Screenfeed Fires Up Sports Central
November 4, 2014 by Dave Haynes
Syndicated content packager and publisher Screenfeed is rolling out a very slick new service today called Sports Central. It’s a dynamic infographic service that goes way the heck beyond what normally gets presented as sports content for digital signage.
Most digital sign networks present sports news and scores in the dreaded ticker format, or as static full-screen files, sometimes with an accompanying photos.
What Minneapolis-based Screenfeed is doing with Sports Central is in-game scores, pre-game material and headlines that look and feel a lot more like what consumers are used to seeing on broadcast channels.
Screenfeed founder Jeremy Gavin says the product is the result of some 2,000 developer and designer hours, and several years of planning.
Gavin says Screenfeed has actually offered sports scores and schedules as simple XML data, behind the scenes, for some selected customers, but never aggressively marketed the service. Screenfeed wasn’t, says Gavin, adding any real value to a product that was essentially just pushing data.
This service, by comparison, uses what Screenfeed is calling Fan Logic, which Gavin says solves the problem of relevancy as it relates to sports, by delivering only the most relevant sports content based on location and what is currently happening at that time in the world of sports.
Screenfeed “fan-maps” and plots the relevancy of each team to geographical regions, as well as some rankings tied to content. So even though Philly and Pittsburgh are geographically close, they will have very different sets of content, including supporting material that’s based more on division rivalries than proximity. Scores and stats will be updated live during games.
The other pain point Gavin says Screenfeed goes after is the long gaps between games, particularly football. “FanLogic technology understands it will need to fill a given amount of time on a screen and, will pull the most relevant content do do so,” he explains. “So, during the day you may see graphics such as a Team Profile that gives a snap shot of how a local team is faring, including a “Morale Meter” based on the team’s recent success.
The package is all animated in HTML5 instead of Flash, which is smart and a sign of where this sort of thing is going.
Initially, the Sports Central package is offering coverage of North American leagues, as well as the Barclays Premier League (Soccer in the UK). On the plans are the other big European soccer leagues, as well as rugby, tennis, golf and other world sports. They’ll also add additional languages.
I like, a lot. This is sooo much more than goofy sports tickers. It’s a fully rounded-out content subscription services that is particularly well-suited to things like fast casual restaurants and sports facilities. It looks good and the design and tech is intended to be keep content steadily fresh.
The only caveat I’d put out there is that the content still have to suit the environment and audience dynamic. Incorporating great-looking, active content really works when it’s what genuinely interests the audience, as opposed to being great looking stuff to pad out a schedule (it happens … lots).
Nice job Jeremy.