August 28, 2006, 12:00 AM

Click-to-shop card launches with San Diego Chargers, ShopUSN.com

The San Diego Chargers football team and e-marketplace ShopUSN.com operate the first online retail sites to offer a new digital click-to-shop gift card from imX Solutions, imX says.

The San Diego Chargers football team and e-marketplace ShopUSN.com operate the first online retail sites to offer a new digital click-to-shop gift card from imX Solutions, imX says.

The Chargers will offer the online digital gift card to 5,000 season ticket holders for the first time next month to use at the team’s online store. The gift card comes with value loaded onto a credit card-sized CD, which includes retail product images that users can click to make a purchase after inserting the card in their computers.

Jim Steeg, Chargers executive vice president and COO, says the pro football organization expects the card to build loyalty among fans and help continue growth in sales at its web store. “We hope to have 10-12% increase in sales this year over 2005,” he says.

Fans using the card will receive a 10% discount on a single purchase at ChargersProShop.com, a site designed and powered by eSports Partners. Fans will have until summer 2007 to redeem the value on cards issued this fall. In addition to the merchandise discount, the gift card will deliver a personalized message from San Diego Chargers’ president and CEO Dean Spanos. The card also features a brief collection of video highlights and links to different areas of the team’s main site at Chargers.com.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to reach customers in a way that has never been done before by an NFL team,” Steeg says. “We are really impressed with the quality of work that the design team at imX has done and we’re looking forward to distributing the cards to our fans.”

imX Solutions’ cards are designed to be either ordered from a retailer’s web site, where a purchaser could use a credit card to add value, or in physical stores already pre-loaded with value. The cards can also be re-loaded with value online.

The cards have 54 megabytes of data storage, making it possible for retailers to insert product images, streaming video and other graphics. They also are designed so that retailers cans sell advertising space on them to product suppliers.

In addition to a one-time set-up fee ranging from $10,000 to $25,000, imX charges ongoing fees that may take the form of royalty fees on sales or transaction fees of about 1.5% of transaction value, says David Farris, director of sales and marketing.

ImX is also planning to launch this year a version of its gift card that consumers will be able to download from a retailer’s web site to a blank CD in their computer, Farris adds.

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