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Dallas Mavericks game day app plays with innovative in-stadium features

National Basketball Association team the Dallas Mavericks has launched a new mobile application for the 2016-2017 season, with features designed to improve fan experience before, during and after the game, taking advantage of the many ways mobile can be a tool outside the retail space.

The team has partnered with Dallas-based sports technology company Tixsee to create the official app. The new product is meant to enhance the pre-game ticketing experience, as well as the digital experience fans have while at a Mavericks game.

“A team’s app needs to deliver on a fan’s desire for real-world experiences, with immersive, multi-sensory features that engage on a visceral level,” said Brett Dowling, CEO of Tixsee. “It has been said that the modern professional sports franchise is becoming a multimedia content company.  

“Mobile apps need to be leveraged as a platform for providing fans with access to rich content on a consistent basis. As for the fans purchasing tickets and visiting venues to attend live games, mobile apps need to deliver on the challenge of creating an an emotional connection with it’s users and supporting their ultra high-convenience lifestyles.  

“Seamless integration of all the touch points during the fan journey is critical.”

Game day
The Mavericks’ app begins with the ticketing experience, which Tixsee has attempted to make as smooth as possible.

When purchasing tickets, app users will be able to see a 360-degree view of the stadium, to get a better idea of where their seat is and what the visibility will be like. The 3D view of the stadium lets users pick their seats by scrolling around the arena to find the perfect spot.

Other interactive maps are available as well, to help plan trips to the concession stand and figure out the best place to park.

On their way to the game, users of the Mavericks app will find an integration with Google Maps that gives them real-time traffic updates and predictive travel times as it navigates them directly to the arena.

The app also hosts 360-degree video content related to the team, along with the latest stats and rosters so fans can keep up to date on the team as they make their way to the arena.

Dallas’ app comes with profiles for every player on the team, including their most recent stats, histories, bios and even their Twitter feeds, encouraging fans to engage on social media.

Fans can also purchase gear and merchandise related to the team, including sweatshirts and scarves, straight through the app. While at the arena, the app’s map features can help direct fans to nearby merchandise shops.

Full court
When people think of mobile as a tool for improving consumer experience, they usually think of retailers and shopping. But mobile is a powerful tool for any consumer experience, including live events such as basketball games.

The sports stadium is a ripe area for mobilization. Given its exuberant fans and sometimes overwhelming physical experience, sports teams would do well to leverage mobile to make the process of getting to and watching a game as smooth as possible.

Other basketball teams have attempted to make their game day experience more mobile friendly, including the Philadelphia 76ers, who partnered with Stubhub last month to open a mobile hub for fans to find both primary and secondary ticket sales (see story).

The Sacramento Kings focused on the navigation aspect, using an in-depth map system to guide fans to the arena and to their seats (see story).

“We take an iterative design-through-experience approach,” Mr. Dowling said. “The focus is on creating a holistic user experience that accomplishes virtual/real convergence and the fusion of team/fans/venue.

“We follow a simple set of design principles that cuts through clutter and delivers on the demands of I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy and I-want-to-see.  Usefulness is essential to delighting users.”