Published on Thursday, 26 January 2012 10:09
The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in history and within the hot second screen space, there will be plenty of competition for eyeballs in companion apps this year.
Twitter could be the go to app for the Super Bowl. Twitter reported on its blog last year that the Super Bowl had the highest TPS (tweets per second) for any sporting event. With healthy growth over the last year, in part from integration with Apple’s iOS 5, it is a safe bet that this record will be topped. This year, it seems the NFL is finally embracing social media. The NFL has announced that it will be allowing players to tweet from computer stations on the sidelines during the annual Pro Bowl game. While players won’t be allowed to tweet during the Super Bowl, Mashable reports
that the Super Bowl Host Committee in Indianapolis will be opening a massive “social media command center” staffed by a team who will monitor fan conversation on Twitter and Facebook and assist them with 140 character tips and advice.
National brands are getting into the second screen game around the Super Bowl. We have seen other brands create live engagement apps for sports before. For example, Heineken’s StarPlayer app, allows players to forecast the outcome of key moments during a sporting event to win status. Chevrolet's Game Time app for the Super Bowl differentiates itself with physical prizes including 20 automobiles. The app has a layout similar to MTV’s WatchWith app powered by Rogue Paper’s TV Tune-In platform and features live trivia and polls about the game in a little news boxes, as well as a ticker stream at the bottom with twitter comments. One of the boxes includes your personal “license” plate number, which you can try and match with the license plate in the Chevy Super Bowl spot to win a car.
This is one of the best-funded TV to second screens pushes we have seen to date with estimated cost of upwards of $500k in prizes for the promotion. They even have Tim Allen in the spots to announce to viewers to play along on their mobile devices. “Play along with the Super Bowl as we put in the game in your hands.” With a 30 second spot going for $3.5m, each 10 second mention of the Game Time mobile app is going to cost Chevrolet $350k.
Meanwhile, the NFL has experimented with fantasy football and social media hybrid with its Fantasy Playoff Challenge launched several weeks ago. The prizes aren’t as grand as Chevy’s contest but players could win a trip to next years Super Bowl hosted in my hometown, New Orleans.
Next, NFL’s official Superbowl XLVI mobile app is sure to impress. The huddle tab in the app provides social media buzz from players (presumably before the game and not during for reasons stated before), fans, and NFL insiders. If you are at the stadium, the app also provides slick, 3d rendering of the Indianapolis and the Lucus Oil Stadium powered by UpNext’s 3d mapping platform. If you are watching from home and happen to have a Verizon wireless mobile device, the Super Bowl will be streamed live for the first time through Verizon’s NFL mobile app so fans don’t miss a second of the action. The game can also be streamed live from NBCSports.com and NFL.com through a web browser. The webcasts will use the same Sunday Night Football platform, which includes "HD broadcast, DVR-style controls, additional camera angles, in-game highlights, live statistics and interactive elements."
Finally, some TV-related startups are throwing their hats into the ring with Super Bowl second screen content. Shazam announced that up to a third of ads for the Super Bowl with be “shazam-able”. The Super Bowl XLVI page on GetGlue, the entertainment check-in service, already has over 5,000 check-ins more than a week before the game. Look out for some limited time Super Bowl XLVI stickers on GetGlue provided by NBC Sports. While limited time stickers aren’t quite as nice as a new car, they are still a fun way to enjoy the game.
Whether you are watching the game at home, at sport bar, or at the stadium, look out for a changing Super Bowl viewing experience with your mobile device by your side.