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01/30/2018

How Gamification Draws in More Than One-Third of Foxwoods’ New Loyalty Club Members

When a person attends a concert at Foxwoods, the back of their ticket includes an enticing offer: play a digital game to win a guaranteed prize. The game can be played before the concert or at the venue from a person’s smartphone or any other connected device. To unlock the game, players first enter their email address.  Everyone wins, but the players win different prizes, usually Foxwoods Reward Points worth anywhere between $5 and $20 that are redeemable across Foxwoods’ 35-plus restaurants and dozens of retailers. A grand prize worth $50 can be used at the slot machines on our gaming floor. The prize is good only on the day of the concert, and players must be over 21 and a Foxwoods Rewards member to use it. 

This back-of-the-ticket campaign launched in November 2016, and since then roughly 20,000 concertgoers have played—meaning we’ve collected the email addresses of 20,000 people who visited the resort for a one-time event. That’s an average of 55 emails each day for a year just from this campaign. Thousands of those people came to the concert early or stuck around afterwards to use their Foxwoods Reward Points on dinner, a cocktail, shopping or their bonus slot play to play the slots. This cross-promotion has introduced Foxwoods’ amenities to people who might have just gone to the concert and returned home, and it has generated millions of dollars in incremental revenue.

As word has spread, the concert game has become increasingly popular. Back in September 2017, for example, comedian Rob Schneider played at the Fox Theater—and we saw 605 people in the audience play the game and share their email address with us. Those are largely email addresses we would never have had without this effort.

Gamification has become a core element of our loyalty club member recruitment strategy at Foxwoods. We’ve used a balloon game at our booth attending community events, a slot machine game at the Rewards Booth and a trivia quiz on Twitter for a promotion we did with another casino. We created a custom "Catch a Lobster" fishing game and posted it on Facebook to celebrate Foxwoods’ annual Lobster Madness restaurant promotion. Catch a Lobster resulted in 200 email addresses captured and 100 visits to Foxwoods’ restaurants participating in the promotion. We also created a guessing game to celebrate Mother’s Day, a basketball shootout promoted at a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and a digital scratch card in partnership with the Connecticut Lottery. These games and quizzes have been played by more than 125,000 people. Promotional games are not only appealing to our existing guests, but they also inspire more of them to come visit Foxwoods. They drive more visits. And they've proven to be effective at re-engaging guests we haven't seen for a while.

Gamification brings in significant new business for Foxwoods as well. Over the past year, we’ve rolled out more than 80 promotional games with our technology partner, OfferCraft, a software company that uses artificial intelligence and gamification to help companies increase customer revenue and employee engagement. These initiatives now attract over one third of all new guests entering our loyalty program.

We are particularly active in using gamification to promote FoxwoodsONLINE, our successful online social casino. The OfferCraft-powered games for FoxwoodsONLINE have captured more than 50,000 email addresses in less than six months. A single Facebook post drove more than 4,000 new customer registrations and cut customer acquisition costs in half.

Even our Human Resources team has been able to leverage this powerful tool to present information and training modules to team members in exciting and memorable new ways.  We reimagined a refresher course on guest service standards as a competitive game with a public leaderboard and prizes. Foxwoods is also building photo-based and multi-lingual training and new team member onboarding games to accommodate a diverse Foxwoods team that speaks dozens of languages.

Games have become core to our efforts to recruit, retain and reward our players, and to engage and train our team members. The reason is simple: it works. Research has shown that gamified experiences are far more memorable and motivating than traditional approaches. It allows us to infuse our marketing and customer outreach with the same spirit of excitement and possibility that people love about our property.  Foxwoods celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, and these games have been a perfect way to mark this important milestone… and to usher in the next 25 years of fun.

About Jennifer Johnson

As Foxwoods’ Vice President of Loyalty Marketing, hospitality industry veteran Jennifer Johnson is responsible for the overall leadership and execution of efficient and profitable loyalty marketing strategies and programs for the largest resort casino in North America. She has a degree in Management Systems from Washington State University’s Business School.

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