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Why Your Sports Marketing Strategy Should Include a Mobile App

The Olympics ended a week ago, but you're craving more sports?  We've got you covered. Sports marketing has found its niche in the increasing technological integration of our daily lives—that is, with mobile apps. As with all mobile apps, the biggest challenge is not necessarily getting users to download the app, but to keep them sticking around after their first use. According to Andrew Chen, a member of Uber's Growth team, and his work with mobile intelligence startup, Quettra, and its CEO Ankit Jain, average app usage within the first 3 days of installation drops by 77%. Thus we see that there is a very critical period, within the first 5 days of installation, in which the app must hook the user in.

So, why a mobile app for sports marketing? Sports apps have developed the right balance of entertainment, utility, personalization, and social engagement that all contribute to their continued use. Let’s break this down:  

Entertainment and Utility: 

Mobile apps can be segmented into two primary and distinct categories: entertainment and utility. Why do you think the eras of Candy Crush and Pokemon Go were—and still are—so successful? We then see on the other side of this spectrum mobile banking, fitness tracking, and finance tracking apps growing exponentially as their utility factors serve as a driving force. Sports apps not only fit the entertainment gamut but also the utility bill for mobile apps. For starters, you’ve got highly accessible rich media such as live streaming, highlight videos, images, and press conferences to keep users amused throughout the day. On the flip side, the mobile app construction itself allows you to send your users real-time notifications about score changes, player and team performance, and new stories involving their favorite teams.  All of these features make it convenient for sports fans to look through the content they’re most interested in while on the go. The ESPN app prides itself on being the #1 Sports App in the market, giving its users up-to-the-minute scores, news, live video and audio streaming for every team and every league.


Much of sports marketing is centered on content, and naturally so given the industry itself. With highlight videos, sports scores, player and team statistics, amongst other elements like live streaming, personalized news feeds, and real-time updates and notifications—all of these points of contact represent opportunities for you to personalize your users' experience. The very make up of sports presents itself as an optimal subject for the capabilities that mobile apps offer, as scores, rankings, and updates are constantly in motion. Marketers across industries have come to a consensus that personalized content has no match in value. With sports apps, you can give your users the ultimate experience by allowing them to tailor the content they view in-app. A champion of personalized experience is theScore mobile app, which enables its users to highlight their favorite scores, stats, and news in one place.

Social Engagement:

When you roll out a mobile app as part of a larger sports marketing strategy, you have a real opportunity to gain traction with users who will not only interact with your app, and thereby your brand, but they will equally be sharing that interaction with their friends and other fans. It is no longer a question of whether mobile marketing is important or not—we know it is important with the percentage of users operating on mobile finally surpassing those on desktop. What is now relevant to determine is the percentage of users operating on mobile spending time in-app or through the internet.  According to Smart Insights, an astounding 89% of users spend their time in-app rather than the 11% on the web. These statistics should be understood with a word of caution as much of this in-app time is spent on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instgram, but this is equally a critical insight into sports marketing strategies. By giving their user base the ability to share updates and highlight videos with their online communities, sports apps can leverage the time spent on Facebook or Twitter as a tactic to send users back to their own apps. Fancred takes the top spot in our ranking--it's basically a social media platform of its own, but also allows for social integration particularly with their live streaming options that can be broadcast to their friends, the world, or a specific community of fans.

So, if you're in the business of sports marketing, you should consider the benefits of developing a mobile app as a component of your larger strategy.


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