Starting in 1999, the Arizona Diamondbacks began a fan loyalty program. Originally the Diamondbackers program would reward fans for game attendance. It was a great program. Every time you went to a game you would scan your membership card and points would be accumulated. Along the way you would win prizes for your attendance. For those who attended over a certain level (usually 70 games) there would be a special prize. The first year was an autographed bat by a player. Trina won a Greg Colbrun bat while I received a Luis Gonzalez autograph. The problem was that there were members who took advantage of the program. I would see a single member with a stack of membership cards that they would scan at each game. The Diamondbackers program evolved where you soon had to swipe your membership card and your game ticket. At least now there would have to be a one-to-one relationship of cards to tickets. Still there were people who found a way around the system. This year the Diamondbacks are trying a new program called the MVP Rewards program.
The MVP Rewards program again recognizes fan loyalty. You are rewarded points for every game you attend. For season ticket holders you are given half the points at the beginning of the season and then the other half of the points are accumulated as the tickets are used. For me it’s a no brainer as I am always at the game. The MVP program also rewards you for buying merchandise at the ballpark. You present your membership card at select concession stands or the team shop and you are given a point for every dollar you spend. Many of the food vendors don’t take the card so it is hit and miss for me. I do get points when I buy a jersey or a hat from the team shop but other than that I don’t accumulate too many extra points.
Another aspect of the program is that you can accumulate points by shopping online. The Diamondbacks have established relationships with several on-line merchants and each purchase you can receive rewards points. The key is that you have to go to the mvp.diamondbacks.com web site and navigate to the vendor in order to get the points. I’ve missed out on a lot of points forgetting that step. As an incentive to on-line shopping, the Diamondbacks offered bonus points to get you started. For the month of August if you purchased merchandise from Staples, Best Buy, Drugstore.com, MLB.com, and Dean & Deluca you could earn an additional 2,500 points.
As back to school time arrived Tiffany needed a calculator for school, I went through the MVP Rewards site and ordered it from Staples.com. I got points for the purchase plus 500 bonus points. When I decided I needed to upgrade my computer system I went to Best Buy.com and ordered the DVD drives earning points for the purchase and 500 bonus points. I had my eye on a Diamondbacks hat with the all-star game logo so I went through the mvp.diamondbacks.com site to MLB.com and ordered it receiving points for the purchase and another 500 bonus points. Drugstore.com was a little harder since I really never shop for drug store kind of stuff. But the idea of another 500 bonus points was too much to pass up. I went out and ordered some razor blades and a bottle of aftershave to get the points. That left one final vendor, Dean & Deluca.
I surfed over to their site because I had no idea what they sold. I found that it was a gourmet grocery and gift store. What in the world would I need at a site like that? I am totally cool with eating an Italian sausage with sauerkraut or maybe a beef brisket sandwich from Ribbies so the last thing I needed was gourmet food or gifts. But again the bonus points were calling. So I wandered around their site and found a package of French caramels. That seemed kind of small and the shipping was almost as much as the purchase. The site said if I added another few dollars I was eligible for free shipping so I wandered through their online store trying to find something else. I came across a leather hot pad that was just enough to meet the free shipping threshold. So I went to check out with my purchase. It suddenly occurred to me that Trina might get a little tipped over about my shopping spree so I did what any husband would do when they may have spent too much, I ordered it in Trina’s name. The system asked if I would like a gift card for my purchase and I said sure. It asked for the message and I wrote, “Trina, thank you for being such an understanding wife. These items are a small token of my appreciation to let you know how sweet you are and how wonderful your cooking is. I hope that every time you use them you will think of me.” With that I completed the order and collected 500 bonus points in addition to the points from the purchase. That extra 2,500 points were enough that I could get an autographed baseball from a current player. When the package arrived, Trina opened the box and read the note. She was almost brought to tears thinking of what a caring husband she has. So I got bonus points at home too. This program is almost too good to be true.