There are two types of people in this world: the ones that like doing sports and the ones that enjoy watching someone doing sports. Actually, the sports industry itself is as old as the first Olympic Games held in Ancient Greece – and ever since, it is being worshiped by millions of hard-core sports fans, be it sportsmen or spectators.
Perhaps, this phenomenon is what drives contemporary mobile app developers to make sports apps. So, let’s take a look at the key features that should ideally be present in a custom sports app.
This is one of the most basic and key functionalities of any sports mobile app. This is where users should be able to customize the app’s interface as much as possible to make it meet their choices. User accounts can increase retention, help users transition between devices or platforms, and provide opportunities to increase engagement and investment from users by giving them a sense of identity and personal storage space. Besides, if your app includes in-app purchases, this is where the user should be able to keep and manage the information on his or her banking card.
If the mobile app does have in-app purchases, the payment gateway integration should also be a basic requirement. Getting the PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance certificate is a very long and complicated process. On the other hand, integrating a ready-made solution that already has the certificate takes up to much less time and effort. Additionally, the payment gateway should ensure that bank pages are mobile friendly and optimised
Dedicated fans don’t want to miss out on the games of their favorite teams or sportsmen. So, assuming that a payment gateway is integrated with your app, the users can track and purchase the tickets right from the app, without leaving it. It also shifts the focus from the traditional ticketing methods, thereby offering convenience, saving time and reducing paper wastage.
As an alternative, the app can be integrated with a third-party ticket sale service. In this case, the users will be able to browse the tickets, track their prices and availability, but they make the final purchase on that service.
Most sports teams make a profit on selling their branded merchandise – scarves, T-shirts, flags, etc. So, if the aim is to create an app for your sports team, this in-app store is a must have feature as it will be an additional source of income. Implementation of this feature is dependent on having payment gateway integration.
In case the app is just an aggregator sports app, instead of selling the branded items, one can aggregate the merchandise of the most popular teams or sportsmen in the in-app store. In this case, a partnership or deal would have to be signed with the said teams and sportsmen and they too will get a share of the profit.
Social Media Integration
Today, social media is an irreplaceable part of our everyday lives. It provides an easy way for users to share their impressions about the games and their favourite sports teams on their social media pages. For instance, the FC Liverpool app took it one step further – the Twitter feed is integrated into the app, so users can retweet the news. And all of this, of course, works to increase the user engagement.
Additionally, instead of making the new users fill in the registration form and create a new password, you allow them to start using the app within just a few clicks – all thanks to a button saying “Login using my Google/Facebook/Twitter account”.
This is, perhaps, one of the most important features for a sports app. Even if the aim is to attract only the fans of a particular sports team, it is always wonderful to give the users the pleasure of getting acquainted with the stories of their favourite sportsmen or the history of their favorite team.
The news feed is a great opportunity to keep users constantly engaged with the app. Besides the news themselves, tournament tables and the performance of sports teams or sportsmen (i.e., their points) will also be a perk for the users.
If the plan is to develop a dedicated app for a certain team or a team sports tournament, a Match Day Centre is a must have feature. This is an information hub that contains all the relevant data regarding the games viz. the score, highlights from games and press conferences, the tournament table, etc.
Be it push or SMS notifications, they help users stay up to date regarding all the crucial sports events – and keep their hands on the pulse, so to speak. True sports fans know how painful it is to forget about a game of their favourite team because of getting caught up in the mundane tasks.
This feature ensures that users plan their free time and keep in mind that they need to watch an important game at XX h YY min.
Live game streaming is like icing on the cake of the app. The users can watch the games of their favourite sports teams without leaving the app. Besides, users can also view the recorded videos of the past games in case they miss watching it or if they want to relive the action again.
AR & VR
Both VR and AR actually can add an additional dimension to the app. For instance, having an AR-based functionality would allow users to view the sportsmen amidst the environment that surrounds the user at the moment similar to Pokémon GO.
From a marketing standpoint, it is a costly but can prove to be a profitable approach. AR and VR-based apps are now at the height of their popularity. So including these technologies and functionalities in the app will guarantee the number of downloads to rise, even without sophisticated and expensive advertising.
Types of a Sports App: Which One to Choose
Basically, all sports app can be divided into two categories: dedicated apps and aggregated apps.
The first type includes apps that are dedicated to a particular sports team. Manchester United & FC Barcelona are two bright examples of such apps. On the one hand, dedicated apps almost always hit the target as they are aimed at groups that are already fans of a certain team. Besides, they are usually created with the support of the organizers and sponsors of that team – so, the marketing strategy gets taken care of easily. They are more often than not ready to promote the app on the official website – and this will be more efficient than any other ad.
As for the second type of apps, their name is self-descriptive – these are apps that aggregate up-to-date information on several sports teams at once (usually, what they have in common is that they belong to the same sport). Here are the most widely-known examples of aggregated apps – ESPN, THUUZ, TheScore and CBS Sports.
If you are looking for a mobile app development partner for your sports app project, reach out to us. We at AppleTech Consultants, with our experience and expertise in developing custom mobile applications, will ensure that your idea turns into a technological reality.