SBJ/Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2013/Franchises

Celtics create pregame show to be delivered through app

The Boston Celtics have created the NBA’s first pregame show to be streamed live through its mobile app.

The new show, “Home Court Advantage,” is part of the club’s plan to increase digital content. American Express, a team partner and NBA league-level sponsor, has signed on as sponsor of the new program.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver was a recent guest on “Home Court Advantage.”
Photo by: STEVE BABINEAU / BOSTON CELTICS
The show streams live from 6:30 to 7 p.m. ET prior to each home game through the Celtics’ app and on Celtics.com. The programming precedes the traditional 7 p.m. pregame show on Comcast SportsNet, ahead of the team’s 7:30 p.m. home game start times.

The Celtics tested the show during their first few home games. Based on responses received, the team now is committing to continue the offering through the season.

For now, plans call for the team to produce the show prior to home games only, but production prior to road games is a possibility.

“The strategy is to provide Celtics mobile app users with some unique content to get the real live game feel of that night,” said Celtics President Rich Gotham. “A lot of teams are doing pregame shows, but we are the first to do live streaming through our app.”

The show is hosted by Celtics in-house broadcasters Marc D’Amico and Emily Austen and includes pregame press conferences, live pregame locker room interviews with players, and guest analysts from Comcast SportsNet.

“It’s another way for fans to connect with the team,” Gotham said. “We want to leverage our assets for a behind-the-scenes look, and AmEx is interested in digital content activation.”

The Celtics launched their mobile app in January. The team reports 125,000 downloads.

Initial airings of the show have brought about 2,500 viewers from both the app and Celtics.com.

Other new digital offerings for Boston this year include the “Celtics Minute,” sponsored by Sun Life, which provides fans with a daily team update; roundtable discussions with Celtics legends; and additional video content and highlights. The content is available both via Celtics.com and the team’s app.

“We’re continuing to invest in the business and we are getting better at producing our own content,” Gotham said. “We are creating new content platforms for our sponsors and then pushing it out through all our social channels.”

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