You Got a New Format Competitor. Now What?

The new NBA app seems to be the closest thing to the future of the sport.

The app features multiple Instagram-like story feeds that give you behind-the-scenes access to various NBA teams, the fashion sense of the league’s players, and great moments from the past. It will also feature social content about players’ jerseys, the cars they drive, the tattoos they have and celebrities attending NBA games, according to a league press release.

The NBA is involved in 15 Seconds of Fame, an app that records fan content at sporting events shown on the Jumbotron in arenas during games. It wouldn’t be a surprise if more of this natural, fan-generated content left the arena ecosystem and ended up in the app to drive ticket sales and the value of a first-hand pro basketball experience.

It will also feature a weekly whip-around show similar to NFL RedZone, a weekly betting stream, influencer content from famous creators, and partner content from DraftKings, FanDuel, Action Network and Bleacher Report. Partner content will hopefully feature original videos from well-known figures representing these brands, such as Dan Le Batard, Pat McAfee, Darren Rovell and Taylor Rooks – stars who are more likely to engage with NBA content across their various platforms and provide unique and controversial interpretations of what is happening in the game.

The NBA is even producing original programming that will be streamed live on the app, including a documentary about last year’s Warriors championship, which is being released now. There will also be an exclusive weekly segment from Inside the NBA, a documentary series about rising basketball stars, and unfiltered live streams from training camp. The warriors and Inside the NBA are two brands in basketball that have proven their worth and their ability to generate extra attention, more buzz and more viewers. It’s super smart to use their appeal to build the app’s momentum.

Archived games and old series formerly aired on NBA TV will also be available in the app, and an international documentary about the game’s global impact will also premiere soon.

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The key component of the app will be games. All NBA League Pass out of print games can be viewed as well as the 24/7 NBA TV feed. Alternative streams will also be provided throughout the season with a focus on betting, analysis, influencers and multiple languages, but it is unknown if micropayments at key moments of a given game will remain an option for fans via the NBA app or Buzzer (an app). the NBA and WNBA worked together last season). The app will even have a “For You” section similar to TikTok, which the league says will include real-time highlights of games in progress.

The NBA has partnered with Microsoft to develop their new app. Microsoft’s technology has helped create a much more personalized experience for fans. In an article on the tech hub’s website, the company hopes to further develop the app in the future, adding “new features such as augmented reality, virtual reality… the possibility of using different points of view or different commentators or offering animations of the game in real time, such as a first-person view of LeBron James seeing a game collapse as he puts the ball on the court.”

Adam Silver’s league also features pre- and post-game shows from each team’s regional sports network, as well as pre- and post-game press conferences from each team. Unlike NFL+, the league values ​​its fans’ time and creates reasons for them to come to the app and stay as long as possible other than to watch games. Ad revenue increases as the time people spend on the app increases.

The only thing this app lacks is the ability for fans to communicate in some way. Despite the challenges that moderation might bring, it would be fascinating to be able to allow fans to engage in conversation about what’s happening in the world of basketball via text, audio and video within the app. Microsoft has demonstrated its ability to create these types of rooms — no pun intended — through its Teams app. It would be even more fascinating if fans could discuss what’s going on or host their own remote watch parties while watching a game in the same app.

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Although the app provides written content, it would be handy to find insider articles that break down potential transactions, dressing room issues, team concerns, and investigative journalism articles that unravel mysteries within the league, such as: B. the scandal surrounding the Celtics at the moment. It’s pretty unlikely that the league wants to cast any negative light on itself, but historically, transparency always works far better than a cover-up.

As much as the league supports NBA Twitter and NBA Reddit, it’s more financially viable for them to do their best to integrate elements of those apps internally. Besides the above options, it can also be cool to migrate topics and tweets about trending stories of the day right into the app with a link to Twitter or Reddit respectively. Both apps have prior ties to the league, and the migration shows ad buyers that their content exists and can make waves on the interwebs beyond their own apps and websites.

The app also seems to lack options for audio. There is already an infrastructure for podcasts within Turner Sports and NBA Digital – Charles Barkley and Shaq each have their own vehicles – so it would make sense to provide fans with content that featured both stars with audio and/or video to capture the Extending time and dependence on the app among fans.

Amateur sports got a bit of attention to the app through Jr. NBA practice, but it can help generate more affinity and need for the app when key games with top prospects in high school and lower Division 1 basketball are played be highlighted (probably impossible to get power). 5 games with blocked rights).

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The WNBA and the G-League also have no important entry points in the app. The NBA was a major sponsor of summer leagues across the country during the summer, as pro players performed in LA and Seattle. The league should make the same effort at other associations it is affiliated with, in addition to competitions featuring amateurs and young players who could potentially play high-profile roles in the future of the NBA. It promotes the game of basketball and makes the app a target.

One conflict that will be interesting to see how it resolves is the balance between teams’ content published on their platforms or RSNs and content published on the NBA app. Monumental Sports and Entertainment recently purchased NBC Sports Washington, home of the Washington Wizards. The main goal of the takeover (which you can learn more about on the Jason Barrett Podcast in his interview with Zach Leonsis) is to give fans access to the team off the court.

Does in-app Wizards content packaged in an Instagram or TikTok-like format discourage viewers from viewing similar content on Monumental’s services? Andrew Marchand from The New York Post recently speculated on his podcast that the NBA may be conducting an MLS switch and over-hyping all RSN games on their app as the future viability of RSNs is in question due to cable cuts and debt from RSNs’ largest owner – Diamond Sports Group .

More changes and additions are expected to be announced as the season progresses. But now the NBA is off to an amazing start, offering the kind of next-gen app that every league and sports TV network should be emulating. It’s the perfect mix of content and technology to keep fans interested. We’ll soon see how much attention it actually generates.