Chicago Bulls introduces first app to increase fan access
January 6, 2014
The Bulls app
The Chicago Bulls have launched their first mobile application to forward their digital presence for fans.
The mobile app, which is presented by AT&T, follows a number of other new digitial initiatives, including the Bulls Game Day dynamic Web site, mobile live streaming of Bulls' pre-game shows and a new game schedule design. The app allows fans to connect to their favorite basketball players whenever and wherever they want.
"During the past few years we have been focused on creating a robust offering of content for our fans," said Jeremy Thum, director of integrated marketing at the Chicago Bulls. "This includes video production from Emmy Award-winning BullsTV, exclusive editorial content from Hall of Fame writer Sam Smith, rich photography and a look into our players and personalities lives off the court and in the community.
"Mobile devices connect us to everything about our daily lives," he said. "Our mobile app will allow fans to connect with their favorite team on their own terms.
"Planning an evening around an upcoming game, showing off statistical knowledge, sharing highlights from last nights game to friends, these all begin with an all-too-familiar reach into our pockets. We want to be a one-tap resource for our fans."
The app provides fans with team news, schedule information, game tracking and the latest content from Mr. Smith and BullsTV. Fans can also customize push notifications from the app, based on breaking news, start of game, end of quarter or final score.
Additionally, fans can purchase tickets directly through the app.
The app also integrates social media, with a section that lets fans view team Twitter streams and check in on Facebook at home games.
Fans can sign up for team emails, promotions and contests via the app as well.
The Bulls mobile app is available for free in Apples App store and Google Play. It is available for both smartphones and tablets.
A screenshot of the app
The app release follows a number of digital efforts for the Bulls.
Earlier in the season, the Bulls launched Bulls Game Day, which the team describes as a dynamic Web-based summary of all things game-related." The Web page includes team statistics, previews and relevant news leading up to tip off.
Once a game begins, Game Day updates fans on the score as well as team and player stats. The site also integrates BullsTV video, a play-by-play account of all the action, team shot charts and tweets pulled in from Bulls fans.
The site, Bulls.com/gameday, was built with responsive design and enables optimized experiences on any device.
The Bulls also introduced mobile video streaming this season. The Bulls partnered with the NBA and Livestream to allow fans to watch the pregame show from any device.
Additionally, the Bulls updated their digital schedule with a new layout that provides a good experience on desktop or mobile browsers.
Sports teams are continually challenged with developing post-stadium engagement with their fans, said Gary Schwartz, president and CEO of Impact Mobile, Toronto. The fan is a loyalist but the team needs to go beyond loyalty and establish a direct engagement with the fan to drive merch, seat sales and other revenue opportunities."
Mr. Schwartz is not affiliated with the Bulls. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.
While mobile apps become lost for many brands, sports teams can drive sticky engagement with a mobile app, he said. The fan continually is driven back to the teams assets such as the team schedule.
The Bulls can expand on this traffic by offering unique content and unique access. This will drive onward going affinity around their new mobile app.
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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