September 28, 2006, 12:00 AM

New approach to loyalty: click-to-shop gift cards

The San Diego Chargers and are the first to offer a new digital gift card from imX Solutions that consumers insert into their computers, then click images to shop online. The Chargers organization is using the card in a loyalty program and expects to see a sales boost of 10-12%.

The San Diego Chargers football team in September took a new approach to fan loyalty by becoming one of two online retail sites to launch the new digital click-to-shop gift card from imX Solutions. The Ultimate Shopping Network’s launched the program in June.

The Chargers began offering the online digital gift card to 5,000 season ticket holders for use at the team’s online store. The gift card comes with value loaded onto a credit card-sized CD, which can include product images and streaming video that users can click to make a purchase after inserting the card in their computers.

The Chargers expect the card to build loyalty among fans and help continue growth in sales at the pro football organization’s web store, says Jim Steeg, Chargers executive vice president and COO. “We hope to have a 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, a site designed and powered by eSports Partners.

ImX Solutions’ cards can be ordered either from a retailer’s web site, where a purchaser could use a credit card to add value, or in stores already pre-loaded with value. ImX also is planning to launch this year a version of the card that consumers will be able to download from a retailer’s site to a blank CD in their computer.

The cards also are designed so that retailers can sell advertising space on them to product suppliers, imX says. 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.


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