Portland Trail Blazers Launch "Social TV" iPhone app using Xamarin The NBA team blazes the trail with mobile app as a social, second-screen experience to live TV
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Xamarin, the company empowering over 190,000 developers to build rich, native iOS and Android apps, today announced that the Portland Trail Blazers NBA team has launched a native iOS app using Xamarin's platform.
The Trail Blazers launched Trail Blazers Mobile just in time for the NBA season, with the goal of deepening fan engagement before, during and after games. At game time, the app delivers experiences tailored to the fan's location. Fans watching the game, either at home or in the arena, can "check in" to win tickets and autographed gear. Fans on the go can get live, play-by-play updates. And fans watching the live TV game can chat with other fans, using the app and their device as a "second-screen" social experience that augments live TV viewing. Between games, fans can buy tickets, access game schedules, news and blog feeds, and live stream Trail Blazers.TV shows.
The team's digital media group chose Xamarin's platform over HTML5-based tools because of Xamarin's performance and native user experience advantages, which were a must for this rich media, real-time mobile app.
"As an NBA team with an extremely savvy fan base, the Trail Blazers had to develop an app with an experience as fast, exciting and dynamic as the game itself," said Dan Harbison, senior director of digital media for the Trail Blazers. "With Xamarin, our app delivers a rich media experience that brings the game closer to our fans wherever they are."
An Android version of the app is already in the works. Thanks to Xamarin's platform, the team is able to share nearly 70 percent of source code between the native iOS and Android apps, which will accelerate the delivery of the mobile experience to fans using Android devices.
Enabling viewers to socially engage via mobile devices while watching live TV, often dubbed "Social TV," is increasingly seen as a way to drive up viewership and engagement. According to a 2012 Nielson report, 88 percent of tablet owners and 86 percent of smartphone owners said they used their device while watching TV at least once during a 30-day period, with greater than 40 percent reporting daily usage of mobile devices while TV watching.
Xamarin reports an increase in demand for their platform from media and entertainment companies. "Experience is the differentiator in the highly competitive media space," commented Nat Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Xamarin. "Media companies are increasingly turning to Xamarin because they need to deliver native, social, mobile-unique experiences that can reach and engage users across a wide variety of devices."
Compared to the rest of the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers are leading the way in next-generation social and mobile sporting experiences. Less than half of the 30 NBA teams have a mobile app, and only a handful of those offer a second screen, "Social TV" experience that augments live TV. Thanks to Xamarin, the Trail Blazers can reach fans and deepen engagement and viewership across mobile device platforms.
Xamarin's mission is to make it fast, easy and fun to build amazing, native mobile apps using C#. Xamarin's cross-platform mobile development software allows developers to use their existing skills, code and tools to build fully native apps for iOS and Android that can share code with Windows apps. Developers get to market quickly with native apps while sharing up to 90 percent of source code across device platforms. From indie developers to consulting firms to enterprise organizations, businesses of all sizes use Xamarin to accelerate and simplify the creation of high performance, native consumer, corporate and gaming apps. For more information, visit http://xamarin.com/ or https://twitter.com/xamarinhq.
About the Portland Trail Blazers
Members of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Portland Trail Blazers were founded in 1970 and purchased by Paul G. Allen in 1988. The team's rich heritage includes 29 playoff appearances, three trips to the NBA Finals, an NBA championship in 1977 and a commitment to community service and sustainability. With a corporate mission to make it better in the community, the Trail Blazers strive to help children and their families throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington live, learn and play. The Trail Blazers are the first and only professional sports franchise to receive the prestigious National Points of Light Award for excellence in corporate and community service. The Trail Blazers home arena, the Rose Garden, became the first existing professional sports venue in the world to receive LEED Gold Certification. The team is also one of the founding members of the Green Sports Alliance. For more information, visit www.trailblazers.com.
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