Premium seat customers don’t grow on trees, and teams are always looking at ways to keep premium ticket buyers engaged all year round.
The Los Angeles Chargers will roll out a new program as the team moves into SoFi Stadium, aiming to super-serve some of its highest-paying ticket holders.
Called the LUX program, suite owners at the stadium will be provided free access to a variety of “exclusive access to the best-in-class hospitality, business and entertainment benefits year-round.”
“Los Angeles represents a powerful intersection of entertainment, luxury, sports, and business,” Chargers President A.G. Spanos said. “Our suite owners are at the forefront of these industries, and it’s important for the Chargers to be on the cutting edge as well. Their success is our success, and Chargers LUX is a valuable business tool to help them drive powerful connections, professionally and personally, by providing priceless access to the very best that Los Angeles has to offer.”
The services included in Chargers LUX include access to Spring Place, a members-only co-working space; The Private Suite at LAX, a private terminal at the airport; and a digital lifestyle assistant from Velocity Black, which can nab upgrades at hotels and airports and provides exclusive vacation opportunities. The membership perks will expand to include additional partners in the future, according to the organization.
The initial perks were selected to enhance the personal and professional lives of the fans who invest in the team, according to Chargers CMO Steve Ziff. He said the team looked at more than a dozen organizations before settling on the first three partners.
Overall, Ziff said the membership is a way to provide fans a more significant relationship with the team, a connection they continually seek.
“With the move to the new LA Stadium, we are deepening our connection to Los Angeles and want to offer our premium members the opportunity to do the same,” Ziff said. “Chargers LUX aims to continue growing our brand in the city, as well as our relationship with fans in the market – a market we’ve been a part of for decades – by providing them unparalleled exclusive access to the Los Angeles lifestyle.”
The investment into a team’s highest-paying customers is a wise move, said Pat Ryan, co-founder of ticket sales strategy company Eventellect. With lower cost tickets, like the upper deck, teams can have multiple backup plans for unsold tickets, but with premium seats, the options are limited.
“It’s really smart to over-index the investment and servicing the clients,” Ryan said. “These premium seats do not sell well on single game or secondary markets, they need to be sold to the end-user.
“When you have one, you need to water it, nurture it, take care of it. Premium customers don’t grow on trees.”
As a member of the Houston Texans similarly-named LUXE program, Ryan said even relatively low-lift perks like on-the-field or player access can make a huge difference. Where he sees some potential difficulties is as teams try to get into concierge promises, where they might compete with well-established brands.
The Chargers appear to be skirting that competition by partnering with the service-providers and simply supplying those memberships to the suite holders. Those partnerships are meant to drive the overall fan experience for Chargers fans and keep them loyal, Ziff said, adding it’s a piece of a larger innovational approach at fan experience.
Ziff noted other efforts, like becoming the first NFL team to air an all-access, season-long documentary-style series on a broadcast network during the season and hosting an NFL Draft party on the Santa Monica Pier.
The branding of the LUX membership package is a smart move, Ryan said, as it gives it a higher-end brand appearance to the membership. The appearance and actual mission behind the program is likewise a savvy move for teams to build on if they’re not already.
“It’s the model of, ‘If you buy our best product, you’re going to have everything available to you,’” Ryan said.
The hope for the Chargers is the new membership program will drive value for fans’ business and personal lives away from the stadium – to keep them coming back to the stadium.
“As an organization, we are committed to driving connectivity and providing the best possible experiences to our LA Chargers family, on game day and beyond,” Ziff said. “We plan to continue investing in our fans, and expanding the Chargers LUX program to provide the best possible experiences.”