Today the Philadelphia Union front office sent out an email to all 2015 Season Ticket Holders (STH), laying out some benefits that they will receive next season. The perks outlined in the email were; the "STM Jersey Number Program", the "Union Ticket Exchange Program", the "U-Pass", additional ticket discounts, more referral benefits, and your name on your seat.
The ticket exchange will allow STH to exchange tickets for other STH tickets instead of money once the 2015 MLS schedule is out. Nothing too far out there when it comes to this idea, nor with the discounts, or referral benefits in regards to past seasons. Out of this list the "STM Jersey Number Program" and the "U-Pass" personally interest me the most. The jersey number idea is one that was mentioned earlier this year and will allow STH to upload a picture of themselves to put on a players jersey as a part of a number.
"STM Jersey Number Program – Major League Soccer announced a very unique and exciting program back in October – but for those that missed it, you will have an opportunity in 2015 to have your face on the back of a players jersey! All current 2015 STM’s will be given an opportunity to upload a photo in January that will then be placed into the number of your choice on a players jersey. This unique promotion will run throughout the month of August – and will be available for purchase in the Union Shop during that time. For example, if your favorite player is Sebastien Le Toux (Number 11) and you want your face on the back of his jersey, you will have an opportunity to upload a photo that will appear on the number 1. It is a really unique program that should be another great way for fans to feel a part of the action in Major League Soccer. Details on how to upload your image in January will be given at a later date..." (Per the email)
Granted this is a feature that has been done before by several clubs, the one that most recently comes to mind is Minnesota United FC in the NASL. Nonetheless, I probably personally will spend money on what is hopefully an awesome secondary Ray Gaddis kit with a photo of me looking stupid on it.
Then the second new idea to the club is, "U-Pass". Where each STH will get two ticket vouchers that can be redeemed for any game. With the idea that you will bring someone that has never come to PPL Park, a great idea to hit untapped markets. (Details are still to follow on if each ticket gets two vouchers or if each seat gets two vouchers.) Personally I have spoken about how the Union front office could do better in getting people in seats (especially the US Open Cup Final), and this is a great step in the right direction.
Hopefully these small ideas continue to grow into greater things off the field.