NBA Digital Labs —
Rapid Replay iOs

The NBA is always looking for new and innovative ways to leverage technology and keep their user base excited and engaged.

NBA Digital Labs — The company’s innovation group — looked to build a digital product that focused solely on targeting a specific segment audience, and the growing number of sports fans seeking short and quick video content.

 Our challenge: create a novel and interactive way for users to view highlights from the NBA in a short and quick video format. 

Role
ACD at Ready Set Rocket

Platform
iOs

Timeline
6-8 months


Team

PM, freelance design resources, development consultants

Timeline
6-8 months


Team

PM, freelance design resources, development consultants

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Business Goals & Strategy

In 2016 insights showed that close to 45% percent of the NBA’s media consumption came from videos on mobile devices. With mobile apps like ESPN and Bleacher Report dominating this market using the NBA’s own content - it became clear that the league needed its own branded and proprietary solution.

NBA Rapid Replay was born from the idea of giving our audience a solution for their live and post-game viewing needs. Our strategy was to:

Deliver real-time content
The NBA has proprietary access to any and all immediate clips and highlights of a given basketball game. What if we created an immersive experience of these short trending videos?

Create collections
Taking that idea a step further, we could organize these clips into collections for our users to browse and navigate.

Tell a story
Third-party sports media outlets pride themselves on giving you a story arc about a player or team. What if we could do that faster-to-market than them?

User Research & Interviews

A large part of our strategy was built from the user research insights we received from the NBA’s internal user research committee.

In an effort to understand our key areas for opportunity, it was important to identify the major shifts in fan behavior we were witnessing. Below are examples of some testimonials captured from NBA’s internal user research team. These personas became our target segments to build for.

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Our user interviews drew a corollary with other data we collected from Harris Interactive - namely that while the NBA trailed other sports in its overall popularity in the U.S., it soared above them in terms of social and digital engagement:

05


Times less popular than the National Football League 
(in the U.S.)

05


Times less popular than the National
Football League 
(in the U.S.)

17


Million followers on Twitter
(vs 13 million for NFL and 5 million for MLB)

 
 

17


Million followers on Twitter
(vs 13 million for NFL and 5 million for MLB)

24


Times more searches for NBA content on YouTube 
(vs NHL, MLB, and NFL combined!)




24


Times more searches for NBA content on YouTube
(vs NHL, MLB, and NFL combined)

Thinking UI

Thinking UI

All this data led us to make an app that would engage with our users who use social media regularly for content and information. The goal was to keep things simple: start off iOs only, take cues from the visual system we built for the NBA prior to this project, and focus solely on video. This wouldn’t be a place to read editorial pieces or view team standings in the league  — it would serve as a minimal collection of trending clips over the course of a week. 

All this data led us to make an app that would engage those who use social media regularly for content and information. The goal was to keep things simple: start off iOs only, take cues from the visual system we built for the NBA prior to this project, and focus solely on video. This wouldn’t be a place to read editorial pieces or view team standings in the league  — it would serve as a minimal collection of trending clips over the course of a week. 

imgspan_screencollage

Real-time trending topics
Our millennial market segment was active on social media, and wanted to stay in-the-know of what's hot. We created a Trending section that utilized a wide array of social network data to serve the most talked-about players, teams, and games. 

Tag-based collections
Creating a robust tagging system, users can take a deep-dive into any player / team / game from the last 7 days.

Narrative streams
For those who aren't able to catch a live game, or are more interested in the story arcs of sports, we advocated having the NBA editors create short storylines through game footage. Users could now see consecutive slips of a player's winning streak — or select moments that led to a team's playoff victory. 

Conclusion & Next Steps

As of 2018, the build of this app is currently being worked on by the NBA Digital Labs.

I would love to see: 

Data and analytics
Seeing if our strategy made sense with the target market would be ideal. 


As of 2018, the build of this app is currently being worked on by the NBA Digital Labs.

I would love to see: 

Data and analytics
Seeing if our strategy made sense with the target market would be ideal. 

Working relationship with engineering/development
It would be great to build this alongside developers to test the feasibility and watch our prototypes come to life.

Äbeer Khalique 

Product design and creative strategy 
based in New York City.