In today’s culture, everything is done via smart phones, iPads, laptops, and tablet devices. Specifically, the emergence of smart phone applications over the course of the last 10 years has been rampant. Information and products have become increasingly more accessible because of this and consequentially we have seen the demise of such things like newspapers, taxis, and cd’s. We’ve seen innovative new services in industries from transportation, to social media to banking with such apps like Uber, SnapChat, and Venmo.
This trend is very quickly transferring over to the sports world. There are thousands of different types of sports apps ranging from the $30 billion fantasy sports industry to sporting news delivery to video coaching applications. Content and information is as accessible as ever in today’s world. People live with their cell phones by their sides, and if they want something, there is no reason they have to reach any further than their pocket.
Professional teams, leagues and even events are all adapting applications so fans can access news, follow scores, buy tickets and interact more readily. Teams have learned how to effective leverage their fans social media networks via in-games promotions and giveaways that, which in turn, exponentially increase a team’s viewership. On the amateur side, youth sport clubs are using apps to disseminate information to parents as quickly as possible. Tournament coordinators are using apps to inform teams of the latest draws and what field they need to be at and when.
Youth and high school team administrators are using applications like TeamSnap that organizes schedules, scores, field directions, and photos for players and parents to quickly get updated news rather than relying on an email or individual phone calls.
SportsBoard is a relatively new application that enables sports camps to give video, audio and text feedback on a camper’s performance with corresponding grades. Moreover, it enables college coaches to organize their recruiting camp pipelines with video content, tracking systems, and systematic communication.
In looking at the 2015 list of top sports apps for the Android, the major sports media outlets dominate the top 10. The WatchESPN app ranked #1, as this is a must-have app if you’re a cable subscriber. The WatchESPN app allows you to login via your cable provider and access exclusive ESPN content as well as watch ESPN Live. TheScore came in ranked #2 as it is essentially an app that provides all kinds of news, analysis, stats and scores for every sport you can think of, and you can create your own feed where it brings you stories only from your favorite teams and sports. The rest of the top 10 includes ESPN, CBS Sports, NCAA, Fox Sports Go, NFL Mobile and Yahoo Sports.
The common denominator in all of these digital sports trends is the need for real time, live information. Twitter has become the fastest media outlet of live information where users can type a quick tweet as soon as they learn something, and then that is retweeted and all of a sudden news begins trending. A good example of this is the RII Sport Technology’s GameDay Scout app, where high school and college football coaches are using this mobile application to capture detailed, real time data and then are using the app to understand the tendencies of their opponent in order to make in-game adjustments.
While the demand is certainly there, the supply is quickly getting there with apps being made daily. Smart phone apps can be produced for as low as $10,000 or as much as $2 million depending on the sophistication and interface design quality. While the major revenue streams for apps come from advertising and corporate sponsors, partnership incentives are quickly adding additional revenue dollars for app designers. In 2015, more and more sports businesses are learning how to capitalize on this ever-growing market.