Creating a way for fans to follow along with Northridge Athletics whether they are at games or in the comfort of their own home, CSUN launched its free Front Row application for Android and Apple devices Friday night.
Keeping users up to date with live stats during the game, scoring updates and game recaps, the app replaces a hard to navigate mobile website.
“The Front Row app is more of a repackaging of our mobile website. It gives the users a more intuitive experience, interacting with gomatadors.com on the road,” said Kevin Strauss, media relations assistant for Northridge Athletics. “It lets fans to get live stats, audio, video, news and social media all in one place rather than having to find it separately online and it makes it so they can do that all from their phone.”
Partnering with website host PrestoSports, the application has been in development since last November.
“We were sitting in a meeting in Sports Information and learning about our website provider PrestoSports was in development of apps,” Strauss said. “We started looking at similar sized schools and departments and how they were using applications to try and get that mobile audience we had been lacking.”
The Athletics Department has more plans and additions planned for the application.
“Setting up push notifications, which any of the apps I’ve looked at in similar conferences and schools don’t have either, more social integration, check-in at games and reward points, kind of a full fan experience. Where fans can interact with one another, see their progress online and making it a friendly and healthy competition while still following the sports,” Strauss said.
After a soft-test in the department Friday night into Saturday, the application had been downloaded over 200 times by fans in the first 48 hours.
“From what I have heard it has been mainly positive after just talking to them,” Strauss said. “We did a lot at the baseball series at Long Beach State, meeting with the family and fans there, and they find it to be an upgrade from our mobile website as far as usability. Finding everything in one screen and being able to navigate all that without having to open multiple tabs.”
Shopping around for prices with application developers, CSUN found many providers charging thousands of dollars per month for their services, and eventually decided to use PrestoSports, who is their website provider. According to Strauss, the application costs $1,000 a year to manage and comes out of the Sports Information budget with no additional manpower as everything is pulled from the athletics website.