10 Reasons to Develop a Mobile App for Sports Club

Let’s face it, sport isn’t just a huge part of our lives but a $620 billion industry, estimated by 2011. We like to watch games on a TV-screen or keep track of our favorite players’ statistics. More than, almost all of us these days have an iPhone or a Smartphone, which represents a freeway ticket for sports clubs to attract more fans via mobile apps. Starting from preschool aged children,  who use the sports apps on their smartphone devices, according to 10.4% of the responding parents or caregivers.

Based on the research of Benjamin D. Goss, associate professor of Sports Business at Stetson University, by 2014 there was such statistics about major sports categories:

  • 16 of the 30 National Basketball Association (NBA) teams had official mobile apps. All of them sold tickets, but only 8 sold merchandise.
  • In the National Hockey League (NHL), all 30 teams developed official apps, 28 of them sold tickets, but only 12 offered team merchandise. Two apps offered neither tickets nor merchandise.
  • In the National Football League, 30 teams had their apps – 27 of them sold merchandise and 28 apps offered tickets, and 24 provided both options.
  • As for Major League Baseball, instead of allowing individual franchises to offer their own apps, MBL offers any individual team interfaces under the one league’s mobile app.

Mobile app for sport club NFL example

Rather promising numbers for some bold and creative entrepreneur who wants to get his piece of the Sports Pie. The niche is somewhat crowded, but there are still so many opportunities to become rich and famous. And because I’m a super crazy fan of the NHL (yeah, I’ve got those magic app called NHL Ice Time) and the New Jersey Devils team, in particular, I’m gonna explore some motivating reasons to invest in the custom sports app development on the NHL branch example.

Reason #1 Mobile marketing is the future of Sports Management

The intelligent marketing campaign is the 50% of the success for any business company or an independent seller. Sports clubs is the exactly same thing – they need promotion and revenue numbers, fan-base expansion and selling platform.

This is where the digital world comes to rescue Sport mobile app is the excellent progressive way to connect with customers and engage them in the sports team’s life on a personal level. Both at the stadium in real-time and during the whole season even when there are no games present.

Reason #2 Monetization platform – sales of all kinds

To develop a mobile app for a sports team is, first of all, to build a retail platform, therefore, ensure yourself nice profits. We love to monetize our creations, right? Here is one thing that you should know about sports club application – you can sell literally everything regarding team’s sports equipment, supplies, and goods.

Team’s merchandise is what the true fans seek even more than tickets to the game sometimes. Talking of tickets, an app significantly eases the purchasing process for any customers with the help of filters for favorite hockey teams or geolocation option.

Not to mention that the sports club can sell premium accounts and live-stream broadcasts for any games that a fan can’t visit for some reason. It’s wildly appreciated by customers when they get a chance to buy tickets and promotional gifts from the app itself – it’s convenient and up-to-date. Badges, caps, t-shirts or sweetshots, jerseys, and backpacks, scarfs, hockey-sticks with players autographs or pucks, anything one desires is at a distance of a couple of clicks on the touchscreen.

Monetization platform for sport club app

Reason #3 Time & Money Saviour for Fans

We like comfort and fast updates on the chosen subject, yes? And there isn’t always a chance to buy a ticket to ice arena or take care of the work schedule. To make a long story short, what’s more comfortable than the ability to watch a game you can’t visit just sitting in your car during blockade or at the job desk using a mobile app? Yeah, nothing, actually.

Live-stream or a video record in HD-quality and here you are, diving into the world of sports anxiety and fan madness! Even if you don’t have money to buy a premium account for an online broadcast, it’s always free to check the scores for different games at once. Not to mention that sometimes favorite fan’s teams aren’t local, therefore TV channels and networks don’t stream their games. In this case, a sports club mobile app is just a magic tool for a desperate soul.

Reason #4 Fans memberships and Loyalty Programs

While teams and athletes themselves are already using the apps to promote their franchises and sports clubs, it’s very important to remember about rewards for those who cherish you and your team’s success. A smart strategy for a sports organizations to boost their sales will be offering their most loyal fans some exclusive bonuses and unique custom experience, inviting them to pre– or post-game events and allowing to meet with their idols.

The customer’s engagement level will just explode, attracting a whole new number of users which will gladly spend their money in the app knowing they are gonna be appreciated with some cool perks. With an official team’s app, you can build an awesome relationship with the fans by providing them with marvelous gifts like favorite player’s jersey or an additional pair of tickets for their closest ones.

Reason #5 When a fan becomes a player

Yeah, I’m talking about betting, my friends. Thousand of hundreds of the fans like to bet, to win and feel themselves closer to the game itself then just watching it on a TV screen. Can you imagine what kind of profits it’s going to bring to a team that owns such app that allows placing the bets? Well, frankly, even I’m too shy to predict the numbers.

Sport fans become players in mobile app for sport club  

Reason #6 Online contests for eager and dedicated fans

Another purpose of the app development for sports arena is to entertain their customers no less than during the game at the ice hall. And what is more exciting for a fan than to unexpectedly win the tickets to the team’s final game of the season or an autographed helmet or a puck? Or, say, a chance to meet and chat with some players after or before the game?

All of this can be organized with just a small winning contest in the team’s app. Such way of the motivation and interaction with the fans is definitely a winning ticket itself for sports management.    

Reason #7 A giant news board in a small mobile phone   

Let’s see, what other services you can provide for your customers to ensure they stay in your app? The most comfy thing here, as that the app is a handy box of the immediate fresh news and valuable tips about a favorite team or players. A fan can even get a push notification if the game has been postponed.

The entire sports industry on one’s touchscreen:

  • Live scores &  results
  • Past games scores
  • Real-time statistics for a particular player / live stat updates
  • Team’s Schedules
  • Division standings & Stanley Cup playoff chart
  • Team-related photo and video highlights

Analytic tools in mobile app for sport club

Reason #8 Analytic Tool

In-app analytic tools, first of all, gather for the app owners incredible user’s feedback. That amount of information you won’t find anywhere, but it will help you to craft your business plan and marketing strategy. In addition, based on the estimation of fans behavior, creative managers will look for the ways to improve team’s services and spice up a club’s development process.

Reason #9 Mobile Check-in & Geolocation

“Geolocation apps are the latest craze in social media in the sports industry. National Hockey League launched its own official Foursquare branding page. The Wall Street Journal reported that the National Basketball Association is developing its own geolocation application for the iPhone and Android smartphones. “Turnstile,” the NBA’s app, will allow fans to check in at NBA arenas and while watching NBA games on television this season.”


Besides targeted advertising that is available whenever a user check-ins in the mobile app at a specific place, geolocation apps (Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter) allow team’s administration to monitor how fans react to a game day. Then the most active of them can be rewarded for checking in at the ice arena with some exclusive engaging offers.

The same is applicable for those fans who like to use geolocation to let their friends in social media know that they’re at the game or near the stadium, for example. This is promotion, which means – the boost of team’s revenue. Need more motivating reasons? Check out our article on 6 Tips on Building a Mobile App for Search Local Events.

Reason #10 Take a lesson from the Best

The Marketplace is actually not so empty when it comes to sports clubs apps. The giants of the industry have developed their mobile apps long ago, so the competitors aren’t sleeping and the mobile marketing is, indeed, a profitable niche for sports teams. Some research of the App Store or Google Play can easily show that there is a wide range of sports apps for any super demanding person, for various tastes and preferences.

A nice review was provided on Sportsnetworker with the description of the top 10 mobile sports apps. This shows that a level of users engagement is, in fact, allows the industry grow exponentially.

Mobile sport app for industries's giants

To sum it up, if one wants to make an app for a sports club, the must-have features for the NHL team application, for example, supposed to be from the following list:

  • An option to make setting based on preferences;
  • Easy-to-use UI/UX design;
  • Multi-platform support;
  • Filters for favorite teams or those a person wishes to follow;
  • Team’s schedules and results;
  • Live scores and standings charts;
  • Latest news;
  • Stats and players’ profiles;
  • Push-notifications;
  • Subscribing;
  • Premium features;
  • Social media integration;
  • Game photos and video recaps/highlights;
  • For a premium version live radio feeds;
  • Archive for results and stats for the current season;
  • Integrated Payment System;
  • Interactive elements like virtual games etc.
  • Customer service.

And speaking of the budget, if your idea for a startup is to create a sports association app you should keep in mind that the project cost will be as high as your desires. The more complicated features you want, the more it’s going to cost you. Also, don’t forget about developers you hire for your team – their hourly rates are different based on the country of staying.

Of course, to build a sports app for android will be a lot cheaper but the iOS app is easier to develop and faster as well. It’s all a matter of taste in the end. And to help you with the task there are already many digital tools and SDKs regarding sports team apps. But for starters, any businessman should begin with a prototype of the product, to beta-test it and find out about customers’ opinion and impressions. Based on our experience, the price of the MVP for such app is gonna be around $25.000-30.000.


It can be easy and fun to be a sports fan! Any Championship or any League, any team or any player that inspires us – all of it can become much closer and accessible for fans with the help of mobile technologies. Our future is digital and a strong marketing strategy should consider the best interests of the customers along with the revenue model and advantages of the way the fans will react to the integration of their favorite sports club into a mobile sphere.

Mobile app development for sport club


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