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Volume 21 No. 1
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XCO to create apps for Heat

The Miami Heat has signed with Virginia-based mobile developer XCO SportsLink to develop a series of advanced mobile applications set to debut for the 2011-12 NBA season, if there is one.

The free Heat applications for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms will include features such as video highlights, statistics, news, social media integration, alerts and push notifications, and a heavy emphasis on in-game content for fans attending AmericanAirlines Arena games.

The deal extends a run of deals for XCO SportsLink, including ones with the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats and Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner.

“The whole development cycle in our platform is really beginning to accelerate,” said Alan Hayman, XCO SportsLink president. “People are beginning to really understand the concept of our apps being the single place a fan needs to go for everything.”

The 2011-12 NBA season stands in doubt, however. The collective-bargaining agreement expires in June, and league and players union officials are far apart ideologically on several key economic issues.

As a result, the new apps, even as they continue to be refined, will not be released until after a new CBA is reached. Still, planning and product development are happening now in order to restart fan development as soon as the dispute ends.

“We probably could have pushed something out for this [current] season, but elected to wait and really take full advantage of new-generation technology, and that will also mean waiting until everything is resolved,” said Michael Farmer, Heat director of Internet services.