Perfect Prize Launch

We are proud to be partnering with the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Lottery to offer the first ever live-action game “perfect prize”, $1 million in cash to any Braves fan who correctly answers all 28 questions during tonight’s Braves vs. Marlins game. Braves fans can play for free by accessing the FanBeat game from the MLB.com Ballpark […]

We are proud to be partnering with the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Lottery to offer the first ever live-action game “perfect prize”, $1 million in cash to any Braves fan who correctly answers all 28 questions during tonight’s Braves vs. Marlins game. Braves fans can play for free by accessing the FanBeat game from the MLB.com Ballpark app. We will be running this new promotion for the remaining 51 Braves home games this season.

In addition to the million dollar prize, the Braves and Georgia Lottery are continuing to give away other great prizes to top game performers like a VIP spring training trip, $5,000 in cash, autographed team jerseys, and a batting practice experience.

By giving Braves fans a “stake in the action” with predictive questions like “what will Matt Kemp do in his next at bat?”, FanBeat gives Braves fans an added incentive to enjoy more baseball action throughout the season. Georgia Lottery recognizes FanBeat as a unique platform for reaching Braves fans during the excitement of a live game with a variety of content ranging from informational messages about the Lottery’s contribution to education in Georgia to actionable promos highlighting their new Diggi Games.

The FanBeat team is hard at work on launches for other sports beyond Major League Baseball. The perfect prize raises the stakes and excitement level for fans, delivering significant engagement and value to our team, league, media and big-brand sponsors.

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Technology central to Braves’ innovative approach

    FanBeat is revolutionizing the way fans watch sports with real-time mobile gamification that lets fans play along while cheering on their favorite teams. It’s only fitting that we’ve partnered with the Atlanta Braves, named by SportsTechie as the most tech-savvy organization in MLB. Members of the FanBeat team got a tour of SunTrust […]

 

 

FanBeat is revolutionizing the way fans watch sports with real-time mobile gamification that lets fans play along while cheering on their favorite teams. It’s only fitting that we’ve partnered with the Atlanta Braves, named by SportsTechie as the most tech-savvy organization in MLB.

Members of the FanBeat team got a tour of SunTrust Park last Friday. (From left) in the picture above is FanBeat senior game producer Andrew Vogel, Braves coordinator of partnership services Laura Guest, Braves director of digital Greg Mize and FanBeat chief technology officer Mike Richards. In the pictures (from left) below are the BravesVision scoreboard in centerfield, the infield and the Delta out of town scoreboard in left field.

The opening of the new Braves stadium and The Battery Atlanta, the surrounding area around the park, is exciting from both a baseball and technology perspective. When SunTrust Park was built, the Braves’ mission was to offer fans the most technologically-advanced gameday experience not only in MLB, but in all of professional sports.

That starts with connectivity. SunTrust Park boasts 200 gigabits of Comcast Internet bandwidth, which is enough for over 41,000 fans to post a selfie to Instagram simultaneously at first pitch. This high-speed connectivity is delivered through over 250 miles of fiber-optic cable laid throughout SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta.

The Braves are also encouraging a “mobile-first” mindset, asking fans to purchase parking passes and access their tickets through the Ballpark app, then use Waze to navigate directly to their parking lot.

Also located within the MLB.com Ballpark app, you’ll find Braves FanBeat. After our 2016 test season at Turner Field, we are looking forward to an even bigger 2017 at SunTrust Park. Fans will love the way the game gives them a chance to play along in real-time with the action on the field and compete to win awesome prizes courtesy of the Braves and the exclusive Braves FanBeat presenting sponsor, Georgia Lottery.

Like the Braves, we’re hoping to make a little history of our own this season.

 

 

 

 

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A Spring Training Trip to Remember

At the end of the 2016 season, diehard Braves fan Mitch Campbell got to witness the final game at Turner Field – a 1-0 win over the Tigers. Campbell then experienced another thrilling win a few weeks later. In early November, Campbell was the winner of one of the Braves FanBeat season-prize drawings, eclipsing the […]


At the end of the 2016 season, diehard Braves fan Mitch Campbell got to witness the final game at Turner Field – a 1-0 win over the Tigers.

Campbell then experienced another thrilling win a few weeks later.

In early November, Campbell was the winner of one of the Braves FanBeat season-prize drawings, eclipsing the 75,000-point threshold and winning a trip to Braves spring training in 2017.

Before we look ahead to 2017, which should be an historic season as the Braves move into SunTrust Park with a squad that could be much-improved on the field, we caught up with Campbell, who traveled down to the Braves’ spring training complex in mid-March with his girlfriend Sway, an equally avid Braves fan.

Here’s a Q & A with Campbell on his trip down to Orlando, as well as some pics that he and Sway snapped while they were down there.

What was the most memorable part of your trip to spring training?

Honestly if I had to pick the most memorable part, it’d have to be the fact that it was the very first spring training experience for both of us. The Braves hold a very special place in our relationship. When Sway and I first started dating, a Braves game in hot Atlanta June was one of our first dates.

Which Braves are you most excited to watch this season and which new Brave are you most excited to see?

Ender Inciarte is my favorite. I just like the way that he is aggressive and smart in the outfield. Sway’s favorite is Nick Markakis.

I’m looking forward to watching Bartolo Colon do his thing on the mound this season. We watched him last year when the Mets were in town and he was a lot of fun to watch.

Any tips or strategies for other Braves FanBeat players playing the game this season? What were your most memorable or favorite questions from 2016?

We really enjoyed all the questions, especially the ones where you have to guess how the Braves will do within the next out or inning. As far as tips and strategies when playing the game, just have fun and play!

We’ve actually met great friends through this game. Last year we were playing along when I hear the guy behind me so enthused about Braves FanBeat also playing along. Come to find out it was Hugh T and we’ve been friends since then.

The Braves FanBeat team is excited for Opening Day and the opportunity to be part of the inaugural season at SunTrust Park. Be sure to play along by downloading the MLB Ballpark app, then clicking the Braves FanBeat icon inside the app. Look for questions in the app between innings this year and you could well win your own trip to spring training in 2018.

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Can the NFL compete for fans’ attention on a per-second basis?

Last month on the FanBeat blog, we looked at the much-discussed down NFL ratings. With the completion of the 2016 regular season, total NFL viewership was down 8 percent compared to 2015. Much of this had to do with the presidential election — viewership was down 14 percent for Weeks 1 through 9 — but […]

Last month on the FanBeat blog, we looked at the much-discussed down NFL ratings. With the completion of the 2016 regular season, total NFL viewership was down 8 percent compared to 2015. Much of this had to do with the presidential election — viewership was down 14 percent for Weeks 1 through 9 — but not all.

More people are spending less time watching the traditional linear broadcast and instead are viewing highlights, checking the box score online, and scanning Twitter for updates. Jacob Feldman’s Sports Illustrated article, published on Nov. 30, pointed out that the NFL’s audience is even more distracted – and fragmented – than we thought.

The thesis of Feldman’s piece is that the pace of a three-hour broadcast, loaded with advertisements, can’t keep up in a limited-attention-span digital era dominated by Tweets and Snapchat stories. Fans are still consuming NFL content, but they’re doing it by trash-talking friends of a rival team on Facebook or taking selfies in their favorite team’s jersey and posting to Instagram.

“Football has gone from dominating a day of the week to competing for fans on a per-second basis,” Feldman writes. “And now that our average attention span has fallen below that of a goldfish, the NFL is at risk of becoming a fish out of water in the digital era. After all, how can a three-hour game with 11 minutes of action compete with a Facebook feed individually tailored for maximum engagement? What can be done about a broadcast stuffed with 70 commercials when Netflix has none?”

Feldman raises three specific problems that the traditional NFL broadcasts run into in a fast-paced, digital world. As a mobile gaming app that increases fan engagement, FanBeat is equipped to tackle (pun somewhat intended) all of them.

1) Mobile screens beat big screens — Today everyone’s mobile device is an extension of their right arm. When it comes to getting people’s attention, the 6-inch screen in our hand beats the 60-inch HD screen that’s on the wall at home or at our local sports bar. Go to any restaurant on a weekend and, even when there’s a big game on, chances are that the majority of the patrons are watching what’s on their phones, not what’s on the big screen.

How can the NFL combat that? One strategy could be by creating an incentive for fans to tune into the action on the field through a real-time gaming app. What if the question “Will the Falcons make this field goal?” is delivered to the mobile device right as the broadcast goes to commercial break before Matt Bryant lines up for a 47-yard kick?

Once the user has selected his or her answer and the game comes back from commercial, the viewer is much more likely to be interested in the ensuing play. When the activity on the device complements the broadcast, like it does in FanBeat, the NFL has a much better chance of keeping viewers tuned in.

2) Too many disruptive ads — As Feldman points out, arguably the biggest drawback to viewing an NFL broadcast is the volume of commercials. There are around 70 commercials during every NFL game. Given people’s shrinking attention spans, getting them to watch an entire game, with that many commercials, seems next to impossible when it has compete with Facebook feeds and Snapchat stories.

Our solution is to give fans something to do during the commercials that correlates with the game. FanBeat only sends predictive play and trivia questions during breaks– so as not to disrupt the action on the field.

FanBeat then weaves sponsor assets into the gameplay, but these 15-second ads are sandwiched between when a user answers a question and when the answer graph is displayed. The flow between the app activity and the sponsor message is seamless. Given the forecasted dramatic increase in sponsor spending to activate on mobile, NFL teams and broadcast partners will continue to benefit from sponsorship revenue generation.

3) Fans don’t just want to watch, they want to interact – The fact that the desirable 18-35 demographic in particular want to share photos and videos on social media is hardly a secret. Utilizing and monetizing social platforms is one of the NFL’s biggest initiatives. It should be noted that interest in the NFL is at an all-time high, and while fans may not be watching entire broadcasts, they are watching their team’s Snapchat video or sharing GIFs of funny highlights on Twitter.

The question becomes how does the NFL leverage social media/digital interaction to drive more viewers to the broadcast? Fantasy football increased the appeal of the NFL product to the casual fan, but at the cost of disintermediating the team from a fanbase only focused on player performance.

FanBeat is tied to and enhances the broadcast, dramatically lifting fan engagement. Not only does FanBeat enable users the chance to win prizes, but it also gives them a chance to compete against their friends. It makes watching the broadcast a more social experience.

The onslaught of social media and mobile apps is forcing the NFL to compete against digital media options that didn’t exist even five years ago. However, FanBeat can be a strategic bridge, merging the linear TV broadcast with its mobile future.

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AND THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER IS …

“Now being presented with the $5,000 check from Georgia Lottery as the 2016 season grand prize winner for Braves FanBeat — Mathewe Traylor!” It would’ve been fun to have Traylor announced over the P.A. system by announcer Casey Motter on Braves Vision just like a Braves player when he strolls to the batter’s box. However, given […]

“Now being presented with the $5,000 check from Georgia Lottery as the 2016 season grand prize winner for Braves FanBeat — Mathewe Traylor!”

It would’ve been fun to have Traylor announced over the P.A. system by announcer Casey Motter on Braves Vision just like a Braves player when he strolls to the batter’s box. However, given that SunTrust Park is still under construction, that wasn’t quite possible last Friday, Dec. 2.

Since opening day of the new ballpark is still a few months away, Traylor was presented with a big check at the SunTrust Park Preview Center, by Braves FanBeat sponsor Georgia Lottery. Pictured above is Traylor (center), John Crow (on the left), a host for Georgia Lottery, and Ed Trimble (on the right), our CEO and founder of FanBeat.

Traylor, a diehard Braves fan who lives in Kennesaw, was the grand prize winner, but there were plenty of other Braves FanBeat season prize winners, announced last month on our blog. These winners got to take home autographed jerseys, win a chance to meet their favorite players at Braves FanFest in 2017 and even win a trip to spring training in Orlando this spring.

Traylor said that Braves FanBeat is unique because it creates more active and engaged fans. It’s a game within the game that allows fans to feel like they’re part of the action.

“FanBeat was able to create a level of engagement I rarely have had during a regular season of baseball,” Traylor said. “Every day was like a playoff atmosphere because I was competing against other fans to win prizes, all while cheering on my favorite team. The most rewarding part was getting to meet, and interact with, other FanBeat players.”

The presentation of Traylor’s check officially puts a cap on the 2016 Braves FanBeat season. Looking ahead to next year, given the Braves’ flurry of offseason activity, there will plenty of new faces on the field at SunTrust Park, as well as plenty more exciting young prospects making up arguably the most talented minor league system in baseball.

All of these story lines will again be reflected in the first real-time, predictive gaming app for Major League Baseball. Needless to say, we can’t wait to roll FanBeat out for 2017, offering prizes to more fans during what will be an historic – not to mention exciting – season at SunTrust Park.

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Does the NFL have a viewership problem or engagement problem?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or were simply engrossed with the presidential election), you’ve probably heard that NFL ratings are down for the 2016 season. Through the season’s first 10 weeks, check out the drop in viewership for the NFL’s primetime games in 2016 compared to 2015, according to Michael Mulvihill, the executive […]

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or were simply engrossed with the presidential election), you’ve probably heard that NFL ratings are down for the 2016 season. Through the season’s first 10 weeks, check out the drop in viewership for the NFL’s primetime games in 2016 compared to 2015, according to Michael Mulvihill, the executive vice president of research, league operations and strategy at Fox Sports.

Primetime national matchups

Sunday Night Football (NBC): -15%

Monday Night Football (ESPN): -17%

Thursday Night Football (CBS, NBC): -16%

Thursday Night Football (NFL Network): -25%

Daytime, regional broadcasts

CBS: -11%

FOX: -2%

Even now that the election has wrapped up, the ratings haven’t exactly rebounded to where they were a year ago. In Week 11, the ratings on NBC’s SNF were up slightly from Week 11 in 2015 (up 4%), but then cratered in Week 12 compared to the previous year (down 27%). For ESPN’s MNF, the viewership for Week 11 was down 17% before bumping up 29% in Week 12. On Thanksgiving, viewership for the daytime games on FOX and CBS were up 8% and 9%, respectively, while the primetime game on NBC was down 25%.

First off, make no mistake, the NFL is still unquestionably the most powerful programming on television and far and away the most profitable sports league in the country. Secondly, the election clearly had an effect on the ratings decline. However, any decrease in viewership — or the mere thought that fan interest has reached its peak and is trending downward — is bad news for the NFL, the media companies that pay billions of dollars annually to televise it, and for the sponsors that pay millions annually to advertise on it.

There have been plenty of hypotheses for root of the NFL’s ratings decline, but let’s look specifically at this episode of ESPN’s Outside the Lines and the reasoning given by Mulvihill. Fox’s EVP states that the issue for the NFL and its TV partners isn’t that fewer fans are watching, but rather that fans aren’t tuning in to the broadcast for as long as they have previously.

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=17843415

“The reach of the NFL is the same as last year,” he said. “The number of people interested in the league is the same. The issue is that they’re spending less time with us week in and week out. They’re watching fewer minutes per game and when you multiply those statistics together, it’s a ratings drop. It’s an issue of time spent, not people turning away from the league entirely. We have to find out why people who are fans are spending less time.”

Mulvihill’s point is that the NFL doesn’t have a viewership issue – it has an engagement issue. The NFL needs to give people a reason to watch a majority/ entirety of the broadcast, not just a portion of it. The league/ networks need to give fans a reason to actually watch the game, rather than scanning for updates on Twitter, checking the stats of their fantasy team and watching the scoring plays on NFL RedZone.

The NFL needs an engagement tool like FanBeat! When fans have the ability to predict the action in real time and compete for prizes, they automatically become more engaged because they have a stake in the action. More than just picking players from random teams and hoping they pile up yards and score touchdowns, users can predict whether a team will pick up the first down on a key third-and-7, whether a key touchdown catch will stand after the play is challenged or how many total points two teams will combine for in the first half.

Just like traditional fantasy football, fans now have a stake in the action. However, the difference is that because FanBeat is in real time, the users have to watch the live broadcast in order to answer questions and compete for prizes. They can’t just pick their teams a few days beforehand and then pay casual attention on Sundays while checking Twitter and refreshing the live box score.

We’ve already seen that FanBeat increases engagement through our partnership with the Golf Channel and launch for the Ryder Cup. Of the viewers that tried FanBeat during the Ryder Cup, 56 percent said they enjoyed the Ryder Cup more because of FanBeat. In fact, 51 percent said they watched more Ryder Cup coverage because of FanBeat and a staggering 31 percent 5+ hours more coverage over the weekend!

We know that FanBeat can have the same effect for NFL viewers that it had for Ryder Cup viewers. As Mulvihill states, the NFL doesn’t have a fan viewership problem, but a fan engagement problem. FanBeat is the perfect fan engagement solution.

 

 

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2016 Season Prize Drawing Winners Announced

It was certainly fun to be a part of the final season at Turner Field this year, launching for the Atlanta Braves in the MLB Ballpark app. We got fantastic responses from users about how much baseball is suited for a real-time, live action game like FanBeat, keeping fans engaged between innings and rewarding knowledgeable […]

It was certainly fun to be a part of the final season at Turner Field this year, launching for the Atlanta Braves in the MLB Ballpark app. We got fantastic responses from users about how much baseball is suited for a real-time, live action game like FanBeat, keeping fans engaged between innings and rewarding knowledgeable fans through trivia as well as predict-the-action questions.

In addition to competing for great game prizes night in and night out, like tickets, autographed balls, and team merchandise, there’s another reason Braves FanBeat players came back game after game. Fans racked up season point totals to be entered into a drawing at the end of the year to be selected for some really memorable season prizes, including autographed jerseys, a trip to Braves FanFest at SunTrust Park to meet their favorite players, a trip to spring training in Orlando, and – oh yeah – $5,000 from the Georgia Lottery.

So, without further ado, exactly one month after the final game at Turner Field, it’s time to officially announce the winners from our season prize drawing.

Autographed jersey  winners (at least 50,000 points) – I❤️homer, Hjhuber, Suzy, Rkstanfi, Brian Snitker, Dgfarr, Misty, & Lherrington

FanFest Meet & Greet winners (at least 65,000 pts) – Sway, 5gobraves5, Wiggins49 & Jayhawks

Spring Training Trip 2017 winner (at least 75,000 points) – Tmc1411

$5,000 from the Georgia Lottery (at least 85,000 points) – Traylor23

Again, thank you to all the Braves fans who played FanBeat this year. We’re already excited about opening 2017 at SunTrust Park.

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FanBeat for Ryder Cup!

FanBeat Ryder Cup team. From left: Andrew Vogel, Brandon Farley, Mike Richards and Tony Sullivan From September 30 to October 2, we made a bit of history at FanBeat by launching the first ever predictive play game for live-action golf — made available to Ryder Cup viewers in partnership with Golf Channel. Viewers answered a mix of […]

The FanBeat behind-the-scenes crew during the 2016 Ryder Cup

FanBeat Ryder Cup team. From left: Andrew Vogel, Brandon Farley, Mike Richards and Tony Sullivan

From September 30 to October 2, we made a bit of history at FanBeat by launching the first ever predictive play game for live-action golf — made available to Ryder Cup viewers in partnership with Golf Channel. Viewers answered a mix of 180 predict-the-action and trivia questions over 5 discrete FanBeat games that aligned with the 5 Ryder Cup sessions. We had thousands of viewers try the game and the response was phenomenal as over half of our players returned to play multiple games.

The competition was fierce as players jockeyed to move up the session and event prize boards trying to win golf club sets, official Ryder Cup uniforms, and lots of other gear offered by Golf Channel. The overall FanBeat victory hung in the balance as Mickelson and Garcia approached the par 4 18th late in the day on Sunday.  NEW QUESTION: “Mickelson & Garcia have made 17 birdies today! All square going to the 18th hole. Will birdie be in play on the final hole?” 875 points for either Mickelson or Garcia. 685 points if neither makes birdie. 1585 if both make birdie. The answer graph revealed the top choice for 42% of players as “Mickelson birdies” (unsurprisingly, we saw a bit of U.S. bias in answers throughout the weekend). The dramatic play on the course was mirrored with dramatic play in the FanBeat game as both players made big birdie putts on the 18th hole and the FanBeat prize board flipped. DandyCanuck won the weekend with 71,928 total FanBeat points, claiming a new set of clubs and a travel bag. Congratulations to DandyCanuck!

It was quite a weekend for the FanBeat and Golf Channel teams as we worked diligently to follow the action on TV and create compelling question and other game content over 15 hours of FanBeat game play. Golf presents lots of unique challenges versus other sports where we’ve had more experience like baseball and basketball. And the Ryder Cup presents its own unique challenges for predictive-play gaming with the varying match play formats, the concession of holes, and the uncertainty of when a match would end (fewer than 30% actually go to 18 holes). But our team rose to the occasion with an interesting assortment of long-horizon questions, next-shot type questions, and dozens of challenging and entertaining trivia questions. We were also able to drive lots of “clicks” to highlighted promotions including “Join Arnie’s Army“, in memory of Golf Channel founder Arnold Palmer

We appreciate the great response from all of you who played for Ryder Cup and completed our post-event survey. We loved that 90% of respondents said they’d play again without any changes to the product with the 10% responding that they’d play again with some improvements. We have lots of improvements and new features on the way and look forward to running FanBeat for many more golf tournaments in the future!

 

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Q & A session: different questions from the producer

While handing out flyers and educating Braves fans about Braves FanBeat at Turner Field last month, I had a chance to meet two of our most prolific users in person, Hugh T and Traylor 23. I even got the chance to learn their real names! Hugh Tomlin is in his 40s and lives in Montgomery, […]

While handing out flyers and educating Braves fans about Braves FanBeat at Turner Field last month, I had a chance to meet two of our most prolific users in person, Hugh T and Traylor 23. I even got the chance to learn their real names! Hugh Tomlin is in his 40s and lives in Montgomery, Ala., while Matt Traylor is in his 30s and lives in Kennesaw.

After meeting them in person, I later followed up and got their feedback on their experience playing FanBeat. Listed below are highlights from the interview.

What their experience playing Braves FanBeat was like the first time they played the game:

Hugh T: It was a way to keep your interest in the ballgame. Between innings, I needed something to do until the next inning. It makes it more interesting and fun – like you’re part of the game.

It was funny. The young lady I was with told me to pay more attention to the game. I told her, “I am paying attention to the ballgame.” By the next home game, she was playing too.

Traylor 23: I loved it and was instantly hooked. The very first time I played, I only played the last half of the game and still ended up almost finishing among the T-shirt eligible winners.

Why they play Braves FanBeat during every Braves home game:

Hugh T: I’ve won every game prize except for the autographed baseball (the second-place prize), so I’d like to win at least one baseball before the season’s out. My personal goal is to get at least 200,000 points for the season.

Traylor 23: At first, it was the shot to win one of the grand prizes. Since I’ve eclipsed all of those eligibility thresholds, it’s (to keep winning) those great nightly prizes.

How Braves FanBeat is different from playing fantasy baseball:

Traylor 23: Playing fantasy baseball, you can set your lineup at the beginning of the day and then adjust when you have to. When you’re playing fantasy baseball, once your lineups are set, there’s not much you can do but root for your players to do well.

In Braves FanBeat, you have to actively have knowledge about the game of baseball, the team we’re playing, situations that may arise and random trivia about events that happened last night. FanBeat is a more active and participation-involved game.

On their favorite question that FanBeat asks:

Hugh T: I like the countdown trivia questions because you have to know your team.

Traylor23: I really liked the “what instrument does John Smoltz play” trivia question.

(In case you were wondering, “Smoltzie” plays the accordion – both of his parents are music teachers).

It was great to hear positive feedback from two of our players who have played game-in and game-out this season. The consensus from both Hugh and Matt is that FanBeat enhances engagement for fans watching the Braves because it creates a game within a game. It’s great to have that validation!

On another note, we also learned that fans really like the trivia because it rewards hard-core fans who know the franchise’s history and have been following the team closely all season. Even if fans don’t know the answer to a trivia question, they appreciate the opportunity to learn new facts and tidbits about the team. Braves FanBeat is tailor-made for all fans, both die-hard followers as well as more casual types.

 

 

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BRAVES FANBEAT’S FIRST HALF

In baseball, the All-Star break marks the season’s unofficial “halfway” point, when teams evaluate what they’ve done during the first three-plus months and set goals and expectations for the season’s second half. With the Midsummer Classic this week, we thought we’d take the same approach at FanBeat. The Braves are FanBeat’s first official MLB partner, […]

In baseball, the All-Star break marks the season’s unofficial “halfway” point, when teams evaluate what they’ve done during the first three-plus months and set goals and expectations for the season’s second half.

With the Midsummer Classic this week, we thought we’d take the same approach at FanBeat.

The Braves are FanBeat’s first official MLB partner, so it’s certainly an historic season for us and it’s been exciting to watch the number of users grow throughout the season as more Braves fans learn about FanBeat and play the app. Here are three takeaways for the first half of the year.

FANBEAT “STICKS”

One of the metrics of which we’re most excited and proud is how many users play the entire game. Every Braves FanBeat game has 28 questions and this season on average every user answers 17 questions. Moreover, in the last 7 games, 63 percent – almost 2/3 of all users that try the game — end up playing the whole way through and answering at least 2/3 of the questions. In an era when all sorts of programming and apps compete for our attention, FanBeat is incredibly excited about the high level of engagement we’re seeing from users.

FanBeat can enhance engagement for any sport, but it seems tailor-made for baseball because of the sport’s cadence and tempo. Between every inning, fans know to check their phones, go into the app, and answer one predict-the-action question and one trivia question. The timing for breaks in the action is predictable and the middle of innings – once dead times for fans – has now become a game within the game that fans anticipate and look forward to.

PRIZES ARE A GREAT MOTIVATOR

As great as bragging rights are, the stakes are always a little higher when free stuff’s on the line. The game prizes include club pavilion tickets, an autographed baseball, $10 Georgia Lottery scratchers and Braves T-shirts, while the season prizes include $5,000, a weekend at the Braves’ spring training site in 2017, meet-and-greet with a Braves player, and an autographed Braves jersey.

If you haven’t seen the FanBeat promotional video that aired on Braves Vision in June, you can view it here. The star of the video is Hugh T, who’s been one of our most avid players so far this season. When asked in the interview what he’s won this year, Hugh replied, “What haven’t I won?” Hugh rattled off the list of swag he’s won and then added, “I’ve won everything but an autographed baseball. That’s driving me to continue to play.”

Sure, having expansive knowledge of the team’s history makes for entertaining dinner table – or in this case bleacher seat – conversation. But it’s even better when you can leverage that franchise insight into Braves tickets, T-shirts … and hopefully an autographed ball.

FANBEAT MAKES EVERY GAME COMPETITIVE

As a former sports writer who is supposed to be objective, I always used to say that I didn’t root for specific teams, but I always rooted for a good game. Now that’s not really true any more – I have been a diehard Braves fan since I was 6.

However, the point in some ways still holds. I know that the closer a game is, the more fans will stay tuned in to the game. If a game becomes lopsided – one way or the other – casual fans tend to stop paying attention. In a scoreless pitcher’s duel, fans are hanging on every pitch. When the game’s a 9-1 rout, though, not so much.

What we’ve learned is that with FanBeat, fans stay engaged in the game regardless of the score because they’ve got their own stake in the action. Even if the Braves fall behind 6-1 in the fourth inning, fans who are in the hunt for T-shirts, scratchers, an autographed ball or that spring training weekend will continue to watch the game and root on their team.

The numbers from this year have borne that out. Our retention statistics from games where the run differential is five or more are no different from games that were decided by one run or two runs. That’s another benefit to every FanBeat partner – increased fan commitment and engagement to the team.

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