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Sporting News kicks off NFL season with new iPhone app

Pepsi, Rock Band, Microsoft?s Xbox, NBC?s Today Show, MSNBC and Rachel Maddow are promoting their iPhone applications within the new Sporting News Pro Football application.

All of the above brands have tapped Zumobi to create and promote their iPhone applications. The Sporting News application for the iPhone and iPod touch provides pro football fans with mobile access to breaking news, detailed stats and photos for their favorite NFL teams and players.

?This is an excellent partnership that works for both parties,? said Brad Dobbs, sales and marketing specialist at Zumobi, Seattle. ?The Sporting News is a great launch partner with name recognition and access to exclusive content.

?For them, this application is another digital extension of and their syndicated radio network,? he said. ?This is a great way for them extend their brand on mobile and stay in touch with their audience who is on the go, and it gives us a nice brand for us to work with.

?We added in their blog feeds for fantasy and news and incorporated their podcasts from their radio shows.?

The Sporting News, a division of ACBJ, is a multi-media sports company catering to passionate sports fans.

Zumobi is a mobile media company that designs, develops and publishes branded applications for smartphones. The company also serves mobile advertising within those applications.

The Sporting News partnered with Zumobi previously for its baseball application.

?We?re very pleased with how the baseball application?s performed so far in terms of the amount of downloads it has seen, especially given the competition in that space,? Mr. Dobbs said.

Now available for free in the App Store, the Sporting News Pro Football application features fantasy leader-boards with live standings, scores and statistics, as well as top NFL headlines and breaking news.

The Sporting News Football application lets users customize the look with team colors and content.

Sporting News journalists provide analysis, articles and sports-radio podcasts.

The new Sporting News Pro Football app features the Zumobi ZoomCanvas interface enabling navigation from the home page with a "FAVS" scroll bar that users can tailor for access to their favorite teams.

On the main page, fans can also scan through the latest updates across the league, including breaking news, recent game scores, conference standings, top stats and current leaders in passing, rushing, receiving and touchdowns.

Users can then click on specific teams and players for more detailed information such as rosters, week-by-week scores and player stats.

The range of advertising opportunities on the Sporting News Pro Football application includes Zumobi's signature BrandFrame and BrandBlast sponsorship platforms.

Zumobi's BrandFrame design lets advertisers sponsor key content pages and prominently associate with top features on the Sporting News application.

Additionally, BrandBlast offers an interactive option, letting advertisers to link to videos, social media and other Web-based marketing and sales activities without taking users outside of the application.

Sports fans can also download the free Sporting News Pro Baseball application in the App Store or via the Zumobi Network.

The Sporting News and Zumobi are currently in discussions about cross-promotion opportunities.
?They will be promoting it in their print edition with a half-page ad,? Mr. Dobbs said.

In-application ads are Zumobi?s bread-and-butter.

?There are two different ways we go about promoting Zumobi apps within our network: We do reserve some inventory to promote our own apps, including NBC?s Today Show, MSNBC, the Rachel Maddow Show, Zumobi Pro Basketball and Sporting News Baseball,? Mr. Dobbs said. ?Our in-app Z gallery is another way to cross promote apps?it features all of our applications and has a share link to iTunes.

?We also worked with Microsoft to create the Inside Xbox 360 app featuring news, videos, previews of upcoming games, feeds to let gamers know when celebrities will be playing, 3D avatars and an add-friends button,? he said. ?We?ve been promoting the Rock Bank app along with comarketing efforts from Pepsi, and we?ve gotten a lot of good feedback.?

The Pepsi application has a link to official Rock Band tracks in iTunes.

?As part of that promotion it?s been very successful,? Mr. Dobbs said.

In addition to running house ads, Zumobi also sells banner inventory as agency buys.

Zumobi?s relationship with the Sporting News seems to be expanding.

?We?re really excited to be working with Sporting News on a second application,? Mr. Dobbs said. ?It?s great for NFL fans and Fantasy players to stay in touch with other games going on in the NFL while they?re watching their own NFL game.?