Bloomberg expands NFL partnership with fantasy football iPhone app
Bloomberg Sports has expanded its National Football League partnership with the launch of its fantasy football tool Decision Maker as an iPhone application.
The Decision Maker iPhone application, an extension of the Web and iPad application, gives iPhone users Bloomberg?s statistical analytics for making fantasy football choices wherever they may be. It was originally designed and developed in conjunction with Roundarch.
?We view the iPhone app as a way to provide our fans with an additional, convenient access point to the cutting-edge data and analytical tools necessary to help them succeed in fantasy football,? said Bo Moon, head of business development, product and sales at Bloomberg Sports, New York.
?We understand that today, mobile access is extremely important, which is why with each of our consumer sports online products we have created mobile versions,? he said.
?We feel confident that the new Bloomberg Decision Maker iPhone app will take the edge off of making those tough fantasy football decisions.?
Launched in 2010, Bloomberg Sports takes the tools developed by data and analytics provider Bloomberg and applies them to the vast data analysis opportunities in sports.
Working with MLB.com and NFL.com, Bloomberg Sports fantasy products give fans resources as they draft and manage their fantasy teams.
Roundarch designs and implements Web sites, Web applications, mobile applications, social media applications and digital marketing campaigns for clients such as Avis, HBO, the New York Jets and the U.S. Air Force.
New features of Decision Maker for the iPhone include the ability to:
? View a player?s ranking individually, or in contrast to any other player
? Filter players by team, players or by upcoming NFL schedule
? View multi-season weighted team, position and player averages
? Use Bloomberg?s latest propriety scientific algorithms in a user-centric format
? Compare position-specific team support and opponent matchup scoring metrics for individual players to ensure the best choice for the user?s fantasy team, every time
Bloomberg Sports Decision Maker provides fantasy players with the key answers they need to make their lineup choices each week in a mobile format.
The players are ranked by a system using complex analysis and formulas updated based on recent performance and other factors such as the opposing defense that week and the weather forecast at that week?s venue.
Decision Maker also has a technology-driven Risk/Reward Index, analyzing consistency of the scrutinized NFL players and pointing to long-shot opportunities for players whose performance tends to be the most unpredictable.
Bloomberg is using various tactics for getting the word out about the application.
?We have formed a number of strategic partnerships, as we did for baseball, and are using those as a prime vehicle to alert people,? Mr. Moon said.
These include NFL.com, Fox Sports, USA Today, RotoHog and AdamCarolla.com.
?We also have the benefit of getting the word out via all the Bloomberg properties and subscribers, and we have seen strong crossover in our clients and those who like to engage in fantasy sports,? Mr. Moon said.
?Additionally, we have created a powerful and ever-growing network of bloggers with whom we engage and who give us feedback on the products as well,? he said. ?Finally, there is also the element of the viral and tribal nature of fantasy sports, which has made us re-think the use of traditional marketing spends and attempt a different approach.
?Thus far the response has been solid.?
This application is available in the Apple App Store for $1.99.
A companion application available for the iPad is also available in the Apple App Store for $4.99 (see story).
The Decision Maker application is a native iPhone application written in Objective C, the iOS?s native language for development. It uses Apple?s core Cocoa framework along with many extensions custom-written to give the application a unique look and feel.
Decision Maker is the second player analytics tool made available by Bloomberg Sports and tailored to the needs of the fantasy sports player or avid sports fan, the first being its fantasy baseball application.
?As we got the iPad app out, the NFL and Bloomberg were really excited about the reception and we knew we had to get out an iPhone app,? said Rob Bischoff, engagement director at Roundarch, New York. ?We knew we needed to go after the iPhone audience, because the user base is so much larger [than the iPad user base].
?The difficulty was trying to fit all of the information we have onto that smaller form factor, but we wound up not only giving them the same functionality, but expanding it,? he said. ?The mobile audience wants to be able to reach you wherever they are, the desktop, the tablet or their smartphone.
?Football hits a larger, broader audience?women are playing fantasy football to be in leagues with their boyfriends or husbands, kids are getting involved?and the iPhone app allows them to access fantasy information on the go.?
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Marketer