ESPN MOBILE SURGES IN UK, LAUNCHES NEW AND UPDATED APPS FOR TABLETS & PHONES
• Popular ESPN UK app extends to tablets on iOS, Android and gets update for phones
• Completely new ESPNcricinfo HTML5 mobile website, updates to smartphone apps coming
• Most-engaged mobile sports audience in UK
• Fastest-growing mobile sports brand in UK; Q3 – up 60% over last year, 77% over last quarter
ESPN’s mobile growth and success in the UK continues to accelerate, as the sports media brand is set to launch a series of new and updated mobile products this week. The launches include an iOS and Android tablet version of its popular ESPN UK app alongside updates to the smartphone version; an entirely new and improved HTML5 mobile website for the leading cricket brand ESPNcricinfo, and updated versions of the cricket brand’s smartphone app.
The new and updated products come as ESPN continues its fast growth and market-leading mobile engagement. ESPN remains the #1 most-engaged mobile sports brand in the UK, with the average user visiting ESPN more often, spending more time and viewing more pages on mobile than any other sports brand in the market.* ESPN is the fastest-growing mobile sports brand – growing more than 60% year-on-year in the 3rd Quarter (Jul-Sept) which is also a 77% increase on the 2nd Quarter – and is the third-ranked mobile sports brand in overall reach (nearly 1.5 million mobile users/month).*
“Mobile plays a crucial role in the way fans connect to sports every day, and we have made it central to how we will serve them in the UK,” said Charly Classen, Senior Director Commercial, Digital & Marketing, ESPN. “More and more UK fans are turning to ESPN when they reach for their phone or tablet and our aim is to ensure our products and innovation matches their sporting passion.”
Added Alan Fagan, Group Director of Advertising & Sponsorship Sales, ESPN EMEA, “Our mobile products provide unmatched engagement amongst sport fans. We look forward to working with our partners to create media solutions that deliver equally unmatched campaign impact. As the mobile market continues to grow we are in an excellent position to offer innovative media campaigns across quality products with scale.”
ESPN UK APP – iOS 7- OPTIMISED, TABLET LAUNCH
The ESPN UK app for tablets (iPad, Android tablets) launches today in the App Store and in the coming days on Google Play. In addition, version 1.2 of the ESPN UK smartphone version of the app lands at the same time. On iPad and iPhone, the app is fully optimised for the new iOS7, taking advantage of the platforms new design and APIs.
The tablet launch and smartphone update follow the successful August release of ESPN’s first UK-specific multi-sports app. A first-of-its-kind app in the UK, ESPN UK is a feed-based app that gives control to the fan – allowing users to personalise their own sports news service and easily discover all the content most relevant to their sporting interests.
The app pulls from ESPN’s unmatched range of content across its leading digital brands — ESPN.co.uk, ESPNcricinfo, ESPNFC and ESPN.com — and delivers the user a consolidated, constant feed which they can control and easily personalise. Key features and functionality include:
MyESPN personalisation allows the user simple, one-touch management of personalised delivery and filtering of content based on their favourite sports, leagues and teams. A fan’s individual news and content stream can be as wide-reaching or as narrowly focused as they want.
With a single swipe, fans can move to an all-sports feed and keep a finger on the pulse of all that’s happening.
In-stream viewing of video allows the user to watch ESPN’s library of video clips without navigating away.
Content streams can be filtered by the type of content a user wants — live scores, results, news, analysis, video, Twitter and Facebook posts, and much more — letting the individual chooses what displays in their news stream.
Constant real-time updates to both the user’s MyESPN feed and the all-sports feed satisfy a fan’s thirst for the very latest information.
Key sporting events (ex: The Ashes) will be highlighted in navigation, delivering curated feeds, with the ability for fans to control those with the same level of personalisation.
Fans can set and update personalised alerts and have news and scores for their favourite sports, teams and leagues pushed to them to ensure they miss nothing.
Users have one-touch social sharing of content on Twitter and Facebook.
Enhancements and upgrades in version 1.2 of the smartphone app include: improved navigation, in-app browser – allowing users to view linked content without leaving the app environment, background loading, improved live scores and more.
ESPNCRICINFO: NEW MOBILE WEB, UPDATED SMARTPHONE APP
Just as England prepares to face Australia in The Ashes, ESPNcricinfo is launching a completely new and improved mobile website. The site, which is currently in a public beta testing period, launches fully November 20th. Utilizing HTML5 and design templates, the new site creates an enhanced user experience across advanced smartphone platforms (ex: iOS, Android) as well as entry-level smartphones and java phones (ex: Nokia Asha and Nokia S40 devices). ESPNcricinfo’s industry-leading content is visibly richer, with fans having access to all of its live updates and scores, news, blogs, records, statistics and features. The site has been in an internal and public Beta testing period over the past several weeks.
The new site will deliver better performance for the user thanks to a faster, more dynamic technology platform, and will include new features such as the ability to easily share content on social networks as well as the ability for users to view and post comments.
In the UK, between July and September, the average audience on ESPNcricinfo at any given minute (Average Minute Audience) was nearly double that of the number two destination (BBC Sport Cricket). Visitors spent nearly twice as long with ESPNcricinfo (online and on mobile devices) and logged three times the page views – illustrating the high levels of engagement with the brand’s unmatched breadth and depth of content.**
ESPNcricinfo has been active on mobile since the very early days of the medium’s development, leading to sustained leadership which has accelerated in recent years – with more than 800 percent growth in visits to ESPNcricinfo on mobile devices since 2010.***
With a focus on constant improvement, ESPNcricinfo is also delivering significant design and features-led upgrades to its app the week of November 25th. Just four months since the launch of the new app for iOS and Android the updates ensure the best, seamless delivery of world-class cricketing content to fans. Among the new features and design changes to enhance user experience are:
Reminders and alerts for upcoming matches
New ‘Tournaments’ page to catch all the information and news related to a tournament
‘Landscape Mode’ support for the full scorecard
‘Cricket on Twitter’ and ‘ESPNcricinfo on Facebook’ features
Filters across the app to allow users to streamline content and have easier access to what they want most
Widget support for Android
Ability to compare the statistics of 2 players
Ability to view different types of match graphs
Ability to listen to podcasts as the user browses through the app (or other apps)
A vibrant design for a richer and more intuitive user experience
Support for related links for a news item on the home page to get the most comprehensive coverage possible.
Ability to share score updates through SMS
In addition to iOS and Android platforms, the app is extending to the Windows Phone and Nokia Asha platforms. The ESPNcricinfo app is now available across iOS and Android (phones and tablets), Windows Phone, Nokia Asha and as a Windows 8 multi-screen app. Updates to ensure compatibility with a range of Windows devices are in the pipeline.
Following a recent agreement between ESPN and Nokia, ESPN apps – including ESPNcricinfo, ESPNFC, ESPNF1 and the ESPN Hub are developed for and loaded on the Asha line of entry-level smartphone devices around the globe. The ESPNcricinfo app is the first to debut on the Asha line.
* Source: comScore – GSMA, On + Off Network, Q3 2013 (Jul-Sep Averages)
** Source: comScore
*** Adobe Site catalyst Analytics