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USATF Rewards celebrates one-year anniversary

INDIANAPOLIS -- USA Track & Field today celebrates the one-year anniversary of the USATF Rewards fan loyalty program by recognizing three lucky fans and reflecting back to a year of exclusive memorabilia and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Launched Jan. 27, 2014, USATF Rewards interacts with fans through activities, membership, social media and contests in exchange for earned wings.

“We designed the program to create more meaningful connections with our fans,” said Caleb Bailey, strategic programs manager at USATF. “Fans are integral to the future and success of our sport, and the rewards program allows us to recognize and reward those fans for the value they add.”

In the first year, fans earned 187,983,335 total wings and cashed in 17,042,250 wings for tangible rewards. Socially, the program amassed 9,443,892 timeline deliveries using #USATFrewards to reach an audience of 1,123,352.

“It’s just another way to keep in touch with USATF,” said Chad Bjugan, the first registered USATF Rewards participant. “It’s another part of my membership. It’s another way to interact, and it keeps USATF in the forefront of what I do. I usually login every day as a part of my routine to get my wings.”

In celebration of the program’s anniversary, USATF sent care packages valued at $500 to Bjugan and two other influential participants.

The gift included a duffel bag filled with a full set of USATF gear, a sweat suit, hat, gloves, water bottles, dri-fit tights, tech tops, poster, wristbands, spike bag, autographed photo cards and running sleeves.

“When I joined USATF Rewards and connected my Instagram and Twitter accounts, I was able to follow a lot of the athletes like Shalane Flanagan, Mary Cain, Ryan Hall and Brenda Martinez,” said Stephen Rhodes, the program’s No. 1 earner of wings. “I have a son running in college and when I post something about my son, I’ll get likes from professional athletes. I wanted to be a part of all of that. That’s one thing that pushed me to be a USATF member - to become a part of that elite membership. “

With a personalized touch on every reward distributed, the program’s most active participant, Benjamin Cao said, “On the day I redeemed the Dan O’Brien poster, I got an email asking if would like it personalized. I didn’t even know you could do that. I got the poster in the mail and there was another personalized postcard, and I thought it was nice that he, Dan O’Brien, would take some time to sign it and send it over.”

Exclusive prizes also redeemed as rewards were autographed batons and photos, letters from athletes, memorabilia, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

“I’m not the only person signing stuff,” said Olympic gold medalist DeeDee Trotter. “I would definitely say that if you’re looking to score something really awesome like a great piece of track & field history, this is where you need to go.”

The rewards program opened three sweepstakes in 2014. After determining contest winners, the rewards group tailored each experience to the winning fan’s interests. Highlights for inaugural sweepstakes winners included introducing a high school decathlete to the event’s 1996 Olympic Champion Dan O’Brien and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee, as well as providing a masters throwing athlete with world-class instruction from four-time Olympic discus thrower Aretha Thurmond.

USATF Rewards covered the cost of airfare, hotel accommodations and ticketed entry into the events. Additional experiential rewards included holding the finish line tape and awarding medals at USATF Championship events.

“It’s fun and easy, and you don’t have to spend one single dollar,” said Trotter. “Have a blast and get one of the coolest pieces of track & field history, and a true fan will find that hard to resist.”

Visits for more information and to start earning wings.

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