SBJ/April 23-29, 2012/Facilities

Sprint Center offering Sprint-sponsored app

A leading developer of arena websites has created a mobile application for Sprint Center, the first of several apps it is designing for sports and entertainment facilities.

Carbonhouse, a Charlotte tech firm, recently launched the app for the Kansas City arena, which is managed by AEG Facilities. Carbonhouse also developed the website for Sprint Center, home to the Arena Football League’s Kansas City Command.

Carbonhouse recently launched the app for the Kansas City arena.
Mobile apps are not new in sports, but major league teams and leagues usually drive the technology with content supporting their brands. On the facility side, less than half a dozen big-league arenas have developed apps apart from their NBA and NHL tenants, a smartphone search for those applications showed.

In Kansas City, mobile phone service provider and arena naming-rights holder Sprint helped drive the need to develop an app for the five-year-old arena, said Brenda Tinnen, Sprint Center’s general manager and senior vice president.

Sprint signed a one-year presenting sponsorship for the app. Arena officials refused to disclose the value but Sprint’s deal does cover the $7,000 investment, said Shani Tate, an arena spokeswoman. In return, the app lists all 34 Sprint phone stores in Greater Kansas City and has Google Map directions to every location.

The app runs on both iPhone iOS and Android platforms.

Projected revenue from sponsorships to selling tickets through the app is expected to grow from $69,000 this year to $202,000 by 2014, Tate said. The app connects ticket buyers to Axs, AEG’s new ticketing system. Sprint Center is AEG’s first venue to use the in-house ticketing platform.

Carbonhouse designs apps to fit arena budgets and can develop them for as little as $1,000, said Brandon Lucas, one of the firm’s partners. Apps can run as high as $100,000, depending on the vendor and the level of sophistication.

Carbonhouse’s competitors include Mobile Roadie, a company that created Staples Center’s app; Moblico, designer of apps for the Kansas City Chiefs and Sporting Kansas City; and YinzCam, a firm that has deals with several NFL and NHL teams.

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