Rebranded NBA App puts spotlight on video content

Published September 27, 2022, 10:00 PMYoyo Sarmenta

The NBA refreshed its app by putting video content at the forefront and giving fans a more unique digital experience.

The NBA is launching a new NBA App, focusing on a more personalized and consumer-friendly interface plus new digital content that fans from all over the world can enjoy. 

“The new NBA App and platform are really designed to help the league and the 30 teams build direct relationships with our fans all across the world, focused on bringing the excitement of the NBA to these incredibly passionate international fans on the devices and platforms they use the most,” said Chad Evans the NBA Head of Product & Platform – Direct to Consumer. 

With the NBA App, fans can tap into the myriad of content from across the league. Whether it’s highlights, behind-the-scenes footage, or every broadcast angle in a game, it’s all accessible at a touch of a button or a swipe from a finger.

“At the start of last season, approximately a third of our content, from a video view perspective, was in the vertical format,” said Bob Carney, NBA Senior Vice President – Social and Digital Content. “By the end of last season, more than two-thirds of our video views were in the vertical video format, therefore, we just knew that if we wanted this app to feel the same way as the content our fans consume on social media platforms, we knew we had to deliver it in a vertical video format.”

In partnership with Microsoft, the NBA App will introduce a different kind of user experience for fans, particularly catering to how they consume social media. Creating a more “For You” experience powered by Microsoft Azure, fans can view NBA content in a vertical video style format. 

“The format that we’re focused on is both the stories style vertical video which is for horizontal tapping as well as vertical video scrolling,” Carney said. “We really think that when we take the content inputs that we have at our disposal every night and we marry it to the content consumption behavior that is dominating the world at the moment, we think we have an incredible opportunity to create a sports app that’s never existed before. 

“So we’re extremely focused on vertical video to create a really engaging experience for our fans but we also want to use that same content format to drive our fans deeper into the experience so whether that’s driving them to longer-form content, the live games, our stats based experiences, we think this is a great way to capture the fans’ intentions and bring them back every night.”

In terms of content, fans can still expect to watch live games through NBA League Pass and shows from NBA TV, as well as access to the NBA Vault. Checking scores, statistics, and standings are also easily accessible. They can also be excited about new shows such as “Gold Blooded,” a seven-episode docuseries which takes a closer look at the 2022 title run by the Golden State Warriors. 

When logging into the new NBA App, fans will also be introduced to a new free membership program called NBA ID which will integrate a fan’s experience from across existing league products such as NBA League Pass and NBA Pick’Em. With the NBA ID, they will also get to access the new content and offers from the league. 

“We really thought about how we were going to incorporate that personalized experience for all fans,” Evans said about how the new NBA App focuses on unique fan engagement. “Starting with understanding geolocation, getting their favorite teams, understanding their favorite players, and using AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning) personalization to start curating experiences that suit that fans' needs.”

The rebranded NBA App will serve as the ultimate all-in-one destination for fans looking to follow their favorite teams and players.