- The mobile app sector is projected to jump to 352.9 billion in 2021, demonstrating the viability of our choice to create an app to engage with the Seattle Sockeyes’ fans.
- Sports apps, for both iOS devices and Android devices continue to grow, demonstrating the likelihood of of our app being downloaded on our fan’s devices.
- Video is extremely popular in the sports industry; individuals are watching game highlights and team news via the web across devices, so we leveraged this media trend and created the Team Content section, which showcases game highlights and videos exclusive to app users.
- User-generated content is “king,” so we created the Fan Feed component of our app, which encourages fans to pose or contribute to posts, photos, videos, reactions, or polls, as well as comment, share, and react to content.
- About the same amount of fans prefer to watch games in person and at the stadium as fans who prefer to watch via another location, such as at home or at a bar, so we created the Awards component, a loyalty program for fans, which enables both fans who attend the physical game and fans who interact via the app from another location to accumulate points and redeem them for different rewards.
BUILDING A FAN BASE
38% of millennials follow sports closely, while over 97% of millennials own a smartphone and spend over 5 hours per day on it, so we created our app on the preferred channel of communication for our target market, knowing they are using their smartphone to connect and engage with their sports teams.
Millennial fans are on their phone whether they are at the stadium or watching the game from home. They want the latest updates, trends, and highlights in real-time. By giving them a place to not only get updates, but converse with fellow fans about those updates, we will further the conversation around the team and create passionate, engaged fans. Also, the in-stadium features will alleviate common pain points such as waiting in lines at concessions, bathrooms, and the store. Ultimately, those fans will spend more with the team and drive our franchise success.
SUPPORTING DATA – GROWTH POTENTIAL
MOBILE APPS: PROJECTED DOWNLOADS BY 2021
SPORTS APPS PROJECTED GROWTH
The following data explains how sports apps in particular will grow in the upcoming years; again, demonstrating the potential popularity of our app, if we can differentiate appropriately in this market. Net revenue growth accelerated in 2017 and 2018, and growth remained strong into 2019.
IMPACT ON CONTENT & SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
There are overarching environmental media and sports industry specific trends that we will need to leverage when creating our content activation and social media strategies. Keeping our end goal in mind of having an NHL Seattle app that provides value to users thus building an engaged fan base for the Seattle Sockeyes, we need to think about the different stages of engagement. Based on the key environmental media and sports industry trends, as well as mobile app trends and growth, we have built a framework based on the main stages of engagement with the fans, that guided our content strategy.
MAIN STAGES OF ENGAGEMENT
Pre – event (days/weeks leading up to games, the season, a special activity like the draft, etc).
Game/event day (both in person and those watching/ hearing updates remotely).
Post – event (recap, highlights, etc). Our content and social media execution strategies for each major breakout will vary, but will work to fulfill the same goal – growing fan engagement and brand loyalty via the app by promoting the apps exclusive content/features/benefits.
MOBILE APP TECHNOLOGY
PROS AND CONS OF CREATING AND USING A MOBILE APPLICATION
Pros include connectivity, which enables users to connect and communicate with each other via the app or their social platforms, having all data and information available in one place, as well as instantaneously, with live updates available to the user, and the ability to use cross-development mobile frameworks, which allow for deployment speed increase and cost decreases, due to the ability of developing for an Apple product and an Android with the same system.
Cons such as needing WiFi/internet connections, finding a particular framework/structure for iOs versus Android, and difficulty integrating updates for two types of devices (iOs/Android) were easily addressed as we developed our app. Our stadium is brand new and is built with Wifi in mind, with talks started with Verizon to roll out a 5G wireless network, ensuring we will not have bandwidth issues. Finally, the app addresses both the iOS and Android, along with updates for both, with using Flutter as the framework to create it.
EVALUATION OF BEST-IN-CLASS SPORTS APPS – BUILT FOLLOWING ASPECTS INTO OUR APP
- FC Barcelona’s simple and clean aesthetics.
- Golden State Warriors fan chat, awards, and use of beacon technology.
- Nebraska’s promotions on food and concessions in the stadium.
- 49ers relevant & personalized push notifications.
- Buffalo’s stadium sensors which gauge lines and crowd volume throughout the stadium.