Please describe the scope of their work?
The overarching thing is to improve the fan experience. We created two apps. One is the Barclay Center app, which represents the venue. The Nets are our anchor tenant in the building, but we also do about 220 total events. Out of those 220 events, 41 of them are Nets games. We have all other events, such as concerts, shows, and the circus. We wanted to create an app that helps you inside the venue. Navigating around, ordering food, and getting to deliver it was a must for the app. The stadium uses StadiumVision Mobile, which is multicast streaming via Wi-Fi, which hasn’t been done in another venue. In essence, it enhances the fan experience.
From the Nets application, which we also worked on with WillowTree Apps, the issue was to connect with fans with stats and upgraded seat offers. There are different options in the game that fans like. If you’re sitting in the upper concourse, you can upgrade your seat for $40, and then sit close to courtside. There are definitely enhancements, and that’s our way of connecting with the fans. We can utilize it because we have as good Wi-Fi system, and a good distributive antenna system for cellular connectivity. So, it really comes down to how we’re communicating with our fans.
I commissioned them to build the Barclay Center App, to build the Nets apps. There was an iPhone/iPad app that controls the TVs in the suites via StadiumVision Mobile, which is our IPTV solution. Fans could also order food and look at the menus inside the suite on the custom iPad.
I gave them a wish list of things we wanted in the Barclay Center, a wish list of things that go in the NetSet, and then a list of requirements that had to be in the iPad app that was in every suite. They took that wish list, boiled it down, did everything from the organization, the structure, the mapping, the wireframes. They sent them all to us, and I loved the first design, so they took it from the first design, they stayed on that. They helped organize everything for the layouts. I gave them specific things.
My boss wanted something easy, like when you go on a plane and get the little Galaxy tablet. You can eat, you can watch TV, so he wanted that same thing. So, when you go on the app, you log on the Wi-Fi, and the app asks you right away what you want to eat. You can watch Interact, which communicates right to the scoreboard, send text messages, and security alerts. Everything that was on my wish list, they put in their wireframes, developed it, and got it integrated in the apps.
There were a couple of things that they integrated into the app, specifically, the StadiumVision Mobile component, which has been done before. They had to work with the Cisco team for that. We flew out to San Jose to Cisco headquarters to work with that team, to integrate with their SDK. We are really proud of that, to be the first venue to roll out StadiumVision Mobile. It streams different content onto your mobile device while you’re in the venue.
We used SDK from Bypass Lane to manage the food ordering; we had to integrate the 3-D mapping software from another company. Ticketmaster integration used SDK integration, which is never that easy. But it really came down to the structure and organization. They understood our requirements fairly well, so they put it in an easily functioning app that’s easy to follow. That all held true for the Barclay Center app, the Nets app, and the iPad app was a whole different animal.
We wanted something easy on the wall that allowed someone to control the TV. The cool thing about that, which is another SDK from Cisco for the StadiumVision Mobile component, is that I can have one iPad in the whole venue control every TV. I can turn every TV on or off at the same time. That’s unique in that it’s from the custom iPad app that they developed for us. All the colors and schemes were from them.
Does the app work for Android?
Yes. We can’t eliminate half our population. For our public-facing Wi-Fi, we have 4,000 to 5,000 people connected a night. I know how many are in the app, what they’re doing in the app, how many on StadiumVision Mobile are looking at the feeds, and I also know what type of devices they have. So, the iPhones are around 30 percent, and the bulk consists of Samsung, Motorola, Nexus, and the other devices that are on there. There’s a huge population. The Galaxy S4 is a huge phone. You have to develop Android. There’s no other way around it, and you can’t just do iOS.
So, they develop both iOS and Android for the Barclay Center and the Nets. The iPad just needed to be iOS, because it’s a custom app that we send out through our mobile device management, the [M Solution].
Can you provide a ballpark dollar figure for the size of the work that they’ve done for you?
Low- to mid-six figures.
When was the latest milestone completed for that work?
The work is all finished. We have a maintenance contract to perform upkeep on the iOS 7 upgrades. I have a retainer with them, because it’s a mobile app. Especially in the sports/entertainment industry, we’ll want to upgrade different features. We’ll want different SDKs to add such as people tracking.