Delivering experiences for sports fans through mobile allows for greater personalization. There’s demand for it and consumers simply expect it. Here’s how some of the most popular leagues are managing that demand through mining user data.

The NFL is focused on collecting data on the “user path” in order to mitigate “fan confusion,” said NFL mobile operations director Michael Park at SBJ/SBD’s NeuLion Sports Media & Tech Conference in NYC this week. “One of the key things we’re monitoring is the live content.” For instance, they’re focused on letting fans know when there’s a live game on the phone and “activating the users at the right time to nudge them into the app.” But what’s challenging about that is determining—if a user had dropped off—whether he or she began watching something else. “The ‘why’ is hard to get to… It’s a bit of a challenge to map out those transition points.”

Another priority for the NFL: making the process seamless when doing a handover from app to app—say, from the league app to an individual team’s app. “The expectation is there,” Park said. And then there’s the added layer of monetization, which can detract from the user experience. One of the top two complaints he receives about the NFL app is that there are too many ads, he said. “We need to find the right mixture.”

It’s also important to consider the balance between “technology’s utility versus technology’s entertainment,” said NFL Media’s chief digital officer Perkins Miller. “There’s some tension there… You have to blend the two.” And it would be a mistake to assume that more volume is always good. “That’s a false goal,” he said. More important is relevancy and personalization. “They don’t necessarily want more, they wants what’s relevant.”

At the NHL, the mobile viewer experience starts with the league app, according to John Pacino, vp, product development and social media at the NHL. And if you want to go deeper and focus on a particular team, the league app will lead you there. It’s important to find the right balance between the two there as well, he said.

At Pac-12 they’re trying to connect fans to teams and athletes, but there’s the added element of working with the schools to create a fan experience across all the sports at a particular university, said Pac-12 Networks’ digital media vp & gm David Aufhauser.

App engagement does represent a tremendous opportunity for the leagues. But the data and analytics around TV Everywhere are crucial, Aufhauser said. To effectively monetize these experiences, “there is a need in the industry to be able to really measure and track analytics around the consumption of video.”

The Daily

Subscribe

Google Sued Over Location Data

The battle against Big Tech in 2022 continued Monday with four state attorneys general suing Google over the company’s collection and use of location data from users of its devices and services.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up

Calendar

Jan 28
Cablefax 100 – 2022 Nominations Due: January 28, 2022
Mar 11
The FAXIES 2022Entry Deadline: March 11
Apr 1
Cablefax Top Ops – 2022Nominations Due: April 1, 2022
Jun 3
The Diversity List – 2022Nomination Deadline: June 3
Aug 12
Most Powerful Women – 2022Nominations Due: August 12
Full Calendar

Jobs

Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?
VIEW JOBS

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact John@cynopsis.com for more information.