Turner Sports Expands NCAA Brand With New iPhone App
Although Division I football and men’s basketball scores have long been available for fans on the go, they represent only the tip of the college-athletics iceberg. Catering to fans of sports ranging from field hockey and soccer to cross country and golf, Turner Sports has launched NCAA Sports, a free iPhone app that provides year-round coverage of the college-sports landscape.
The app provides in-depth regular-season coverage, including latest news and scoring information, of college football, basketball, and some baseball and hockey. However, the app ramps up for each championship season, expanding coverage to all NCAA sports across Division I, II, and III through Turner Sports’ digital relationship with the NCAA.
Live Streaming for Fans on the Go
Well into the fall championship season, the recently launched app features live streaming of more than 60 NCAA championship events, including Division II football; Division II and III wrestling; Division I, II, and III field hockey; Division II and III men’s and women’s soccer; and Division II and III women’s volleyball.
“Giving fans [who want] to find this information on DII soccer or DIII field hockey the ability not to be tied to their computer — it’s really putting the importance [of] college sports year ’round,” says Mark Johnson, VP of Turner Sports’ NCAA Digital group. “That’s really our niche. Having products like this that give you the power to follow your favorite teams and your favorite sports from Division I to Division III throughout the year is really where [the app] is important.”
The app streams the championship feeds originally produced for NCAA.com. In addition to live streaming, the app features on-demand video highlights, interactive championship brackets, latest news, and scoring information. Users also will be able to virtually check into games and chat with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
An Experience for All Smartphones
Currently, the app is available for download only on the iPhone. However, Turner-hosted NCAA.com has also launched a mobile Website for all touchscreen smartphones. Accessible through mobile browsers, it will allow fans to get live scores, schedules, news, rankings, and video recaps without a computer. Live streaming, though, is not currently available via the mobile app.
“If you type in NCAA.com into your iPhone, Android, [or] BlackBerry touchscreen, you would get an optimized experience for that Web browser,” explains Johnson. “From a content standpoint, the mobile Website has all the same things — scores, news, access to video highlights — so again, a robust mobile product.”
Expanding the NCAA Brand
Nearly a full year has elapsed since the relaunch of NCAA.com, and during that time, Turner Sports has remained committed to expanding the college-sports brand in the broadband and mobile space.
“Clearly, if you’re not focusing on mobile right now, you’re missing the boat,” says Johnson. “The last four to six months, we’ve put a lot of time and effort into these two particular products, and we’ll continue to upgrade these products and look into expanding into other mobile platforms down the road.”
Although the app will include men’s basketball news and scores, it will not replace Turner Sports’ highly successful March Madness On Demand application. It will, however, give fans of sports beyond football and men’s basketball the ability to follow their favorite sports and teams on the go.
“With the launch of the NCAA Sports iPhone app and the new NCAA.com mobile Website, we’re giving college-sports fans greater access to NCAA championship and regular-season content than ever before,” says Johnson. “College-sports content is underserved in the mobile space right now, and we’re excited to offer fans mobile products that are 100% dedicated to college sports.”