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ESPN Local apps for Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York to come in the weeks ahead; ESPN Passport app to launch in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
ESPN is expanding its mobile reach by introducing six local-based apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. The five ESPN Local apps will give fans in Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York a mobile platform to access all the latest breaking news, scores and information from the hometown teams. Additionally, ESPN Passport will allow fans to chronicle their at-the-game experiences by building a digital sports scrapbook via the app on their mobile devices while also capturing real-time perspective with the ability to upload photos and share commentary while at the game.
The ESPNDallas.com app will be the first to be released in the App Store, followed by Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York in the weeks ahead.
All five ESPN Local apps will be free to download, giving fans instant access to breaking local news, hometown team information, local writers, bloggers and a custom local SportsCenter. An easy to navigate rotating carousel that allows users to flip through the content at their fingertips will mimic the top stories of each local site homepage. Other features include:
- Top local and national news stories;
- GPS-activated local weather updates;
- Blog posts and tweets from each of the local contributors to the sites;
- Interactive scoreboard;
- Access to local SportsCenter video and audio clips;
- Stadium guides for all local professional sports teams;
- Text direct to ESPN Radio stations in Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
Unique advertising opportunities will also be available within the apps, including banners, “presenting” sponsorships and ads dynamically inserted into the top stories carousel and within news articles. The apps will include live digital audio from the ESPN Radio stations as well as in-app purchase opportunities.
ESPN Local sites in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles have already become leading destinations for fans of local sports. In each month of 2010, 3.43 million fans visited one of the four sites, spending 19 million total minutes on the sites, according to comScore. Its newest site, ESPNNewYork.com, launched for sports fans in the Tri-State area on April 2.
The ESPN Passport app – free to download and scheduled to launch in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – will allow fans to commemorate their at-the-game experiences by creating a scrapbook of memories with features like a virtual ticket stub. Users will be able to keep a record of the games they attended, where they sat and upload mobile photos to share with friends via social media platforms like Facebook. With GPS location verification, fans can “check-in” and confirm their attendance, which will in turn allow ESPN to aggregate that user-generated content and feature the story of the game from the fan’s perspective on ESPN.com.
In the past year, ESPN Mobile has been active in mobile application development for the iPhone and iPod touch, launching numerous apps including ESPN ScoreCenter — which has logged close to six million downloads and has held its position as the top free sports app in the App Store since it first launched in June – and ESPN Radio, which has been one of the leading paid sports apps in the App Store since it launched in September. Other recent apps released include ESPN Fantasy Baseball 2010, ESPN Tournament Challenge 2010, ESPN World Cup, ESPN Fantasy Football, ESPN Fantasy Football Draft Kit, ESPN Streak For The Cash, ESPN NBA.com Fantasy Basketball Draft Kit (in partnership with NBA.com), ESPN Spelling Bee and ESPN Zoom. More recent titles released for the iPad include ESPN iScore Baseball Scorekeeper, ESPN ScoreCenter XL and ESPN Pinball.