SBJ/November 21-27, 2011/Idea Innovators

Adam Ritter, MLB Advanced Media

Photo by: MLB.COM

Define innovation: Innovation means knowing innovation is never enough.

What’s the innovation you’re most proud of? The collective efforts we have made over the past six years to build and adapt the baseball fan experience across an ever-changing wireless environment.

What’s the future of your industry? Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible as the ecosystem continues to deliver more advanced mobile devices and operating systems, creating personalized portable experiences for fans.

What inspires you? I’m fortunate to work with some of the smartest and most dedicated people in the industry, and they are the spark behind the products we build.


Adam Ritter

Senior Vice President of Wireless
MLB Advanced Media

On paper, the math is definitely not in Adam Ritter’s favor. Fifteen MLB games every day for six months out of the year. At least half a dozen major mobile platforms between Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Google’s Android, BlackBerry, HP’s webOS, and Windows Mobile. Hundreds of different handsets within those platforms. Hundreds of thousands of users a day, at minimum, all hungry for scores, statistics, news, video and other content.

But Ritter, MLB Advanced Media’s senior vice president of wireless, not only has made it all work, but he’s helped keep the company’s trailblazing reputation intact with advancements that include live game video across the entire league schedule for mobile and in-game mobile food ordering at the ballpark for several teams.

“There are a number of key things unique to baseball,” Ritter said, “playing every day, the intense interest in stats, analytics and information that our fans have, that really lend themselves incredibly well to mobile. You marry that up with the advancements we’ve seen in recent years in mobile hardware, software and distribution platforms like iTunes, the opportunity for us to do great things and innovate is immense.”

Perhaps the clearest indicator in the importance and growth of mobile to MLBAM arrived last July when MLB.com derived more than half of its site traffic from mobile devices. The roughly equal split in traffic between the wired Internet and mobile devices is far greater than MLB.com’s key competitors, and happened ahead of even optimistic internal projections.

“Fragmentation in the space is going to remain an issue,” Ritter said. “But with emerging things like near-field communication, that link between mobile and the physical world is going to get even stronger.”


— Eric Fisher

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