Cardiff Blues Official iPhone app

The Cardiff Blues have released an iPhone app, complete with news, live scores, squad details, league tables and fixtures. Best of all it is free.

It has been a big week for Blues PR as this app comes after the announcement of their joining the Tesco Clubcard scheme.  There’s more information about that here on the Cardiff Blues website.

Tesco ClubCard customers simply exchange £6 of vouchers for one adult Cardiff Blues ticket, and £3 of vouchers for one junior ticket as part of the ClubCard Rewards scheme. The promotion will run throughout the season, and includes Heineken Cup, LV= Cup and Magners League fixtures.

Hopefully it’ll help boost the numbers of spectators they are getting.  There are a lot of empty seats at home games these days and at £20 for an adult ticket, I’m not really surprised.  There’s a good post on WalesOnline that sums it all up.

Nice one Blues!

5 thoughts on “Cardiff Blues Official iPhone app

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  3. I love an app as much as the next app-geek and a free one is always a bonus. The Cardiff Blues app is essentially very polished (as you would expect from sports specialists and rugby favourites Sotic) and packed with news and stats. I have yet to fully try out the live matchday section so cant venture an opinion there.

    Two things I couldn’t locate are sharing options via social nets or even email and a lack of video. Both are odd omissions as neither is particularly innovative or even difficult to build in. In fact both are fast becoming standard features of new apps coming to market. I expect both to be tidied up in some sort of upgrade in the not too distant future.

    With regards to video there may well be rights issues with regards to some material but certainly not the vast majority of content produced in-house for Blues TV.

    The app, to me, has an ‘off the shelf’ feel about it. Not that there is too much wrong with that but it leads me to think the Blues thought they must have an app and ‘this model fits the bill’.

    It is interesting that two of the four Welsh rugby regions have taken the plunge in the app pool, Newport Gwent Dragons have one too. Again though, developed by sportstat it is an off the peg and numerous other smaller welsh league rugby clubs have apps using the same template. I don’t know whether they got a combined deal or one took the plunge and the others followed.

    Part of me applauds this approach but I still wonder whether it is because they felt they needed to because they didn’t want to get left behind or thought they were stealing a march on their rivals but weren’t entirely sure what they wanted out of their apps.

    I expect the Scarlets and Ospreys to follow suit soon enough but I hope they consider a couple of issues: 1) Is the demand really there or are they just launching one to catch up? And 2) Will they play safe with an off the shelf product or look to develop something a little bit different which offers their supporters a little more.

    Free is lovely but I believe a supporter will always happily pay to support their team and get a quality app that has had some serious thought put into it. It’d be brave for the remaining regions (or indeed any other rugby and sports clubs) to consider a charge, but if the innovation is there and the demand is there they could well benefit from being late into the market and learning from their rivals.

  4. Alfee
    That’s a comment an a half!

    I take your point about the “off the shelf” feel, although this doesn’t take away from the features that they have packed into it. It is certainly a good start. To be honest, I’m just happy to see some useful free rugby apps hit the app store, whether they’re pre-packaged or not.

    I think there would certainly be demand there – if you look at the attendances at home games for the Scarletts and the Ospreys they compare well if not surpass the teams further east. The Blues app will certainly prove useful in the stands on match day. That may have been their intention and may go some way to explain the lack of video (beyond the licensing issues that may be playing a part).

    The first thing you see when you open the app is “in association with” and a dealership for a popular car maker. I take the view that if you are going to put adverts in, the app should be free or at least as cheap as possible.

    There is one thing though – the app provides the same sort of information you’d find in an official programme booklet, so are they going to lose money there?

  5. I don’t think they’ll lose match programme money in the short term as smartphone take-up is still relatively small, particularly in Wales as opposed to more populated areas such as London. Although of course that take-up is growing at a ferocious rate.

    Traditional revenue streams such as match day programmes and associated sponsorship and advertising will continue to give them a bigger return for the next few seasons. Sports fans are a funny breed. I see this app as a build-up to match day rather than on the day itself, you keep an eye on what’s happening, team news, injury news etc but the traditional match day rituals will continue e.g. pie, pint, match programme. Again, certainly in the short term. It’ll take something like a generational change to alter those rituals.

    The live match feature is for those who can’t get to the game because they’ve been dragged to the garden centre or Asda across the car park in Leckwith. I haven’t seen it in action yet. Is it a text commentary feed or something a liitle more involved such as the BBC’s which includes tweets, texts and emails from users?

    I still think if you’re going to effort of providing match preview interview clips withs players and coaches on your website its an odd move to leave it out of your app.

    Sponsorship is a natural choice to avoid a charge for the app but I swore I’d never pay for the Guardian app and I did and now I use it everyday. Free is disposable and the stats for the number of free apps which are downloaded and then discarded after a week or even a day are striking. A paid for app encourages you to get your money’s worth. Whether sponsorship provides a bigger return than customer downloads I’m not sure.

    I’d say it was a solid, safe start.

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