Program awards fans for universal support

Adrienne Burch

Many people claim to be University of Alabama sports fanatics, but few have reached the status of a true Alabama Legend. The Crimson Rewards Program sponsored by Tuscaloosa Toyota offers UA students incentives for attending as many Alabama sporting events as possible throughout the school year, and those who earn the most points go down in the books as legendary Crimson Tide fans.

Students can sign up at any UA athletic event, receive a Crimson Rewards card, and then swipe the card at every event they attend. Most events earn students one reward point. However, there are special double-point events throughout the year.

The points add up and prizes are earned based off the number of points one has collected. The prizes range from a free concession voucher for ten points to qualifying to win a 2012 Toyota Camry with 90 points.

There are three levels of a Crimson Rewards collector. Twenty points earns All-Conference status, 50 points All-American, and with 80 points one becomes an Alabama Legend.

Brett Hudson, a junior majoring in metallurgical engineering, currently has 121 reward points making him an Alabama Legend. He said that the prizes are a nice way to get everyone attending sports other than football.

“I have enjoyed going to softball games,” Hudson said. “I played baseball for 14 years and never thought softball would be so much fun to watch.”

Graduate student Christopher Pendergraft said one of the main reasons he collects points is to have the bragging rights to his friends that he is a true Alabama athletics fan.

“I support a variety of sports, not just the popular ones sports or when they are facing a big rival,” Pendergraft said.

There is also a Facebook application for Crimson Rewards where members take quizzes and participate in weekly polls in order to earn more points. For every 1000 points a member earns on Facebook, one Crimson Reward point is added to their total.

Pendergraft said one benefit he sees of the program is that it can be clearly determined how many events a student has attended. However, he said that his reward points total should help in receiving more benefits, such as eligibility for national championship tickets.

“This could be a way the athletics office rewards the students who support the athletics programs across all Alabama sporting events,” Pendergraft said.

Pendergraft also pointed out that there is an abuse in the current system in which multiple athletic events are occurring at the same time, students swipe in at an event and then leave to go swipe in at another event. These students are not actually attending the events they earn points for.

David Lammon, a senior majoring in secondary education who is four points shy of reaching Alabama Legend status, said Tuscaloosa Toyota is doing a great thing with the rewards program. He said he is now a better-rounded fan, and it has even spurred him to pick up tennis.

Additional information about the Crimson Rewards program and a list of upcoming sporting events can be found at www.crimsonrewards.com