, Judaic studies and Spanish, has her doubts about how useful the application will be.
“I think that app is a good idea and an important step toward attempting to increase attendance at games,” Yoeli said. “But because Binghamton school spirit is really lacking, when it comes to sporting events I am skeptical as to how effective the app will really be.”
Other students see the application as mostly beneficial.
“Yeah people love free shit,” said Amrita Deol, a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience.