In an age of consumer empowerment and endless product choice, winning customer loyalty is about more than simply offering points for spend, or generic rewards for brand participation. It required personalization, a high degree of relevance and, increasingly, the ability for consumers to gain access to money-can’t-buy or even once-in-a-life-time customer experiences.
Generic rewards simply no longer hold the same motivational power. Brands that can engage customers with experiences that are uniquely contextual and personal can build the emotional connections to generate true advocacy.
This is the strategic drive behind Marriott International’s newly expanded partnership with the NBA. Members of its award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards, had the chance to become a part of the NBA Global Games London 2016.
Members were welcomed with two days of fun and excitement throughout London, which included a ride on an iconic, NBA branded double-decker bus complete with appearances from celebrity soccer star Didier Drogba. Thirty Marriott Rewards Elite members also watched the game from the premium seats at the O2 and participated in exclusive meet and greets with NBA players Horace Grant and Rick Fox.
"Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world,” said Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Officerof Marriott International. “With this extension of our NBA partnership, we are creating memorable experiences for our Marriott Rewards members and connecting them with others who share their passion for basketball and travel. Similar to what we are doing with music and entertainment, our NBA partnership also helps us communicate the depth and breadth of our portfolio and amplifies the benefits of the Marriott Rewards program for both new and loyal guests."
To further offer an unbeatable customer experience, two members were recruited to join the players on the court and one Marriott Rewards member received one million Marriott Rewards points for a trip around the world.
So far, Marriott has partnered with the NBA for various international games across five different continents.
"Marriott is a dynamic global brand, and we look forward to continuing to work together to further enhance the NBA experience for our fans in the UK,” said Benjamin Morel, NBA EMEA Senior Vice President and Managing Director.