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NBA?s NY Knicks launch Android app sponsored by T-Mobile

The NBA?s New York Knickerbockers have launched a new mobile  application for Android handsets in partnership with carrier T-Mobile USA.

The Knicks: T-Mobile Live application, the first of its kind for an NBA team, available on the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and other Android phones, is designed to enhance the fan experience during Knicks games, whether users are in the arena or watching the game from their couch. Branding from T-Mobile, the presenting partner of the Knicks and the official wireless partner of Madison Square Garden, is heavily integrated throughout the application.

?As far as the strategy behind theh launch of the app, T-Mobile is obviously a valued partner of ours, and we wanted to create mobile connectivity to our fans to allow them to get closer to the action and provide access not just to traditional content but behind-the-scenes video and social content,? said Scott Richman, senior vice president and general manager at MSG Interactive, New York.

?For T-Mobile consumers, we also give them discounts on different pieces of merchandise within the arena?jerseys, banners, hats, etcetera?because they have this application,? he said.

The NBA?s New York Knicks basketball team, in its 64th year of operation, is part of Madison Square Garden, a fully integrated sports, entertainment and media business.

MSG Sports consists of owning and operating sports franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL).

The Knicks: T-Mobile Live application was developed by MSG Interactive, which oversees all Madison Square Garden wireless and online initiatives, in conjunction with T-Mobile and Übermind.

Based in Bellevue, WA, T-Mobile USA Inc. is the U.S. wireless operation of Deutsche Telekom AG. It has approximately 34 million subscribers, making it the No. 4 carrier nationwide.

Übermind is a full-service software engineering firm and applications developer.

Knicks go mobile
MSG is always looking for innovative ways for Knicks fans to interact with the brand?online, in-arena, at home and on the go.

The new Android application will provide basketball fans with information across three key categories?The Garden, which will offer tips, maps and listing of amenities for game attendees; At the Game, a live Twitter feed during all Knicks home games from MSG; and exclusive Knicks-related content and information.

Mr. Richman said that his team at MSG is excited to launch this new mobile application for Android with T-Mobile and provide Knicks fans with an enhanced game experience in-arena and out.

To enhance the in-arena experience at Madison Square Garden, the app will offer live at the game recommendations and concession line tips for all home games.

Fans will be able to type in their section number and find the closest concession stand, restroom or merchandise store, where users of the app will get special discounts and offers.

The application will also offer maps and listings of all amenities at MSG, as well as directions, parking, transportation and local dining suggestions.

In addition, there will be a T-Mobile @ The Game live Twitter feed that will offer insider tips throughout game nights, like shortest concession lines, special offers and behind-the-scenes insights.

And of course, the application will provide die-hard Knick fans with current news, photos and videos, as well as exclusive video blogs from Knicks insiders.

The new Knicks application is free for all fans in the Android Market.

Getting the word out
The Knicks Android application is being marketed on deck through T-Mobile to the carrier?s customers.

The Knicks are also leveraging all of the different media touch points that MSG has, its marquis, in the building, out-of-home posters and print collateral within the arena, the MSG Insider and game notes the Knicks hand out, preroll online ads, as well as banner and integrated inventory on the Web site.

There are on-air mentions of the application during Knicks games broadcast on the MSG Network, as well as announcements within the arena.

?The app is being actively marketed via the Web, mobile, TV, out-of-home, print and promotions throughout the arena,? Mr. Richman said. ?We also have an addressable universe of Knicks fans that sign up for our text alerts database, and we use that to promote other wireless or mobile offerings we have in the arena.

?The best way to market a mobile application to someone is on a mobile device,? he said.

?We?re also actively targeting our fans, not just through traditional means?we?ve also been using social media communities we?ve built out on Facebook and Twitter, where we also promote different initiatives with our partners.?