Ivy League Network Enters Next Chapter With New App, Plans for Personalized User Experience
School-produced live event coverage to feature network-quality graphics, integrated stats
The newly rebranded Ivy League Network (the league has dropped “Digital” from the name) enters its fifth year with a load of confidence and a new commitment to more-personalized user experiences across its suite of media products for fans, students, and alumni.
The Ivy League is set to launch a new mobile app this month followed by a complete redesign of its desktop, tablet, and mobile sites in mid October. The focal point of the refresh is to put control in the hands of the user with customization tools. The idea is that a Cornell fan, for example, will be able to more quickly access content particular to the school.
“It’s the model that everybody is going to: customization and personalization,” says Matt Panto, assistant executive director, digital media and communications, The Ivy League, who oversees much of the league’s digital-media strategy and ensures that the league’s eight athletic departments have the tools they need to produce hundreds of live-streamed events per year. “That’s what we wanted out of this refresh. That’s what we heard from a lot of our subscribers last year in a survey that we did with them. The ability to give them a more personalized feel and content that they want to watch is the motive behind this. We’re going on Year 5 here, and, for the most part, the site had been the same for the past four years, so we were ready to update our look and feel.”
The Ivy League Network, which operates under a paid-subscription model (a rarity for college-conference digital networks), distributes more than 1,100 live events and thousands of hours of on-demand content from each of its schools. Those events are live-streamed across the Ivy League Network and also appear on platforms like ESPN3 and even regional sports networks in some areas.
Over the summer, the league office invested in some tools for the schools to further bolster the quality of the live productions. The focus was primarily on graphics and statistical integration, which led to the purchase of AJT Systems’ LiveBook GFX graphics system. In addition to a unified and clean graphical look across all Ivy League Network productions, viewers will also be treated to fresh animations and real-time stats. The content producers on each campus, meanwhile, will get to work on much smoother and efficient graphic engines that avoid bogging down staffs.
[AJT Systems’] workflows really work for us,” says Panto. “It’s their ability to make an already abbreviated and, at times, strained game-day staff able to work on multiple things at once.”