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SBD/Issue 94/Sports Media
Thinking Big: Several Sports Properties Excited By New iPad
Published January 28, 2010
|MLBAM Participates In iPad Announcement,
Shows How Live Games Will Operate On Device
THE START OF SOMETHING BIG? Digital media consulting outfit Convergence Sports & Media President Tom Richardson called the iPad a "gamechanging" product. Richardson: "We've seen what's happened with the iPhone and a 3-inch screen. Can you imagine the possibilities with the larger real estate? That said, a lot of functions here could be done before in a various ways, but what Apple's done is packaged it all together with a big-time ease of use and a surprisingly competitive price. Apple has a big time halo effect around it, and again has something I think can be pan-demographic in its appeal." Early criticisms of the device, however, have centered on its lack of a camera of any type, another virtual keyboard that will require an adjustment period to use efficiently, and its use of the much-debated AT&T Wireless network. Some execs also questioned the pricing, as it still is higher than virtually every netbook on the market, and many full-featured laptops that use the Windows 7 operating system. NBA Digital Senior VP & GM Bryan Perez: "It's going to be interesting to see how that price point plays out. It still seems rather expensive" (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
WE'VE GOT AN APP FOR THAT: ESPN.com’s Ryan Corazza reported Magic C Dwight Howard, Vikings DE Jared Allen and Bills WR Terrell Owens are expected to debut personal iPhone apps that will “closely align with their personal brands.” Bengals QB Jordan Palmer is a Partner in Rock Software and is helping to create the apps, which the company already did for Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco. Howard’s app will be largely based on his "well-known sense of humor by featuring a joke of the day.” Allen’s will be centered around his “love of hunting and his ‘Mullet Militia’ lifestyle," while Owens’ will revolve around his “penchant for fashion and workout routine.” Palmer: “We do not want to make cookie-cutter applications.” Corazza noted as smartphones “continue to become more widespread in the mobile landscape, it’s likely so too will athletes continue to integrate their personality and brand with technology specifically catered to them” (ESPN.com, 1/27).