Even in the most challenging times, the power of human connection prevails.
Whether it’s the coming together of millions every day to cheer on front-line workers through the ringing of bells and sirens; the ongoing birthday celebration car parades; or the numerous musicians and celebrities livestreaming from their homes to entertain the masses, the ingenuity of the human spirit finds a way to unite, even when we’re far apart.
Enter Mastercard’s Priceless team. They’re the group at Mastercard who’ve been doing their part by evolving the award-winning Priceless platform to curate passion-based digital experiences for everyone at home across sports, culinary, arts and culture, and more, including intimate, at-home acoustic sessions with Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Camila Cabello sharing new renditions of her hit music, kicking off May 27.
To get there, though, they needed to “think inside the screen” by launching a global portfolio of offerings to take online experiences to new levels — now known as Digital Priceless Experiences. Over 50 experiences are live on priceless.com or in the cue for the coming weeks, and its pipeline continues to grow. All the experiences have been free to date and all you need is your Mastercard to access.
Technology also makes it easier to reach more people. In addition to the experiences on priceless.com, Mastercard has also been creating live experiences with its brand ambassadors for the masses across its social channels.
In April, golf fans got to walk Pebble Beach with PGA Tour pros Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell for a virtual tournament. Graeme followed through with an “ask me anything session,” where cardholders could receive a response from him on their topic of choice whether an expert golf tip, a milestone congratulation, or words of encouragement to the COVID-19 front-line responders they care about the most. And esports fans had a similar opportunity to engage with their favorite superstars as the reigning European League of Legends Champions, G2 Esports, answered questions and recorded personalized video responses for the lucky few that signed up for their sold-out event.
A live session for wine lovers with James Beard Award-winning sommelier Belinda Chang snagged over 1 million viewers on Twitter, and her one-on-one virtual party planning sessions on priceless.com sold out in the first hour.
Other events capture the sights, sounds and tastes of travel. Cardholders can spend their Mondays virtually touring Madrid’s Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza to discover its famous paintings with various art experts. The JRE, an association of Europe’s young restauranteurs and Michelin-starred chefs, partnered with Mastercard to offer intimate online cooking lessons and livestreaming of master classes. Learning how to cook the most sought-after dishes in Berlin from a galley kitchen in Brooklyn has never been easier.
Also in April, award-winning chef JJ Johnson took time out from preparing meals for needy families in New York City to host a livestream session on how to make his famous seafood gumbo. More than 1 million people have watched to learn how to slice, dice and spice like Johnson, and could then download the recipe from priceless.com.
With culinary and cooking at home becoming a top pastime, Mastercard has created a dedicated Priceless Cookbook series that includes downloadable recipes from around the world and the inspiration behind them. It includes fan favorites from Mastercard brand ambassador chef Marcus Samuelsson and even tennis star and two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka serving up her favorite family recipe.
What’s great about Mastercard’s Priceless platform is its ability to support causes, giving people an opportunity to do good. For example, in some instances, cardholders have the option to donate at the checkout while other experiences are designed as auction campaigns, both designed to support noteworthy charities.
For example, before the pandemic’s outbreak, Mastercard launched on Leap Day an auction-based campaign on priceless.com where cardholders bid on some truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like a total glitz and glamour Grammy Awards red-carpet experience, with all of the proceeds going to its longtime cause partner, Stand Up to Cancer.
Once the coronavirus is gone, Mastercard will once again be able to send cardholders off to learn to tango with the best dancers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, or take a guided paddling tour of Australia’s Sydney Harbour. But until then, the program will continue to incorporate enriching digital Priceless experiences from home because, according to Rajamannar, “Like any life-altering moment, be it wonderful or challenging, there’s always something new to learn.”