AGENCY: READY SET ROCKET (2018)

ROLE: ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR & PRODUCT DESIGN

NBA Digital Labs —
Rapid Replay iOs

NBA Digital Labs —
Rapid Replay iOs

Highlights from your favorite players, teams, and games from the last 7 days - all in one place.

Highlights from your favorite players, teams, and games from the last 7 days - all in one place.

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

This became evident when 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 and Bleacher Report dominating this market using the NBA’s own content - it became clear that the league needed their own branded and proprietary solution.

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

With our understanding in tow, we set out to build for our audience.

BUSINESS GOALS + STRATEGY

How do we craft a mobile experience that leverages a rich library of up-to-the-minute video footage — and deliver it in a new and impactful way?

With our understanding in tow, we set out to build for our audience.

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

— Deliver real-time content
The NBA has proprietary access to any and all immediate clips and highlights of a given baskebtall 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?

From what we’ve heard - the renewals process from our competitors wasn’t great. In fact, everyone involved dreaded when this time came around. This was an opportunity for us to improve that.

RESEARCH

USER INTERVIEWS

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

In an effort to identify our key areas for opportunity, it was important to idenitfy the major shifts in fan behavior we were witnessing. Below are examples of some testimonials captured from NBA’s internal user research team. We kept the following for personas as 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.)

14


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)

14


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)

14


24


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

DESIGN APPROACH

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. 

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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. 

We learned very quickly about their goals and pain-points. Externalizing this knowledge about users helped us get the entire team to align on a deep understanding of our users.

Tag-based collections


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

We learned very quickly about their goals and pain-points. Externalizing this knowledge about users helped us get the entire team to align on a deep understanding of our users.

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 to have 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. 

We learned very quickly about their goals and pain-points. Externalizing this knowledge about users helped us get the entire team to align on a deep understanding of our users.

CONCLUSION + NEXT STEPS

The build of this app is being worked on by the NBA Digital Labs.

With our understanding in tow, we set out to build for our audience.

It's alwas gratifying to understand users and build directly for them.  Our qualitative research process yeilded a deeper understanding - fueling a small team to get big results in a short amount of time.  

I would love to see: 

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

From what we’ve heard - the renewals process from our competitors wasn’t great. In fact, everyone involved dreaded when this time came around. This was an opportunity for us to improve that.

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

From what we’ve heard - the renewals process from our competitors wasn’t great. In fact, everyone involved dreaded when this time came around. This was an opportunity for us to improve that.