The following interview with Bleacher Report is part of our Campaign Spotlight series, which examines this year’s Hashtag Sports Award-winning work. Bleacher Report won for Best Website or Mobile Experience which recognizes the organization that gives its users the best online experience while also driving results across sales, marketing, and more.
What unique objective or goals led to the success of the Bleacher Report app?
In a need versus feed world, Bleacher Report wins. Bleacher Report has invested in its mobile app at a time when both mobile and video are rapidly growing. With mobile eating digital media, speed has become increasingly important in keeping users’ attention.
Speed tweaks and a new look help Bleacher Report keep users glued to its app. The average Bleacher Report app user interacts with the brand 30 times a day. In an average week, 58% of users used the Bleacher Report app multiple days, 51% used the app 3 or more days of the week, and 40% used the app at least 5 days of the week.
The objective is to continue to be the No. 1 stopping spot for video views, social engagement, superb content and for all of the Millennial and Gen Z sports lovers.
How was the app designed with the modern sports fan in mind?
We combine a passion for sports culture with an unwavering commitment to utilizing data, creativity and calculated risk to get inside the heart and mind of the fan. B/R uses a plethora of first-party data to deliver 30+ daily engagements on average with our users, and produce high-quality, entertaining content that our consumers cannot get enough of. We’ve combined this supreme content with an unparalleled app experience, with top-tier talent that anchors programming, viral, original series that inspire masses and thought-provoking editorial.
To speed up load times, Bleacher Report started natively uploading tweets, GIFs and Instagram posts within its app, rather than pulling them from the mobile web. B/R launched its own mobile video player and redesigned its app to include tabs and focus more on national sports coverage.
The Bleacher Report app offers fans the ability to fully customize the interface with more direct access to their favorite sports, teams and topics. B/R recognizes the way people want to consume content is changing. Its interface is cleaner and easier to navigate. Important elements to B/R’s audience like scores and trending are given prominent placement giving access to elements people check regularly.
How did this work achieve effective engagement and what measurable outcomes were delivered?
With 19 million downloads, the B/R app stands out by blending sports with culture in a signature way. On average, our users spend 1 hour more on our app than they do on the ESPN app. 43% of B/R app users visit daily.
Bleacher Report users, on average, spent 151 minutes in its app per month this past year, according to comScore data. This was the highest among major sports publishers, as the top five sports apps in terms of time spent (excluding Bleacher Report) averaged 82 minutes per user per month.
What new benchmark(s) in fan engagement does this set? How will this work inspire and move the industry forward?
B/R’s app continues to be the most engaging, most frequently used sports app in the US, with the average fan opening it 4.5X a day. Our community average is more than 2 hours per person in the app every month, topping our biggest sports competitor by 50%.
In addition to winning for Best Website or Mobile Experience, Bleacher Report took home our top honor in 2019—Outstanding Achievement in Overall Engagement. What does this honor mean to the organization?
This is a huge honor and we greatly appreciate the recognition from the Engagement Academy. Our goal is to define sports culture by capturing and creating moments that matter. Our commitment is to serve the best interest of our fans, no matter the disruption this may bring to the media landscape. Hashtag’s inaugural awards were an amazing new way to recognize engagement and creativity. The ways B/R connects to its community will continually evolve. We will combine a passion for sports culture with an unwavering commitment to utilizing technology, creativity, inclusiveness and calculated risk-taking. Bleacher Report defines sports culture for a generation of players and fans who share our passion for a game that never stops.
Learn more about the Hashtag Sports Awards which celebrate excellence in fan & consumer engagement, and sign up to be notified when entries for 2020 go live this fall.
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