Polar Mobile Powers 190 Mobile Apps for CBS College
This fall, 95 CBSSports.com College Network partner schools will treat their fans to a new way to stay close to their team. Powered by Polar Mobile, a leading provider of mobile-publishing solutions, 95 university athletic departments will soon be releasing branded applications for both Blackberry and Android, giving fans instant access to news, schedules, rosters, and scoreboards, all branded specifically to their school of choice.
Initially, CBSSports.com College Network had planned to launch a CBSSports.com College Network-branded application, but along with Polar Mobile, the network decided instead to release college-branded applications with identical feature sets. In addition, each app would have customized branding for the school for which it was built. All of those applications would fall under the CBSSports.com College Network GameTracker title.
“A fan’s allegiance and loyalty lies in their school brand,” explains Jon Zifkin, director of business development for sports at Polar Mobile. “You will see high levels of engagement in the app when you have the school logo taking up real estate on the smartphone. Plus, schools are going to be more inclined to promote their own app than a CBS College Sports app, so we went from doing one app across Blackberry and Android to 190 apps.”
Using a list of 95 priority schools as identified by the CBSSports.com College Network, Polar Mobile has produced two apps for each school — one for Blackberry and one for Android. The feature set on each will be the same, which will allow Polar Mobile to synthesize its workload, but each app will feature content and branding specific to a single school.
“It’s not just the color scheme and the logo that change,” Zifkin says. “If you download the USC app, you’ll have specific USC content: scores, standings, and stats for each respective sport for each season.”
Each application will feature a sport ticker, which allows users to choose one sport at a time and then navigate across all information available for that sport. Sport-specific headline news and scoreboards will also be available, as will the ability to drill into scoreboards to access game previews, post-game recaps, and in-game statistics and leader data. Sport-specific team rosters and schedules will also be available.
Although Polar Mobile discussed the possibility of customizing the feature set of the application for each school, Zifkin argues that fans are not likely to switch their team allegiance based on the mobile features offered by their rival.
“In sports, it makes little difference whether or not you have different features from the next team,” Zifkin says. “If I’m a New York Rangers fan, I’m not going to go to the New Jersey Devils Website just because they have a really great feature. The platform approach that we have is very scalable, both for us and for all the schools. When we have new features coming into our platform, we can roll those features out to all 95 schools in one shot, as opposed to having to do 190 schools individually.”