The Green Bay Packers. The Detroit Pistons. The Miami Dolphins. The USA Rugby Team.
What do all of these teams have in common?
Well, yes. Players. Competitors. Fans.
But also - mobile apps.
There's a joke among techies - that for any situation in life "there's an app for that". It's no different in the sports world. Big budgets and big markets have funded custom mobile apps for a few years now.
So at a high level, what are sports teams using mobile apps for?
We see four main areas:
This is the most basic way sports teams use mobile apps - basically sending content out to fans. This one-way push of content:
- Includes game schedules, scores, previews, recaps and league standings
- Can include team rosters, player cards, and player profiles
- Can include weather forecasts for upcoming games
- Can contain team-related music, video, and links to team accounts on social media
- Can provide fan-specific "aftermovies" to help fans re-live a game
- Communicates other team news and events
- Promotes team spirit
Including social elements in a mobile app turns the one-way street into a two-way street. Using a mobile app with built-in social features allows fans to:
- Interact with each other and with their favorite members of the team
- Play sports trivia games
- Ask questions
- Get customer service
- Predict scores to win prizes
- Join fan/booster/kids clubs
- Receive location-based notifications to take selfies with traveling trophies
Many teams - and stadiums - are offering apps to improve the experience of going to a live sporting event. Whether it's the team app, the stadium app, or a combination of the two these apps can:
- Offer mobile tickets while you are outside the stadium, and remove those offers once you are inside
- Purchase parking passes
- Help fans locate their seats, restrooms and their vehicle afterward
- Provide wayfinding assistance around the venue
- Offer in-seat and express pickup of beverages and food
- Offer video replay from multiple camera angles
- Provide a live video feed of the game
- Update on other on-going games that affect league standings
- Recieve push notifications from vendors based on the weather (beverages on hot days, slickers on rainy days, etc
Teams are starting to look at their mobile app as an income source. Professional sports teams use mobile apps to sell:
- Game tickets
- Branded goods
- Promotional materials
- Digital products like wallpapers and ringtones
- Concessions while at the game
Brand interactions. Application use. Location information. All data that marketers can use. Sports teams can get to know fans on an intimate basis - their preferences, tastes, and needs.
Pro sports teams can use that data to improve their business strategy and their bottom line, all while giving the fans what they want.
What About You?
Here at Omni we've been known to have our phones out at a pro ball game or two - always looking for that prefect union between sports fan and geek. What apps have you found useful? Give us a shout and let us know.