28th June 2012 0 comments
Get updates, games & player stats with the Wimbledon app
England has really embraced the sporting spirit this year, withe the Olympics fast approaching, the start of Wimbledon this week and an honourable attempt by the England football team in the Euros, it is hard not to take notice. With so many sporting events to keep track of the chance to have all the fixtures at our fingertips seems ever more appealing, and with this come the rise of the sports app. This week we will look at the popularity of sports apps and what makes them so appealing to sports fans.

Involvement /  interactivity

A large part of the appeal of following sports if feeling involved even when you're not physically part of the activity. Good sporting apps are interactive, allowing the user to get involved in the sporting spirit. An example of a popular app in which the ide of interactivity and involvement is the central focus is the
Informative
Sky football
In order for a sports app to attain and maintain its levels of popularity it needs to be informative. The majority of sporting apps focusing on specific sporting events allow their users to see fixtures, dates, times and results. In order for apps to keep their levels of use and give those that download what they want they have to constantly update in order to have the latest information. Sky Sports Love Football Score Centre, along with a lot of other football apps, have a 'live commentary' function: this is particularly appealing to those who download the app as an alternative if they can't watch the actual match live.
Branding
BBC sports
Apps relay heavily on their branding and their general affiliation to the sport. For example, two of the most popular football apps are by Sky and the BBC as they are already well-established for football coverage and information. Because of this, other sporting apps have to offer unique features in order to generate downloads. Miruna Corneau outlines 14 quirky mobile apps for football fans which target niche areas of information. Like any app that offers information, sports apps need to offer something different and establish themselves within the field to become popular.
Accessibility
iTrail
Sporting apps which focus less on events and more on sports in general can be useful in alternative ways. An example of a useful sports app is the iTrailMap which allows you to choose Ski and Snowboarding trail maps in the area in which you are skiing or snowboarding. As well as covering a niche area, this app is useful at a specific point where you would be unable to use another device. The popularity of mobile apps is very dependent on how useful as well as how accessible they are; apps that are necessary because other devices aren't available or usable in that situation tend to be more indispensable to their users.

Like other apps, the best sports apps offer their user something new or something they can't get elsewhere. Sports that are more personable and interactive have a wider appeal as they provide the user with more of a reason to download and keep using them. Sports apps are among the most heavily downloaded, reflecting the growing passion of fans for sporting updates on the move, anyplace and anytime, in a more convenient and interactive format than a website would offer.