Mobile app engagement leads to big wins for NBA teams and arenas

By James O'Brien

The brackets are built and the wait is over. The NBA playoffs are underway, and it’s the prime time for teams to reach their fans through mobile app engagement.

For sports aficionados, the right mobile experience comes down to a sense of deep interactivity, exposure to insider data and the ability to have personalized moments. There’s no doubt that the NBA knows the power of this approach. After all, stadiums and teams are already enacting multiprong mobile strategies.

Pregame strategy: Mobile apps get fans to stadiums

It’s no secret in the NBA — or in any other league, for that matter — that technology makes the at-home playoff experience a compelling option. After all, the NBA Game Time app can provide users with live stats and video highlights. Users with a League Pass subscription can even use the app to stream live games.

On the other hand, mobile app engagement opportunities are also putting powerful tools into the hands of arena operators, letting them mitigate many of the game-day hassles that can make all the difference between couch time and the thrill of a courtside seat.

For instance, one of the biggest headaches that comes with a trip to a sporting arena is trying to find a spot in a crowded parking lot. As such, stadium apps that provide data about open parking spaces can be beneficial to both fans and lot attendants. Enterprises can also use their mobile apps to push real-time queue information to attendees and ticket-takers. This up-to-the-minute information helps fans make well-informed decisions about lines and enables employers to send additional staff members to high-traffic areas.

Once fans are inside the arena, they are exposed to mobile experiences that are even more engaging and relevant.

Passing for the win: Interactive screens amplify mobile experiences

The NBA understands the value of extending its reach beyond the proprietary app ecosystem. In fact, the basketball association is using social media apps to better meet the fan desire for more engaging interactions. As Mobile Marketer reports, one way the NBA is providing users with more personalized exchanges is through interactive screens in arenas. Once fans are in the arena, they can upload content from their social media accounts to these large screens.

This technology allows sporting venues to provide a more engaging experience on a variety of levels. Imagine, for instance, that a user posts an Instagram picture of a group of fans celebrating a major moment on the court. Once the image is approved by the arena, it can be displayed on the interactive screens for all to see. Before you know it, a combination of near-field communications, QR codes, SMS and geofencing leads to a truly buzzworthy conversation for fans both at the game and at home.

The layup: Getting the in-seat basics down with mobile app engagement

NBA apps allow fans everywhere to dive into detailed content regarding scores, games and players. For example, Pro Basketball Pocket Reference is filled with data derived from years of the game. However, fans who make their way to the arena are exposed to additional benefits. Team apps, such as that of the Cleveland Cavaliers, can include on-site maps and location-based in-house promotions. Some team apps even allow last-minute decision-makers at the gate to purchase tickets or make upgrades. These apps can also be used to push real-time, relevant messages regarding plays, merchandise and arena deals. This first-party app experience brings fans and individual teams into virtually direct contact, enabling the type of engagement basketball enterprises want to capture during the playoffs and beyond.

Written By

James O'Brien

Technology Reporter

For the past half decade, James O'Brien has covered technology and the ways it intersects with our lives and work. His points of focus include data analytics, the mobile sector, driver-less cars, the Internet of Things, IT infrastructure, data security, 3-D printing, and technology…

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