Sports are popular everywhere. They have their own cultures, teams, and thousands or millions of fans. However, the way we watch sports has changed drastically, and the industry needs to keep up.

Why sports apps?

According to CBS News, 56% of all Americans are sports fans. Football/soccer alone has over 4 billion fans across the world, and overall, roughly 50% of the world’s population loves some kind of sport.

Though so many people enjoy sports, the way they watch them has changed as smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of our lives. According to eMarketer, 70.3% of US adults second screen while watching sports on TV.

second screens types of sports apps
Each year a number of people who watch TV and use their smartphones is rising by around 4%, and soon it will reach 200 million

Of these, over 70% browse content related to the game. Many people use a second screen to engage in sports even more, getting information about teams and previous games, replaying key moments, chatting about games, and making bets.

second screen stats
People use their phones to expand their experience of watching the game: they want more information, more news and more capturing moments out of their favorite sport

Some people don’t second screen: they just stream sports right on their smartphones, eliminating TV from their viewership experience. This is why many sports organizations feel the need to integrate mobile applications into their strategy.

These days, people expect to be able to watch anything, anytime, on any screen – and sports are no exception. Sometimes getting the full experience means using multiple screens simultaneously

However, not only sports fans use applications: athletes and others in the industry do too. As teams are always on the go, coaches, parents, and organizers of sporting events have found applications to be the best way to communicate with athletes and manage teams.

In this article, we’ll talk about different kinds of sports applications for viewers, fans, athletes, team managers, and sports organizations. Let’s get the ball rolling!

Types of sports apps

Sports news tracking apps

Sports news tracking applications are basically aggregators of all kinds of information about a particular sport: sports-related news, scores, team stats and championships. They also feature interviews with athletes, experts, coaches, and other people who influence the sports world.

Every sports fan knows ESPN – a media conglomerate that brings news and content to fans. The ESPN app (Android, iOS) provides:

  • Real-time scores
  • News
  • Live streams of games
  • Podcasts
  • Video recordings

ESPN covers all major sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball, and golf. You can personalize the app according to your interests, choosing leagues, teams, and the sports you enjoy.

espn sports apps
ESPN app has it all: from basic info to live streaming

As ESPN is international, it will tailor content according to your location. ESPN offers a great example of a sports news application.

Team management apps

Team management applications help coaches and team members organize their lives and connect effectively. These apps usually feature info about team members, chats, sport stats, scores, and news.

A team management app should definitely have:

  • Team messaging
  • Team schedules
  • Personal event schedules
  • Live scoring
  • Team stats
  • Rosters
  • News feed

These apps are used by a team, so their fans and other users don’t have access to them. They help coaches get rid of spreadsheets and emails and instead manage the team more effectively with the help of online schedules and notifications that team members will definitely see.

Apps also allow sports teams to:

  • Organize games and training sessions
  • Invite team members to events
  • Prepare formations and lineups before games
  • Analyze statistics
  • Communicate with teammates

There are mobile app builders for creating such apps, and they’re a good option if you’ve never used an app as a coach or instructor. However, in the long run, such apps will cost you more than building a custom app because of the monthly charges.

Live streaming apps

Though live streaming is often a part of sports news apps, there can also be separate sports apps based solely on live streaming. With a live streaming app, users can watch literally anything related to their favorite leagues, teams, and sports, from actual games to trainings and vlogs.

live streaming sports apps
Sports live streaming apps have millions of users glued to screens for several hours, so they have great monetization potential

Live streaming is one of the fastest growing types of content in the world, and it gathers thousands and millions of viewers. To make your content more engaging, you should also add a live chat so viewers can communicate with each other and with athletes.

One of the best examples of a live streaming sports app is Live NetTV. It features not only sports but also movies and TV shows, hosting over 700 channels from across the world including from the US, UK, India, Iran, and Turkey. Features include:

  • High-quality live streaming
  • Chromecast support
  • A simple, clean interface
  • Filters and search for channels

Esports apps

According to tech consulting company Activate, over 250 million people watch esports, and every year their popularity grows. It’s becoming more evident that esports is a rising competitor to traditional sports.

esports viewership stats
Some experts predict that soon esports will become more popular than traditional sports

One of the most popular esport stars, Tyler Blevins, aka “Ninja,” makes over $300,000 a month from streaming gaming competitions. Activate predicts that by 2020, a single final will have 70 million viewers globally.

Most of these people will watch the final via their smartphones, and this is where esports apps come into play. They allow viewers to stream competitions, connect with each other, and donate money to their favorite gamers.

Currently, one of the biggest esports apps is Twitch. It allows users to:

  • Follow favorite games
  • Watch video streams, highlights, and clips
  • Communicate in a live stream chat
  • Browse the app for new content and channels
  • Receive push notifications about current or upcoming streams

Sports betting apps

People love to watch sports, but it’s even more exciting if your money is on the line. Sports betting apps are extremely popular, and they can take different forms, from traditional betting with one central bookmaker to betting marketplaces like ZenSports where anyone can create and accept bets with anyone in the world.

sport betting app development
Sport betting apps use different business models to find their niche: from internal currency to bitcoin exchange

Betmarkets, for example, uses an investment strategy as their business model: you can choose experts you trust and automatically duplicate their bets, essentially investing in sports betting. There are lots of options you can come up with to make your sports betting app unique.

Sports betting apps are mostly about processing data on the backend. These apps need to calculate the outcome for each user and make money transfers. Many choose to use an internal currency or cryptocurrency to ease transactions.

Ticket sales app

Though 56% of sports fans will rearrange their plans for the sake of a game they want to watch, life is unexpected. This is where ticket sales apps come into play. They not only allow people to purchase tickets for games but also to resell them.

As the game approaches, people want to buy tickets that are no longer available. If someone’s plans change, they can sell their ticket through a ticket sales app.

56% of sports fans will rearrange their plans for the sake of a game they want to watch

A ticket sales app should have a reliable and fast payment gateway to complete transactions and should also have real-time ticket registration so users can see exactly which seats are free.

Sports inventory and equipment store apps

These are essentially ecommerce apps that sell sports equipment, wearables, sports food, clothes, and other sports-related products both for professional athletes and amateurs.

A sports store application should have all standard ecommerce features:

  • Personal profiles
  • Catalog of products
  • Search and filters
  • Categories
  • Product pages with descriptions and pictures
  • Reviews
  • Favorites
  • Shopping cart
  • Payment gateway
  • Checkout

Ski resort apps

Ski resort applications allow users to have the perfect experience while skiing. These applications include:

  • Tracking
  • Weather forecasts
  • Maps
  • Booking
  • Safety kit
  • Communication features

A good ski resort app shows all ski routes and their level of complexity, warns about weather, and allows users to scan their ski pass with a barcode or QR code so they don’t have to carry it.

Ski resort applications also offer tracking and statistics to show the distance, speed, and location of a user.

Sports facilities booking apps

If you’re an owner of a sports facility – for example, a tennis center, gym, swimming pool, basketball center, stadium, or rollerdrome – a booking app is a great idea.

Add a description of each facility, court, or gym, and provide a dynamic schedule that allows users to see what times are free.

You can also integrate payment gateways so users can pay right away with their credit cards or bank accounts.

Apps for gyms fall into this category: they allow users to book group training sessions and learn more about coaches and instructors.

The best example of a sports facility booking app is Playo. It not only provides users with thousands of options for booking but allows them to find a team to play with, a coach/instructor, and more. Playo also lets users register for marathons and other events.

Fitness apps

Fitness applications have gained so much popularity in the last few years that almost everyone has a fitness app on their smartphone in one way or another. Tech giants like Google and Apple have developed their own native fitness apps for their operating systems, and fitness apps continue to appear.

Both professional athletes and people who just want to stay fit use these apps regularly. A perfect fitness app should have:

  • Integration with wearables
  • Maps
  • Tracking
  • Statistics
  • Nutrition calendar
  • Calorie counter
  • Tracking for various types of activities
  • Video instructions for exercises

Event apps

Event apps are created for organizing sports events. They help users navigate with the help of indoor and outdoor maps, buy tickets, order food and drinks, and participate in group activities.

Event applications provide comprehensive information about events and often feature replays and social features so users can share their experiences with others on social media.

An event app should have:

  • A schedule
  • Information about teams
  • Information about organizers and sponsors
  • Maps (both indoor and outdoor)
  • Preordering
  • Ticket booking

Many event organizers choose app builders to create event apps. This is a great option for one-time events. However, if your event occurs regularly, it’s better to consider custom development, as it will allow you to customize your app fully and avoid paying monthly fees.

Final thoughts

Though mobile apps are a serious competitor to traditional TV, when it comes to sports, they currently don’t replace TV completely. On the contrary, they play an accompanying role and help users get the most from their experience.

In this article, I mentioned eleven types of mobile apps for sports, but apps often are combinations of these types. For example, sports betting apps can include sports news, and sports news apps often feature live streaming of sports events.

The feature stack for your app depends on your business and your idea. Currently, the market for sports apps isn’t saturated, and there’s still room for new products.

If you need to create an app for sports of any kind, be sure to contact us. We’ve already created several fitness and event applications and know all the ins and outs of mobile development, both native and cross-platform.

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