After first full season back, students still encountering issues with Tide Loyalty Points

Raelee Sents, Staff Reporter

The University of Alabama’s Tide Loyalty Points are back at sporting events. Since their return in the fall, students have expressed frustration with the app.  

Tide Loyalty Points were originally launched in the fall of 2019, but the program was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As reported by The Crimson White in fall 2022, “the program was designed by UA Athletics to create a fair distribution of tickets to highly coveted College Football Playoff games, as well as regular season ticket packages.” 

Following the return of the loyalty points program, some students complained about the appeals process and the program as a whole. Students with fewer points will be less likely to get regular season and postseason football tickets, upping the stakes of the points program for a school whose football program is wildly popular.  

They were annoying,” said Jillian Nance, a junior majoring in kinesiology. “They didn’t work at the beginning of the year, nor the end.” 

Nance said she submitted an appeal, but it was denied with no explanation. 

Annabelle May, a junior majoring in environmental engineering, said she also had problems with the app. May said during the football season points took a long time to pop up on the app. “they took like a very long time to pop up on my app.” 

The Tide Loyalty app utilizes a user’s location to see if they are in the designated area for a sporting event. Points are tracked through the Tide Loyalty app on students’ phones. Each student creates an account unique to them. Points are calculated through attendance of sporting events, earned UA credit hours, donating student football tickets, and being a member of Crimson Chaos.  

Donating student tickets before 5 p.m. the Wednesday before kickoff rewards 75 points per game. Donating your ticket 2 hours before kickoff on game day rewards 25 points per game. Attending UA sporting events rewards between 50 and 500 points per event and joining Crimson Chaos rewards 250 points per year. 

In the Tide Loyalty app, the help section provided aids students with stay-for-four help involving their location services. Stay-for-four is when students remain in Bryant-Denny stadium until the fourth quarter of a football game. On the Tide Loyalty Points website, tips for appeals give directions for football games. 

Tide Loyalty Points will be used in ranking students who opt-in to football season ticket packages this upcoming April. According to the Tide Loyalty Points page, “After the opt-in period has closed, students will be ranked from most points to fewest points and full season tickets will be assigned until availability is exhausted.” 

Jessie Bullion, a sophomore majoring in marketing, said she has also had problems at the beginning of the season. Bullion also sent in an appeal and was denied without further explanation.  

Brinkley Cottingham, a sophomore majoring in finance and management,  has used the Tide Loyalty app at both football and basketball games. During this time, she has appealed twice. 

“One of my appeals was accepted. And one of them didn’t get a response,” Cottingham said. For her accepted appeal, received no notifications and the points showed up on the app one day. 

Evan Paddock, a sophomore majoring in management information systems, said he has not used Tide Loyalty Points, but believes “they’re advertised pretty well.” 

The Student Government Association Judicial Board handles appeals from students. The Tide Loyalty Points website said SGA works with UA Athletics to review appeals. 

 “SGA has been actively working with UA Athletics in an effort to address issues that students have identified,” said Trinity Hunter, SGA press secretary. 

SGA does not have jurisdiction over technical difficulties that are associated with the Tide Loyalty app or phone service availability at sporting events. 

“When it comes to appeals, there is a defined set of parameters that the judiciary must adhere to when reviewing appeals,” Hunter said.   

These defined parameters are “clear photo evidence of the individual applying for the appeal and that they are at the event they are appealing to receive points for.” 

The Tide Loyalty Appeals process gives instructions on the website for how students should appropriately submit an appeal for the event they attended. For general attendance a student must submit a photo of themselves in the student section with the scoreboard in the background, from any quarter of the game. Fourth quarter points appeals follow the same process, however the photo an individual submits must be from the fourth quarter. Appeals must have been submitted within 72 hours after kickoff, according to the website. 

The Tide Loyalty website does not clearly define the process for submitting appeals for other sporting events. 

Tide Loyalty states that if you do not include the scoreboard showcasing the score, quarter and opponent, your appeal will not be approved. 

Hunter said that “the SGA judicial board works alongside the UA Athletic Department administrative team to review hundreds of appeals per semester.” 

The UA Athletic Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment.