Orange County Soccer Club created a mobile app that lets fans earn loyalty points for checking-in at matches and other activities, per a statement. The MyOCSC app's features include ticket sales, team merchandise sales, player profiles, a game schedule and ways to use points for exclusive rewards and prizes.
Austin Hurwitz, Orange County SC’s senior director of marketing, said the app is part of a bigger commitment to sports technologies. The app includes a Fan Cam that lets game attendees share their images and videos, and a chance to be featured on the home stadium’s video board.
The United Soccer League team partnered with SuperFan, a leading developer of platforms to boost fan loyalty and engagement, to create the mobile app, which is available for a free download from Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Orange County SC debuted the app last weekend in its match against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in Irvine, California. Orange County beat the Switchbacks 1-0.
Orange County SC is among the teams that have developed mobile apps as a way of interacting with fans while they attend games, and connecting with them at all other times to boost team spirit. Letting fans earn loyalty points to exchange for rewards is a key method of cultivating deeper loyalty with a team, especially as consumers can choose from an ever-widening group of entertainment choices. The including of video and social media sharing capabilities points to how these apps are getting more robust as sports teams recognize the potential of mobile to deepen engagement with loyal fans.
Mobile media have completely transformed the way people see sports, as exemplified with this month’s launch of ESPN+, a sports streaming service that costs $4.99 a month. As the New York Times noted, if ESPN were to be started from scratch today, ESPN+ would be the most likely version of the popular sports broadcaster, instead of the eight different channels it now has.
Sports leagues are embracing electronic technology in various ways to engage fans. Major League Soccer plans to add its MLS Fantasy league to its mobile app after creating a desktop version to let fans create their own dream teams to manage throughout the season, according to its website. Major League Baseball this month introduced a mobile version of its MLB Home Run Derby app that challenges fans to hit as many home runs as they can in a certain time limit. The league also created a virtual reality version for the Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive platforms.