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Sportcut.com Adds Loyalty Program

Sportcut.com, a popular sports memorabilia and entertainment site is hoping to build on the momentum it created late last year with a loyalty points program and e-commerce store launching this month.

Users will receive points that will allow them to get discounts in the site's store and auction. Points can be earned by playing online games at the site, making purchases or just for looking deeper into the site.

“Initially we wanted to reward players with eBucks for playing our games. That idea was expanded and now includes all of the site,” said Luis Pico, senior director of Sportcut.com, New York. “A user can earn eBucks for reading an article and so-forth.”

Sweepstakes will also play a big part in this site's marketing efforts. It is currently running a drawing for two tickets to the Super Bowl, including airfare.

Such promotions are not new for the site, which launched Nov. 30. Using Pete Rose as a spokesperson, Sportcut.com put up an exclusive online petition asking that Rose be placed on ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The day of the launch, it received 12 million hits resulting in approximately 200,000 unique visitors. By the third week of December, it was up over 500,000 unique visitors.

To build on the popularity of the Pete Rose campaign, the site plans to offer monthly promotions with other sports celebrities who will participate in live chats and contribute content to the site. “We're going to use big names to attract attention to the site,” said Pico.

An extensive banner ad campaign is underway. The site is using as many as 10 pieces of creative spread across 50 sites, including Playboy.com, USAToday.com and SeattleTimes.com.

Offline, it has postcards distributed by [email protected] Racks, New York, and wild posters (advertisements that appear on construction sites) in seven cities.

A database of e-mail addresses is being compiled. “In the future we'll have a lot of tools to work with lists of e-mails,” Pico said. “We haven't tapped into the database yet, but we do have extensive plans to use [the lists] intelligently.”

The site opened its auction feature on Dec. 22. The first 500 bidders received a free T-shirt with the Sportcut.com logo and anyone with a winning bid received free ground shipping until Jan. 1.

At press time, Sportcut.com was slated to launch its first game, a Shockwave-based, arcade-type game named “Basketball Shootout.” Trivia games, a fantasy agent game and golf and baseball video games are coming up for the future. The site also is examining partnerships with the many popular fantasy gaming sites on the Web.

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