ICN’s ‘Boxing Buddy’ App Goes Into Proof of Concept Beta Testing Phase
Nottingham, UK – 5th October 2021
‘Second screen’ sports App series planned for 2022
Apps publisher ICN has published plans for a major new Apps series to be released during 2022. Sports Buddy will give users a chance to predict both the outcome of major televised sporting events, and what is going to happen in the next 5 minutes, and if they are correct, then they are rewarded with points.
With the mobile device or tablet dubbed ‘the second screen’ with the televised event taking on the role of ‘the primary screen’, in 2014 second screen usage was already a majority (51%) of the event viewing audience (emarketer.com & statsperform.com) and this had risen to 74% by 2017, and is expected to be 90% or more now. According to statsperform.com, a study by the University of Texas concluded that “second screen use particularly enhances engagement for sports programming. The low degree of overlap between capabilities of the second screen and the first screen (TV) means the two media’s diverse functions complement each other and coexist during the viewing experience – not compete for attention”.
Once live, the plan is that points can be converted to virtual currency, which can then be converted to discounts off of a variety of products and services. This would enable the App to operate for free and feature only limited non-intrusive advertising requirements.
Players can form event based ‘mini leagues’ with friends, who can chat to each other on the App as the action unfolds. Mini league organisers and winners earn extra points/virtual currency.
Boxing Buddy has been selected as the first of the series to be released, though there are plans to follow this with Golf Buddy, Cricket Buddy and other sports.
CEO of ICN , Geoff Baker said that “Boxing Buddy is the perfect App for us to test the Sports Buddy concept on, because although major fights are often pay per view, the regimented ‘3 minutes on, 1 minute off’ routine creates the perfect structure for us to test these very short term ‘spot markets’ with very quick rewards for players. The next hole in golf and the next over in cricket represent very similar structured reward opportunities for players, so production is already underway there.”
Boxing Buddy is available to download on application through the iOS Test Flight platform and on the Google Play testing platform. Details will be published of a number of televised boxing bouts that will form part of the beta test, with feedback being taken and enhancements and updates to the App published regularly.
The beta test also gives potential commercial partners the opportunity to observe the platform in use, and enables discounted rewards to become available to users once the App goes fully live in the main Appstores in 2022.
Geoff Baker concluded by saying “ICN published its first App in 2010 – and so has been around for 12 of the 14 years of the AppStore – and is very focused on identifying areas of the AppStore where there is the obvious opportunity to create more enjoyment and utility for users. Sports Buddy is a fun yet harmless way to enjoy all the thrills and spills of live sport and still with the upside of being rewarded without the need to gamble – vaping rather than smoking if you like. Multi device usage during live sport is so prevalent, and these come together to represent exactly that kind of opportunity to enhance enjoyment and utility.”
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