Fans these days are lining the fences of Jets training camp in Cortland, NY. Rain or shine, these loyal followers are here leading J-E-T-S chants, offering predictions and showcasing lots of love for their favorite team.
To reward fans for their patronage, the Jets have rolled out their new Jets Rewards incentive program for season ticket holders. Instead of paper tickets, each season ticket holder will receive a pre-loaded smart card to access home games and earn points for unique experiences and memorabilia redeemable at the Jets Rewards Marketplace.
To get a feel for how the 12th man feels, we took to the stands during a training camp practice to ask fans just that.
“There’s going to be rewards the more games you go to,” said longtime fan Pat Mazzucca. “You also get points for listening to the team on the radio and watching away games on TV. The two big rewards are a chance for Super Bowl tickets and more importantly to me and my husband, an opportunity to go to an away game on the team plane.”
“I think it’s a good idea and a step in the right direction to give something back. I think it will strengthen the fan base,” said Alex Klein, a multi-seat season ticket holder since the early Nineties from Roslyn Heights, NY.
It’s important for fans to be recognized, and Klein says this program does a good job of that. “It gives fans an opportunity for things they have never had before,” he said.
Klein, who sits in Section 124 in the end zone, likes the idea of getting points for “Fan Assists,” which accumulate every time the visiting team commits an error with help from the crowd. “If you get the fans pumped and hyped, they can absolutely affect the game. They could cause penalties on defense, false starts and what have you on offense. The 12th man, if you will, can be a big help in the stands.”
Gail Klein, Alex's wife, agrees. “I’m excited about the incentive plan because of the different options for fans. It’s almost like a frequent-flyer program where you can earn rewards and credits. I like it because you only have that one card. Yeah, you have to be careful because you don’t want to lose it, but to me the paper tickets are kind of flimsy, you can’t get them wet, do you have the right game ticket with you. But with this, it’s just one thing for everything and I like that.”
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And our not so scientific polling of Jets fans would not be complete without seeking the wisdom of superfan Ira Lieberfarb from Staten Island.
“My family has had season tickets since 1974, but my father started taking me in ’66 and he would buy games individually," Ira said. "With the swipe card, the only thing for myself is that I have boxes and boxes of ticket stubs, so I won’t be able to have that, but I know you have to move on in time. But overall, I do think it’s a pretty cool idea.”
Never fear, Ira. Fans will be able to get commemorative tickets at each game at the Jets Shop Flagship Store for a nominal charitable donation ($3 per ticket to ALR, the Alliance for Lupus Research).
Bill Robinson, Lieberfarb's pal from Eatontown, NJ, agrees with all the fans we talked with that the Jets Rewards card is a good idea.
"It’s giving back to the fans, which is always good, and now I can take my season tickets with me in my wallet," Robinson said. "We are loyal season ticket holders and we’re up in Cortland. We follow the team so it’s a good idea. I like the concept, that’s for sure.”