NHL shoots for repeat mobile usage via Android app
January 24, 2013
The National Hockey League is building up hype for the 2013 hockey season with a revamped Android application that serves as a hub to keep sports fans coming back regularly with wallpapers and news information.
The officially licensed NHL 2013 Live Wallpaper app is available for free download from Google Play. Cellfish Studios is working on the app.
"For this season, we set out to give NHL fans a more complete home screen entertainment experience and ensure they truly feel connected to their favorite hockey teams," said Perry Landesberg, vice president of content and distribution at Cellfish Studios, New York.
"We added several new exciting features to keep fans engaged all season long including schedules, real-time scores, interactive puck shooting, team news and their favorite team’s Twitter updates," he said.
In the game
The primary goal of the revamped app is to act as a hub for hockey fans to engage with content.
For example, a new ticker feature shows users up-to-date Twitter feeds and news on their favorite hockey players.
Additionally, fans receive text and email notifications via in-arena sounds and a jumbotron shows information such as scores, game schedules and weather.
Besides providing information on news and team updates, the app also includes a few interactive elements that use a mobile device’s screen to stimulate actions from the game.
For instance, users can interact with a spinning puck to shoot at a goal from their homescreen. There is also a tutorial page with instructions that shows users how to shoot the puck.
The app is based on a freemium ad model that gives consumers access to additional content with in-app purchases.
NHL ringtones can be bought inside the app, for instance. Additionally, consumers can pay to download wallpapers for all 30 NHL teams. The app includes one free wallpaper for sports fans.
The NHL has been active in mobile for quite some time.
In 2009, the company launched an ad-supported mobile site as a way for consumers to keep tabs on their favorite teams (see story).
Additionally, The NHL GameCenter application launched for the 2010-2011 season. In 2011, the company made a few enhancements to keep fans engaged during the sports season (see story).
For sports fans in particular, mobile has to be used in a way that keeps users coming back regularly. Consumers constantly have their mobile device in hand and expect to use it to access information in real time while watching live events.
In this case, themed wallpaper will encourage users to come back to the app regularly and keeps the brand top-of-mind every time a user looks at their mobile device.
"Being a fan is an individual statement, and with mobile being such a personal experience, they work together very well," Mr. Landesberg said.
"Mobile allows fans to stay connected to their favorite sport or team from wherever they are," he said. "In fact, Nielsen recently reported that six in ten mobile device owners check for sports results at least once a day."
"We see mobile becoming the primary way people experience pro-sports in the future, so they stay in on the action and have the ultimate fan experience. It will be the way fans stay connected before, during and after each and every game."
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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