This week is the lead up to the IRONMAN World Championship, held each year in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. This year’s race is Saturday October 8. If you don’t remember the story, or want to hear it again, Naval Officer John Collins and his wife Judy came up with the idea of combining the three toughest endurance events on the island into one race. The assumption was that only a handful of adventurous “nutjobs” would turn out to the starting line.
In 1978, exactly fifteen competitors showed up for the challenge. The sport has experienced tremendous growth ever since and over 2,000 will race this year. The sport of Triathlon is big business, as evidenced by the acquisition of the IRONMAN brand and related assets by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group for $650 Million in 2015 from a private equity firm.
One of this year’s favorites in the Women’s professional race is Heather Jackson. Heather’s professional resume is building quickly and she has posted several wins of late including setting a course record while winning this year’s IRONMAN Lake Placid event.
Heather is also a partner in Wattie Ink, a triathlon apparel company producing some of the coolest threads and kits available. When visiting the Wattie Ink website, I was surprised to see that these triathletes know a little something about customer loyalty too.
Wattie Ink Rewards is the company’s loyalty program. While rewards are available for purchases (5 points per dollar), the program is balanced by emphasis on engagement and participation in Wattie’s social channels. Behaviors like creating an account, referring a friend, visiting the Facebook page, and sending Tweets all award points towards what appears to be about a 10% rebate on future purchases.
The structure of the Wattie Ink Rewards program may seem familiar, but it’s clearly targeted to meet specific goals set by the company owners. The community aspect of Triathlon is important to participants, and Wattie Ink is encouraging engagement and participation with its community of fans through its customer loyalty program.
Now, if we can just get some “soft benefits” from the program to help us swim, run and bike like Heather, we would be all set.
Best wishes to Heather Jackson in Saturday’s race and in Wattie Ink lingo, we say “Rock the W”.
Image Credit: Heather Jackson