The change made by the Kansas City Chiefs a few years ago was subtle — one word, really — yet it ushered a pronounced change in the way the franchise viewed its most important fans.
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Season-ticket holders became known as "season-ticket members."
Suddenly, the entire paradigm shifted. No longer were Chiefs fans merely customers, buying a ticket, attending a game and then heading home afterward. Rather they began to feel as though they were part of the franchise, just as integral to the success or failure of the team as quarterback Alex Smith, coach Andy Reid or even general manager John Dorsey.
And by offering those members exclusive gifts and experiences, the Chiefs have rebuilt their season-ticket rolls at a time when many franchises are having a hard time filling stadiums.