XOS Digital Takes Auburn Athletics on the Go With New iPhone, Android Apps

After more than a century of athletics, Auburn University needs every platform possible to appease its rabid fan base. In an effort to do that, Auburn and XOS Digital have launched iPhone and Android mobile applications for the Tigers’ 2010-11 athletics season.

The XOS-built applications feature highlights, archived video, and game previews for football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball as well as live scores, live stats, news, standings, and schedules for all Tiger sports. Auburn is the first SEC school to offer both live game stats and video highlights through a mobile application.

“Auburn wanted to be a first mover in this and get out in front,” says Ben Godwin, GM of the SEC Digital Network. “This was a priority to their athletic department. Their primary motive was not to create a new revenue stream but to deliver a new platform for their fan base to get content and coverage to their fans.”

Leveraging the SEC Digital Network
In 2009, XOS Digital and the SEC launched the SEC Digital Network, the conference’s online platform that includes more than 10,000 hours of past and present video content. The XOS-powered Auburn Digital Sports Network and the new mobile apps aim to draw on this wealth of content and video assets.

“There is already a lot of synergy here,” says Godwin. “We already have the rights [to highlights]; we’re already cutting game highlights for every broadcast game; we already have live stat feeds for every game. It’s just a matter of repurposing those [assets] and adding a bit of that local customization for their app. “

Tigers Video on the Go
Both the iPhone and the Android apps support HTML5 video and H.264 encoding. The core video content for Tigers football comprises current 2010 highlights, archived-content highlights, and weekly game previews. Video highlights for each Tigers football game are published to the apps within an hour of its conclusion.

“Highlights will be the main video driver,” says Godwin. “Football highlights will be available almost immediately after the game, and plenty of Auburn-related historic content will be available. That is where the synergy [with SEC Digital Network] comes in. If Alabama is playing Auburn, we can cut highlights for a classic Alabama-Auburn game from 1972 specifically for the Auburn app and Auburn fans.”

That Auburn Flavor
While XOS Digital and the SEC Digital Network provide highlights for every Tigers athletics event  broadcast, Auburn can also further localize the apps with self-produced video and local-news coverage.

“If they wanted to do a coach interview or highlight package or press conference for an Olympic sport, they can help us supplement the app with that video. If they wanted to do a coach’s press conference on Tuesday, they have the ability to shoot that, cut it, and post it on the app. We’re more of an overall provider — highlights, stats, AP stories, etc. — and then they can provide that local flavor that makes it more personalized.”

Spreading the Word
XOS Digital also supported Auburn’s marketing strategy for the new apps, providing Website graphics, scoreboard animations, in-venue promotions, and radio and PA scripts.

“We’ve helped with the first wave of the marketing plan,” says Godwin. “How to get the app out there and drive traffic. That will be an evolving process. Every few weeks we will load them with new graphics. I think this will open up some unique marketing opportunities down the road.”

More Apps on the Way
According to XOS Digital, an official Auburn Tigers iPad application is currently under development with release targeted for October .

In addition, Godwin says more SEC mobile apps are on the horizon. “You’ll see more announcements in the next couple weeks. The synergy and the infrastructure are already there; we just need to build on that.”

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