Innovation

Miami Heat getting an assist from agile methodology to create new mobile app

Keeping fans engaged is one of the reasons the NBA's Miami Heat is creating a new app and using a test-driven agile approach in its development.

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Image: CBS Sports

The Miami Heat NBA basketball team is creating a new mobile app to improve engagement with fans who are at the arena or who are watching from home and at home, and it's using an agile approach for the planning, testing, and rollout, according to Built.io and BeyondCurious, which have partnered to create the app.

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A peek at the first version of the new app for the Miami Heat.

Image: BeyondCurious

Built.io is providing the underlying technology for the app, which will debut before the 2017-2018 basketball season. The app uses the Built.io database application and the application structure, and Built.io will manage all the team's content. Built.io is working with digital transformation accelerator BeyondCurious to design the app.

"The biggest challenge that stadiums and arenas are facing today is decreasing venue attendance. The reason for this is people have more and more reasons to stay at home and watch games and concerts. The real competition is in your living room," said Nikki Barua, CEO of BeyondCurious. "The key to getting someone out of their home and into the venue is creating valuable experiences that can't be replicated at home."

The Miami Heat play their home games in the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami.

SEE: How the NFL and its stadiums became leaders in Wi-Fi, monetizing apps, and customer experience (TechRepublic free PDF download)

Agile methodology is being used in the development process; this is a pioneering approach for a sports team to take in planning a mobile app.

"We're in the process of creating the first stage. We completed the first MVP [minimum viable product], if you will, and it's now going through the testing phase. The entire initiative is a series of rapid sprints. We're immersing ourselves in the fan experience. We're using agile research in the venue, at home, and with the fan, analyzing qualitative and quantitative data and watching how they [fans] watch the games and interact with the Heat," Barua said.

Through the research, Built.io and BeyondCurious is using evidence-based hypotheses and testing them quickly. The resulting data will drive the results and the final product.

"The approach is to help the Miami Heat approach it with the agility of a startup," Barua said. "The Built.io platform allows you to test a lot of high value ideas but know, based on data, which one is driving the right outcomes and which is driving engagement and being able to do that through the agile based sprint approach."

The app is part of the overall digitization of the venue experience for the fans. Fans are unique in that they want to receive content from a mobile app because it delivers information about their team, said Neha Sampat, CEO of Built.io.

"We're excited about all the futuristic options. The key is to be super innovative and have off-the-wall ideas about what they can do," Sampat said.

The top three takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. The Miami Heat NBA basketball team is creating a new mobile app to improve fan engagement both at the arena and at home, and it's using an agile approach for the planning, testing, and rollout.
  2. Built.io and BeyondCurious have partnered to create the app for the Miami Heat, and the app is expected to debut before the 2017-2018 basketball season.
  3. Through the research, Built.io and BeyondCurious is using evidence-based hypotheses and testing them quickly.

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About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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