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The Capital (Annapolis, MD)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New York Jets are doing away with paper tickets for season ticket holders and offering those fans a rewards plan for showing up regularly and behaving properly.

The high-end rewards include Super Bowl tickets and a trip to a road game on the team plane.

Other NFL clubs, such as the Broncos and Chiefs, already have gone to paperless access control systems. But as Seth Rabinowitz, the Jets' vice president of marketing and fan engagement said Tuesday: "Certainly we are the first to do this much."

That begins with a simpler way to enter MetLife Stadium. Season ticket holders will use wallet-sized smart cards that are loaded for 2014. No more paper that can get torn, wet or chewed up by the dog.

The program also will provide incentives for the season ticket holders to keep coming, with bonus points accumulating throughout a season. Once a fan has been to seven of the 10 home games, the rewards points increase significantly, right through the home season finale.

Program participants will manage their accounts (tickets, points and rewards) through a separate portal. Program participation is free.

The program is not based on spending money for food or souvenirs, but on showing up, sharing what Rabinowitz calls a "sense of community" and comporting oneself properly at games. There will be bonus points for fans' involvement with the team's local broadcast partners, too.

While they don't reward spending habits, the Jets will provide point bonuses at the beginning of the year for seat locations: 1,000 points for the higher-level; 4,000 points for PSL holders; and 5,000 points for club seat holders.

"We want to get better at tailoring what we give them," Rabinowitz said. "They don't accept one size fits all, nor should they. The message is to come to the games and be a good fan - they don't have to do anything out of the ordinary - and their loyalty is rewarded."

The Jets' long-term plan is to expand the program beyond game day to include other events and tie-ins with sponsors.

July 23, 2014 
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