Everybody has a damn iPhone app nowadays, and why should NCAA programs be any different? Row27 Studios, a design firm that has 58 NCAA clients including the Cal Bears, UNC Tar Heels and Florida Gators, has begun to fill that void. They’ve created an iPhone app that is perfect for University sports programs, and provides them with a way of reaching their fans through the mobile device we all know and love (or not). They launched their first app for the University of Kansas Jayhawks, and it boasts great features such as live scoring, RSS feeds of team news and a couple cool minigames to occupy you during half-time.
The Kansas Jayhawks app is just the first iteration of this platform, which can be re-purposed for any other NCAA sports program. According to Creative Director Jonathan Dusing, due to Row27’s close relationships with other NCAA sports teams, their iPhone app will probably soon be appear under many other college sports names.
Perhaps even more interesting than the launch of the app is the fact that Row27 didn’t spend a dime of its own money on development. The app was built as a custom project for Kansas University and Row27 managed to keep the rights to re-purpose the same application for other college sports teams. Besides being a great way to run a business, it also means that no other sports team has to take the risk KU did when requesting development of the app. Granted, KU bit the bullet – but they also got the special attention of getting to decide all the features and the specifics of the app themselves. It’s a win-win.
The app itself is pretty cool. Besides features that are available elsewhere such as live scoring and in-depth game-by-game statistics for all major sports, the app also has tons of additional features perfect for a University-specific sports application. For example, you can chat with other KU fans within the app – a great way to ask questions such as “What’s the best happy hour after the game” or “How do we make sure Cal doesn’t upset us during our game tomorrow?” Furthermore, it’s connected to KU’s news feeds so fans can get all of the sports news their hearts desire.
But one of the real benefits is for fringe sports – if you’re interested in Volleyball, Soccer, Softball and Baseball, it can be hard to get real-time sports statistics at the collegiate level on mobile. Because this is a University-sanctioned application, Row27’s app can provide data that no other application can. They are integrated to the standard NCAA statistics management system (Stat Crew) so they can stream statistics for any game that have live statistics.
It’ll be interesting to see if such turn-key branded applications do well on the App Store. With football season gone, it may be a while until the Kansas Jayhawks app will do a couple thousand sales, but I have no doubt that you’ll soon see branded apps across most NCAA programs. It’s just a matter of time.
UPDATED: I previously wrote that the app was named “Kansas University app.” Now changed to “Kansas Jayhawks app.” Furthermore, per a commenter, it is “University of Kansas” not “Kansas University.”