Push Notifications for Football teams in BBC Sport app

Business Analyst

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Hello, I’m Ryan Thomas Hewitt – Senior Business Analyst for the BBC Sport apps.

Today I'm excited to announce the launch of a new feature in the Sport apps – push notifications for more than 150 domestic football teams.

We know how people are keen to keep in touch with the action while on the move – for example, at weekends as much 71% of total BBC Sport traffic comes from non-desktop browsing with football being a big driver of this, especially when there’s a full fixture list. We wanted to make this core part of our offering even easier, and feedback from users and our own audience research told us that match alerts on mobile and tablet devices would be the best way to do it.

You may have already noticed that our colleagues in the BBC News app team have implemented breaking news push alerts, and we’ve taken the same approach but have made it a more personalised service to suit the needs and behaviours of BBC Sport users.

Android (phones and tablets) and iOS (iPhone and iPad) app users can now sign up to receive alerts for more than 150 teams. As this is the first release we have limited the range of alerts – a decision based on audience research – to the following: kick-off, goals, half-time score and result. We have plans to add more alert types and more functionality to control them in the future. I'd be keen to hear which additional alerts you would like to receive.

How to sign-up

The latest versions of the Android and iOS apps are available in the app stores.

To sign up for alerts, click on the “My Alerts” link in the app menu (below “LIVE Radio”). Then select the team and alerts you want to receive. You can sign up to any number of teams.

You can also turn off the alerts through the same “My Alerts” link. Simply select the team and alerts you want to turn off.

We wanted to introduce the feature now so people can track how their team are getting on, not to mention their promotion, play-off and relegation rivals as well. It also means we can test the service, monitor performance and get your feedback before expanding the service in future.

Making sure that the alerts reach users quickly is crucial, as know that people want to be the first to know how their team is getting on. A technical blog post how the functionality was delivered will follow. We're working closely with our colleagues over on the BBC News app to monitor feedback/uptake as the push technology is shared between the two apps.

Alerts are currently only available in the UK on Android and iOS devices, we're looking to make them available outside the UK and on Kindle devices in the future.

Ryan Thomas Hewitt is a Senior Business Analyst in BBC Future Media

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