The NBA and FanDuel have partnered on a new in-game fantasy application that drives fan engagement for nationally televised games. In-Play isn’t a new concept — illegal books have been allowing fans to bet on specific plays or outcomes for years now — but it’s the first time it has been applied on such a wide range for the NBA. Basically downloading the app and playing forces fans to pay more attention to the game. If fans aren’t paying attention — because of special boosts and other gimmicks — they won’t win.
This goes back to the idea that any way to engage the fan is simply a good thing. It creates exposure and advertising inventory. This is where having a partnership with FanDuel helps the NBA. Essentially the technology is out there. Now they just sit back and hope fans get hooked. The app allows for private leagues as well. This can help bring word of mouth and friend to friend competition into the app.
Again, this is all about interaction and being able to connect with fans. These apps and the gamification of national TV games may increase viewership. If it does, it probably won’t be a significant increase, but something is better than nothing. It also makes casual fans into more involved fans. More involved fans into experts and fantasy fanatics. It helps the NBA on every level.
The NBA has been at the forefront of using technology to better interact with its fans and this application is no different.