We sports fans live in a wonderful era in that technology has been tailored to enhance the fan experience using mobile devices and apps to deliver targeted content. I wrote a contribution blog for iQ by Intel that looked at Thuuz, the Pandora of Sports, and how they are pioneering the sports tech space with software that alerts you when your favorite sports teams are about to do something you probably do not want to miss. I also analyzed the Second Screen explosion, discussed early 2014 Mobile Sports Trends, and looked proprietary data that supports the fact that sports viewers have migrated to watching on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets powered by Intel as a new standard.
Mobile App Helps Sports Fans Defeat Information Overload
In the United States alone there are four 24-hour networks producing sports and entertainment video content. To help fans keep up with this information blitz in real-time, sports discovery service Thuuz created a sports technology app for tablets and mobile devices that assists fans with selecting what NBA, NHL and football games to watch when they are on at the same time. According to data from Intel, this is just the beginning of widespread mobile sports innovations.
Thuuz, known as the Pandora of sports, launched sports Glassware for Google Glass last October. Thuuz’s proprietary algorithm pulls data from Twitter, Stats Inc, and other sources to score live sporting events on a scale of 1 to 100. It alerts loyal and new fans when their personalized “excitement level” reaches a critical point. For example, before San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain threw a perfect game or Golden State Warriors all-star Stephen Curry hit a three-point shot at the buzzer for a win against the Dallas Mavericks you would have been alerted by the app.
Stephen Curry Hits the Game-Winner With Only .1 Seconds Left!
This novel sports tech product began as an app but has recently morphed into wearable tech. Let’s say you are a San Jose Sharks fan and the hockey game goes into a shootout, or you are at the new Levi’s Stadium next season watching the 49ers play their rivals the Seattle Seahawks in another NFC West divisional thriller. Google Glass is coded with an API that will ping you to change the channel so you won’t miss any real-time action. They have apps for Android, iOS and Google TV.
DISH Network’s Game Finder app is also part of the Thuuz portfolio and lets you record with one click. Their next development step in beta is to have the app automatically record games and matches if the excitement threshold is met or one of your favorite teams is about to play. More than 20 leagues, federations and pay-TV operators have integrated the free app for their customers’ delight.
Second Screen Explosion
Watching sports using a tablet as a second screen and a smartphone as a third screen is not just a trend inside venues and man caves. More and more technology companies and sport organizations are working together to develop systems that meet the digital-savvy fan’s demand for user-friendly interfaces packed with robust software functionality. Overall, the mobile sports audience is rising fast.
ESPN is the clear statistical leader of fans following their favorite teams via mobile devices in 2013. Over 61 million U.S. adult fans accessed sports content last year on a smartphone, an increase of 15% year over year.
Additional data shows that PC use remains strong in all categories and fans are loading more in-depth analysis onto their devices to compliment watching live games.
At first, fans primarily looked up scores and breaking news on their mobile devices. But survey results from early 2013 show that more than 50% of fans watched highlights on smartphones and tablets. This year, even more fans are watching live games and highlights on these devices.
Early 2014 Mobile Sports Trends
Super Bowl XLVIII was held for the first time in a cold weather venue at Met Life Stadium, and the mobile audience did not disappoint. ESPN proprietary data shows that the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey was streamed by CBS Sports to mostly mobile platforms. On Super Bowl Sunday 64% of all viewers engaged with the game on web and mobile apps.
A further breakdown of ESPN data tells us that 66% of their total digital audience accessed sports content on ESPN.com and ESPN apps plus mobile web, with 41% of the total viewership exclusive to mobile.
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi also saw an increase in mobile viewership. The games were streamed digitally by 61.8 million unique viewers via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app, a significant 29% increase from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
United States outlasts Russia in epic shootout
According to NBC executives, a larger numbers of smartphone and tablet users were the main reason for this impressive streaming spike.
Mobile Has Gone Mainstream
Data suggests that this year the total number of video viewers in the U.S. on any online device will reach an all-time high of 190.6 million users, 40% of which are projected to be mobile users. That number of users is expected to increase steadily; the mobile share of total digital video is projected to reach near 60% in 2017.
In January 2014, ESPN reported 15.8 million video views, and YouTube produced 6 billion minutes of video watched on mobile devices. The adoption rate of mobile video could explain why 18% of consumers are spending less money on TVs and cable subscriptions and more on other screens.
Info Overload No More
With apps like Thuuz, and tablets and 2-in-1s powered by Intel, it’s becoming easier and easier for fans to follow all of the games they want to watch. Thuuz is just one example of the millions of sports properties, sponsors and fans worldwide using apps and innovative mobile technology to defeat information overload.
Robert Roble founded Sports Techie, a sports technology community, blog and expert resource in 2010 after a once-in-a-lifetime role as Wetpaint’s Moderator. He moderated the New York Giants, Houston Rockets and HBO Entourage historical wiki and online communities, in addition to writing blogs for DWTS and MSN. Bob is a pioneer in sports tech, an untapped market valued at $200 billion. His career in sports and tech spans four decades, where he’s worked for Paul Allen and the Seattle Seahawks, Magic and Dartfish. The Sports Techie social media network is global and passionate about green, robots and animals. Engage with his blog, friend @SportsTechieNET on Twitter and Like the Facebook fan page; also follow on Google+,YouTube and LinkedIn. He is happy for the opportunity to focus his iQ by Intel eye on innovative sports technology related content, trends and products that involve Intel’s tech, people and happy customers.
Photo by Thuuz.
Sports Techie, Fans, teams and players, and sponsors and leagues, are aware that sports viewing habits are changing from simply sitting behind a TV for hours at a time to actually getting off the couch and engaging with your tablet and mobile devices while you have dinner, walk the dog or chat with family and friends. A busy lifestyle can cause you to miss big games and favorite games. Not anymore thanks to Thuuz.
Some of you may only watch live mega events like Super Bowl 48 or the Sochi Winter Olympics so the NBA and NHL Finals are next up followed by the World Cup and World Series. Others of you may watch every game your favorite teams are involved with across multiple sports. Then there are the hardcore fans who will watch any sport that is on at any time like yours truly. Most of you love your cities hometown squads, for me it is the Seattle organizations minus the Sonics who continue to compete as OKC.
Sponsors should know a couple things:
- TV only eyeballs you have counted on in the past have transitioned to using mobile devices to follow and watch their favorite events, teams and players so make adjustments like a sports team does and tailor your branding, marketing and messaging accordingly with your partners.
- Sports technology is an underdeveloped newer medium. Both younger and older fans both can be reached through sports tech-centric marketing, social media and activation campaigns for a good ROI.
Yes, we do live in an information overload age but with the digital assistance from sports tech startups and larger media companies alike, the future looks connected and bright for global sports fans everywhere at any time.
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