Apps have become a large part of a consumer’s lifestyle. Sports related apps are some of the most downloaded with users spending 50 minutes on average each day on sports apps.
Whether it’s checking the odds on a sportsbook app or reading the latest sporting updates on a news app, mobile applications are becoming increasingly popular and present a potentially great profit opportunity for app developers and marketers.
Looking to launch your own successful sports app? There are lots of things to consider and a number of avenues you can take, which options you choose may depend on your technical experience, time and budget.
Launching a sports app: Where to begin
Examples of types of sports apps
You might already have some initial thoughts on what kind of sports app you wish to launch, however looking around and seeing what is already in the marketplace will help you to further develop your own idea.
There are different types, and some are much easier to launch than others. For example, an app displaying the most recent NBA finals odds will take plenty of time and research to continually update. Whereas an app covering just the most recent scores will be much quicker to update.
Do your research
It doesn’t hurt to do some additional market research and look for growing trends and changes in consumer demand. For example, there are now over 250 million people watching Esports tournaments, and this figure is growing year on year. There could be potential here to tap into this market.
Decide what features to include
After reviewing popular apps currently live on app stores, you can build a list of features you would like to include in your creation.
Will your app have a messaging feature? Can users use the app in offline mode? Will there be in-app purchases and what payment options will you offer? These are all decisions you will need to review.
If working to a tight budget, you may wish to choose from features your app must include as a priority, as well as some ‘nice to have’ depending on expenditure.
Document project specs
Now is the time for more formal documentation. A project specification should spell out all the requirements in detail and help you to manage the product through development to launch.
Decide what your MVP will be
If taking an Agile approach, you will likely want to come up with a Minimum Viable Product or MVP. This should be a functional product without all the non-priority app features with the plan being to enhance with future updates.
There are pros and cons to taking this approach so you might wish to research the idea further before making a decision.
Time for mockups
You now may wish to start thinking more about the look and feel of your sports app and its usability. How will users navigate the site and what will the branding look like? Graphic designers can help you with the appearance of the app and UX and UI designers with its functionality.
Building your app: What are the options?
There are a number of routes you can take to building an app depending on your skillset, budget and personal preference. If you are already an iOS or Android developer, you may want to take this on as a solo project.
If developing the app yourself, be realistic about timescales and how the project will fit in with your other day-to-day commitments.
Alternatively, you could look at hiring a skilled freelance developer / developers. Use a reputable site to source your freelancers, such as Upwork and be sure to request to see references and previous projects they have worked on.
You can also use an app builder if you lack coding experience yourself but want to stay in control of the project. There are a variety of app builders with different templates online.
Perhaps the most expensive option, using an app development company could be the most convenient choice. It’s something to consider if working to a tight timescale or if you lack experience in app development.
Test your app
Once your prototype is built you will want to test it yourself and have a selection of users test it for you. You can find any bugs that need to be fixed and gain feedback on the app’s design and usability.
Submit to the app stores
Once you are happy with the product, you can begin the process of submitting your app to app stores. Look at the guidance for each app store you are looking to get on and ensure you meet all the guidelines before submitting your application.
Begin your marketing campaign
When this is all confirmed, it’s time for marketing. You can look for sporting influencers to partner up with if it’s in the budget and look into paid advertising options. You should also look at app store optimization.
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