News, Athletics

Athletics Reviews Gold Pass System

Having passed the halfway point of the first year of Gold Pass implementation, the Boston College athletic department is pursuing student feedback and new initiatives to further develop and improve its ticketing system.

Beginning this past weekend, the athletic department is utilizing small student focus groups to gain feedback on the system and explore ideas for the Gold Pass in the future. The groups-composed of roughly 10 students each-will target various demographics of the BC community, including high-, mid-, and low-range Gold Pass users, non-Gold Pass participants, and transfer students.

“The driving force for year one was attendance,” said Jamie DiLoreto, associate athletics director for External Operations. “Things I’m looking at going into year one to year two is improving our processes. I want satisfaction rates to be extremely high.”

In an effort to gain a wider range of feedback, Athletics is targeting a March 10 release date for a general survey that will seek to gather information on what students’ expectations were going into year one, their experiences with the Gold Pass thus far, and their expectations entering year two.

Among the questions Athletics is focusing on are issues of earning points for road- tripping to games, matters of seniority, the potential for carrying over points year to year, and other game day point-earning possibilities. Ultimately, DiLoreto is concentrated on making the system as fair and clear as possible.

“For me it’s getting a majority of students who think the process is fair,” DiLoreto said. “I think we’ve made great strides in that this year overall with the Gold Pass. I know it’s not perfect-that’s why we’re doing a survey now, because I really want to gauge what their thoughts are. What did we do really well? What can we improve on? And from a process standpoint, what do they want to see in year two?”

One project Athletics is already exploring is the development of a Gold Pass smartphone app. While all the specifics aren’t nailed down yet, the app is being worked on with Row 27 Studios and will be used to increase student awareness of point totals and game alerts.

“I want this to be built by the students,” DiLoreto said. “At the end of the day I want it to be exactly what the students would want it to be.”

While the app would seek to improve communication between the athletic department and students, for students without smartphones, a continued email alert system and a potential off- and in-season newsletter would be available as alternative options.

The app is still some ways down the road, but right now, Athletics is working on incentivizing students to continue to use their Gold Passes in the spring.

“It’s up to us within the next month-the next two to three weeks-to figure out the specifics,” DiLoreto said. “We’ve talked about a lot of concepts, but what we really want to do is nail down the specifics of what we’re going to offer, depending only on when the weather starts to get good and we can actually have folks out to watch and attend games.”

Going forward, DiLoreto said an ideal ticketing system would foster high attendance, provide a feeling of reward and an understanding of the process, create a strong return rate, and result in an overall feeling of fairness.

“The goal at the end of the day for us is to get people to be passionate and support BC Athletics within an understanding that the students’ demands are very high right now, academically, with all their time management,” DiLoreto said. “And we’re understanding that and trying to figure out the best ways to communicate with them and make sure that they’re aware of when games are coming up and then incentivize them in ways to attend.”

February 17, 2014