Mobile is no longer a decision that needs to be made, it has reached the point that your customers expect there to be a mobile component to your business. The decision has been made wether you are a new company looking for your first customer or an established brand with legions of fans – mobile has quickly become a core component of your engagement strategy. Right? Take Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. They own the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL franchise), the Toronto Raptors (NBA franchise), Toronto FC (MLS franchise), Leafs TV, Raptors TV and the Air Canada Centre – where the Leafs and Raptors play. MLSE brings in over 1.5 million fans to their sporting events every year and have extensive North American brand awareness and fans spread out across the globe and they see mobile as a key ingredient to keeping their on-field product top of mind year round. John McCauley, Senior Director, Digital at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is a big part of the reason they have moved successfully into mobile – his experience and vision is what every single organization needs in order to turn this important corner. John was employee number 60 at MLBAM – the very fine folks that bring you MLB.tv today – back in 2000 and has been a part of MLSE since 2001. He has grown up in this space, understands the incredible impact it can have if done right and the terrible ramifications if done wrong – regardless if you are a new or existing brand. We are absolutely at an interesting time when it comes to consumer engagement and what happens in the professional sports arena is a leading edge for most every business. If John and his team are concerned with connecting directly with their customers – in the stands, in their living rooms, or wherever they happen to be – regardless of the advantage of the lure of the live game, shouldn’t you? Here is a quick reference of what we covered in the show. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip John’s history and role at MLSE 3:00 Do you focus on reaching new fans or extending the brand? 4:50 How did MLB.tv succeed 6:00 Why move to MLSE 7:25 What impact has the smartphone had on MLSE 11:00 Why is it important that mobile facilitates the first time teams can go directly to fans 13:30 Is mobile development already a commodity? 17:20 What were the app development expectations for the TorontoFC app 18:30 Setting brand expectations in fans 20:00 Was there a doubt about launching a mobile app for TorontoFC 22:15 How do you decide the features for your apps 23:30 What is your longer term vision for your apps 24:30 How do you find technology partners for MLSE 28:45 How do you decide on the technology you bring into MLSE 30:45 John’s advice on bringing technology into the sports industry 33:35 What was the delay in getting the TFC app out 37:00 How do you keep people engaged throughout the offseason 40:00 What is the goal for the apps? Merchandising? Tickets? Brand building? 43:20 Do you become a replacement for traditional media and advertising? 47:50 Are Leaf fans Android or iPhone users 50:50 How many Android downloads for the Leafs app 51:50 For more episodes, visit http://www.untether.tv
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