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March 10, 2023

How RareAccess Helped the Detroit Pistons Build a More Engaging Loyalty Program

Learn how the Pistons leveraged exclusive access and premium content to boost fan engagement and generate a new revenue stream.

Basketball teams are more than just a collection of players competing for a championship. They're a community, a family, and a passion that brings people together. This connection with their fans is paramount for the Detroit Pistons, so they sought to create a deeper fan program including for fans outside of their core market. But how could they stand out from the crowd and monetize their underutilized intellectual property? The solution came in the form of RareAccess, a solution that helped the Pistons connect with their most loyal fans and create a new revenue stream. This case study will explore how the Pistons leveraged exclusive access and premium content to boost fan engagement and generate lasting brand loyalty.


The Detroit Pistons had standard point-based loyalty programs, such as credit card programs, that rewarded customers with cash back. However, they wanted to create a more engaging program that helped them to 1) Grow their customer database 2) Drive deeper connections with their fanbase and 3) Reach new audiences outside of their core market.  In addition, they were looking to boost monetization for underutilized intellectual property (IP). 


The Pistons partnered with RareCircles to deliver RareAccess, an exclusive loyalty program that offers behind-the-scenes access to players, coaches, and executives through live video streams and never-before-seen content, giving fans a unique and personalized experience.

In addition, the team sought to create a new revenue stream by selling a membership to these benefits and drive engagement within this customer cohort.

Live Video Streams

Fans connected with coaches, players, and executives in a private, digital video stream through “Huddle Sessions." As a result, the Pistons could offer fans new, premium content from coaches, executives, and players on the Pistons and Motor City Cruise teams.

Exclusive Content

The Pistons packaged never-before-seen content using RareCircles' gated CMS, exclusive for pass holders. Fans could also purchase (or win) jerseys and signed memorabilia.

User Generated Content

Questions asked during Huddle Sessions were determined through fan polling and proposals throughout the season. Fans were able to vote on specific team decisions and suggest questions at press conferences. 


Premium members could attend games where they unlocked special privileges such as sitting courtside during warm-up and getting personalized pictures from the players.


Engagement rates exceeding expectations. Fans actively participated in the team's decisions and felt invested in the program through the platform's polls, showing an 89% engagement rate. RareAccess live video streams also proved popular, with 85% of fans eager to connect with coaches, players, and executives. These interactions yielded rich first party data that the Pistons could then leverage for additional opportunities.

Finally, Pistons RareAccess generated a new recurring revenue stream for the Pistons, independent of game attendance or merchandise sales.

Up Next

The Pistons plan to provide more profound experiences leading to the ‘23/24 season. They plan to create more and deeper behind-the-scenes content, build engaging content during the off-season and the draft, host digital watch parties, and make a free version of RareAccess. The team is also looking to develop additional partnership opportunities by sponsoring these unique benefits.