SBJ/Oct. 21-27, 2013/In Depth

Weighing in on NBA apps

Half of NBA teams didn’t offer a mobile application last season, but that all changes this year. According to John Acunto, vice president of marketing communications at the NBA, virtually every team will offer an app by the start of the 2013-14 season.

YinzCam, a popular mobile app developer offering in-venue instant replay for some NFL and NHL teams, confirmed last week that 14 NBA teams will be using its platform in the upcoming season. Presently, the only team on the platform is the Washington Wizards.

The list of teams that will jump onto the YinzCam bandwagon has not been confirmed, but the NBA made it clear that there is no leaguewide arrangement with the Pittsburgh-based vendor.

“The teams have complete control over their mobile applications, and that includes the developer,” Acunto said.

Of the 15 teams that already have active mobile apps, the list of developers varies widely. There are 12 vendors in play, and only three appear twice: B3Connect, OneUpGames and XCO Software.

Here is a look at some of the current mobile apps around the league.

— Amie Sheridan

Brooklyn Nets

Developer: Brooklyn Nets, WillowTree Apps
What it offers: Live game tracking, team information, stats, schedule, video, tickets, Nets shop and social features.
Standout features: Fans can post a text or photo to the scoreboard. Ticketing integration includes an American Express preferred seating option.
Biggest problem(s): The Nets shop opens the desktop site. The Instagram gallery does not allow users to swipe the screen to view the next image. Instead, each image must be opened and closed individually.
Available on: iPhone, Android
Bottom line: This app has a sleek interface with a few standout features. It’s not perfect, but it covers the basics and looks great.






Boston Celtics

Developer: Boston Celtics, Adept Mobile
What it offers: Live game tracking, team information, stats, schedule, video, tickets and Celtics shop.
Standout features: Fans can listen to live radio broadcasts on WEEI. Trading card-style player, coach and dancer profiles add some sizzle.
Biggest problem(s): Store, tickets and seat upgrades push users to the Celtics desktop site.
Available on: iPhone, Android
Bottom line: The game-time section is a real draw with live audio and play-by-play. App developers smartly included sharing features around their video. Other sections could use some refreshing.






Detroit Pistons

Developer: B3Connect
What it offers: Live game tracking, team information, stats, schedule, news, video, tickets, social integration and arena information.
Standout features: An in-game shot chart shows placement of missed and made shots by both teams. Key player matchups are presented by game. Seat upgrades can be made within the app via pogoseat.com.
Biggest problem(s): Tapping on individual player stats shuts down the app. The social section does not load properly.
Available on: iPhone, Android
Bottom line: The Pistons offer an excellent mobile in-game experience with features that set them apart from other teams. While there are some issues, the app succeeds in delivering an intuitive and complementary experience for fans.





Washington Wizards

Developer: YinzCam
What it offers: Live game tracking, team information, stats, schedule, video, tickets, social features and alerts.
Standout features: Gametracker features shot chart with heat map. Fan Zone includes Great Wall of Assists, a John Wall assist tracker.
Biggest problem(s): Load time is slow at times.
Available on: iPhone, Android
Bottom line: Info-packed and made for mobile, this experience works.

Amie Sheridan(amie.sheridan31@gmail.com) is a writer in Philadelphia.

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