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ASU gives back with the Sun Devil Rewards app

ASU's Sun Devil Rewards app is giving back to students, faculty, alumni and fans for engaging with the University

Freshman Kelly Fox with the Sun Devil Rewards app displayed on her phone. Pictured Sept. 15, 2016.
Freshman Kelly Fox with the Sun Devil Rewards app displayed on her phone. Pictured Sept. 15, 2016.

ASU is providing Sun Devils with new access to free rewards.

Sun Devil Rewards was in development for the past two years by ASU's marketing department, the Enterprise Marketing Hub. It launched on Sept. 10. 

“It’s an app designed to generate opportunities for alumni, students, faculty and friends to engage with the University in a fun and interesting way,” Dan Dillon, EMH senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said.

The app allows users to earn "pitchforks" in exchange for their involvement in University activities, such as checking in at events, answering trivia questions or taking surveys. Pitchforks can, in turn, be redeemed for rewards.

The system involves three "Devil Levels." The first level, Sun Devil, is between 0 and 7,499 pitchforks; the second, Maroon Devil is between 7,500 and 14,999 pitchforks; and the final, Gold Devil, is more than 15,000 pitchforks. The higher the level, the more valuable the rewards become.

Pitchforks can be earned in a variety of ways. Users get five pitchforks for opening the app and can get five more for each ASU news story read and shared. Up to 25 pitchforks can be earned for completing their profile and sharing photos. Sharing the app with friends can earn a user 100 pitchforks per referred sign-up. Discovering a secret word will also provide users with pitchforks.  

Dillon said all of the rewards come from what the University has at their disposal, whether it is tickets to a Gammage event or getting to tag along with Sparky from tailgating to post-game activities.

“It gives the University an opportunity to give back,” Dillon said.

According to Dillon, the app reached almost 6,000 downloads within the first 10 days and roughly 1.5 million pitchforks were earned as of Sept. 23.

He said the outcome of the launch was what they expected, explaining that they are on track to reach their goal of 20,000 downloads by Oct. 31.

In the Apple App Store, the app was given three stars and a variety of reviews reporting technical flaws with the app. It was given 4.1 stars in the Google Play store.

One of the problems include a technical glitch with scrolling on the profile page. 

Dillon said they are monitoring these reviews and comments made on social media very closely in order to make adjustments where needed.

“This is version 1.0,” Dillon said. “We are already working on version 2.0, which will offer more features and functions and ways to engage.”

He said the app is getting heavily promoted on all platforms. Their Twitter account is used to remind students to get their daily pitchforks. Street teams of student workers hand out secret codes for pitchforks at football games.

However, some students are still unaware or confused about what the app entails.

Marketing sophomore Kaylie Cook said that although she received an email about the app, it didn’t describe its premise well enough. She thought the rewards were for students with a meal plan.

“They should just explain it more and possible rewards for it so that people actually know what they would be signing up for,” Cook said.

Director of ASU marketing content development Stephen Des Georges said the app is different from other rewards programs because users do not need to spend money to benefit from rewards, and there are a variety of ways to earn pitchforks.

“All you have to do is be engaged with ASU," Des Georges said. "Then the rewards will come.” 

Reach the reporter at or follow @gabriellabachar on Twitter.

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