SBJ/Aug. 5-11, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

League unites its apps under NFL Mobile name

The NFL is consolidating some of its disparate batch of mobile applications, and is focusing its efforts on a newly redesigned and rebranded flagship product, NFL Mobile.

The new NFL Mobile app replaces both an app that carried the same name but was available only to Verizon subscribers as part of the carrier’s broad partnership with the league, and a separate but similar product called NFL ’13 that was not carrier-specific. The league will still operate and support its stand-alone NFL Fantasy app, but many of those fantasy features are also now present in the NFL Mobile app.

League partner Verizon retains branding and several exclusives for its subscribers.
The reorganization seeks to end a period of market confusion when fans did not necessarily know which apps they should have to get the most content on the league.

“We’re really putting our energy behind NFL Mobile as the one flagship mobile application from the league, and getting that right,” said Manish Jha, general manager of mobile for NFL Digital. “We think this will help a lot in terms of user discovery, marketing and distribution.”

The new NFL Mobile comes in Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile versions that are available now or should be in the coming days.

Verizon will still have several exclusive elements, even as the new product works with all major carriers. The company will have prominent branding on the smartphone version of the app in the U.S., and Verizon subscribers have exclusive access to several key pieces of content, such as live streaming of Thursday, Sunday and Monday night games, NFL RedZone, and a continual live stream of the NFL Network. Those elements were core features of the previous version of NFL Mobile.

But other, cross-carrier features have also been boosted, such as additional highlights and video-on-demand content, video embedded in news stories, and a redesigned game tracker. The app also features the league’s first foray into mobile video advertising, quickly becoming popular throughout the industry.

“This is going to help us get on the leading edge of all the emerging mobile advertising formats and all the interest and energy that’s happening in that space,” Jha said.

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