Super Bowl XLIX - Dual Screen Engagement

NFL Super Bowl 49 -  can you have an enhanced live game experience using apps and your desktop PC alongside your TV?

Digital Gladiators ....if, like me, you didn’t have the $3,000 to $11,000 for a ticket to the game and the nearest genuine Super Bowl party was across the pond about 3,500 miles due West from your pad in London, your only access to the experience was to channel surf for the terrestrial broadcast courtesy of NBC Sports. I flicked across to Channel 4 on my 42 inch TV at 22:30 (GMT) for the big game, but I wanted more. NFL game commentary from a guy with a UK accent, isn’t quite the same and definitely not like being there. And besides, I want to know who else is watching with me, find out what they are thinking about the action, those halftime ads and Katy Perry! What about a couple of pics from a fan inside the University of Phoenix Stadium?

Could I get an enhanced dual screen play by play experience using all my devices? I sought to find out.

A bit of pre-game prep and thanks to a search for the recommended tech for Super Bowl Sunday, I quickly found what I needed on Skipping over the various apps to order the booze and chicken wings ...The Snack Bowl is a big deal by the way! I downloaded the official Seahawks and Patriots’ apps on my iPhone along with TheScore. On Instagram I quickly found two lucky buggers who did have tickets and were happy to remind us all about it. On the laptop I launched the official site plus TweetDeck for a bit of NFL, Patriots and Seahawks hashtag nirvana! Finally on the iPad I fired up Beamly for some duel screen information overload.

From kickoff, Beamly indicated that the Channel 4 broadcast was trending and shows a list of interesting people watching the game along with me: I note that Rihanna is tailgating, Lady Gaga is looking forward to her buddy @djws’s music during the halftime show and later Rob Lowe is far from impressed with the ref.
Both the official #Patriots and #Seahawks apps show the latest score but I find #theScore app a lot sweeter: along with the live score I opt to follow my selected player, #TomBrady with live in game play by play stats.
The #Patriots app is still handy, with running tweets from their twitter account below the score and thanks to the #Seahawks app, I have a pic from inside their huddle.  Each App has push notifications turned on and sending me alerts ...the earliest being the injury notification of #Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane leaving the game with an apparent arm injury. #Instagram is flooding me with endless #SuperBowlXLIX party pics and I only ever get 1 new pic from the 2 guys in the stadium I chose to follow. I expect they are a bit too distracted to be playing with their cel phones.

The half time score is NE 14 : SEA 14 and it’s only the 3rd time in Super Bowl history that the score is level after the 2nd quarter. #HalfTimeShow time and on comes #KatyPerry with her 64Mil twitter followers for the biggest show of her life! Joining her is #LennyKravitz and #MissyElliott. While I am sadly not able to catch any of the halftime ads, reportedly costing $4.5m p/30sec slot, TweetDeck goes into overdrive and I am left wondering how Katy managed all those costume changes so seamlessly.

The game continues to be a real tight affair and shortly into the 4th quarter the opportunity to vote on the MVP pops up within the official NFL Facebook page ...the game however remains too close to call.

NE 28 : SEA 24 with less than 00:30 to go on the clock, the ball is intercepted by Malcolm Butler on the goal-line to prevent the Seahawks from stealing the game. Things get a little heated and what follows is a bit of “...unnecessary roughness...” NFL style.
The game plays itself out with tweets streaming through of “...the worst play-call of Super Bowl history..” as Tom Brady is named as MVP.

The Super Bowl is as much a gladiatorial battleground for marketers as it is for the guys on the turf. With all the tech out there, one can get the stats and measure the pulse of the fans but I wasn’t completely sold on the experience. The lag time for the next update on the official site, although only seconds, couldn’t compete with the instant playback on my TV plus their static infographics felt a bit tired. I would have loved some instant graphic animation tracking the flight of the ball on those lightning passes from Tom Brady. Still, it was great to monitor everyones live comments and this is where twitter remains the dominant goto app for real unfiltered commentary from folks just like me and Snoop Dogg, of course.

Sean Simone, 2015

For the stats-junkies, here are a few more must reads:

Super Bowl XLIX - TV Social engagement, Flowics
[Infographic] NFL Super Bowl XLIX In-Stadium Fan Engagement Stats, Huff Post
Watch the 10 ‘most engaging' Super Bowl XLIX commercials, USA Today
Facebook, Twitter report records for Super Bowl posts, CNET