When March comes to a close, the madness in the US picks up: March Madness, the national college basketball championship, gives sports fanatics the chance to rally around their alma maters, while sports novices get to observe college basketball culture at its best. Personally, I tend to lean to the latter end of the spectrum — but this year, thanks to a redesigned mobile app and enhanced social engagement strategy, I find myself moving away from observer status toward that of participant.

My story isn’t unique: The features and functions of sports-related mobile apps allow fans of any knowledge level to receive immediate updates, learn more about players and teams, and connect with fellow spectators across the region — and globe. From reviews of the recent winter Olympic Games to preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, “sports fever” is universal. Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data shows that while the impulse to engage with sports-related apps on portable devices is evident around the world, it is most noteworthy among consumers in Metro China and Metro Brazil:


Sports-related mobile apps extend the participant experience beyond the arena; they also present media companies with a greater opportunity to interact with their audience. As firms continue to refine the variety of content and methods of engagement across iterations of sports apps, a larger share of consumers will have the potential to connect with fellow fans, their team, and relevant media brands.

In her recent report, my colleague Tracy Stokes suggests that “traditional media brands take advantage of their loyal viewers by growing online communities that build a deeper connection with their audience beyond the TV screen.” Building digital experiences around passion points like sports helps media brands resonate with their customers — and provides consumers with a new way to “get in the game.”