Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Buffalo Bills Tackle Fan Engagement with Adobe: Bills Touch, Powered by the Adobe Publishing Suite, Allows NFL Fans to Experience the Game in a Whole New Way

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Buffalo Bills Tackle Fan Engagement with Adobe: Bills Touch, Powered by the Adobe Publishing Suite, Allows NFL Fans to Experience the Game in a Whole New Way

Article excerpt

Football fans love to feel like part of the home crowd, whether they're at the stadium or not. That type of loyalty doesn't just die when the hometown faithful move away--and some rabid fans of a team aren't from that area to begin with. Aaron La Porta, a graphic designer and developer with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills, had those sorts of loyalties in mind when he proposed a brand engagement app catering to the fan who's "not going to the game--a displaced Bills fan who wants to engage with the team."

"[Fans] get excited by interactive content," La Porta says, "much more so than just flipping through, say, a magazine. There are plenty of print publications out there that the [Bills put out, including] game-day programs fans can grab on their way into the stadium--but, you know, they're just print. This was a new media [opportunity] for us."

La Porta, who joined the Bills organization in September 2013, says the team took little convincing to realize that the app, called Bills Touch, would score with fans--and that Abode was the vendor to carry it over the goal line. "I literally [only] had to stand in front of the decision makers within the organization and flip through a couple of screens."

Of course, it helped that La Porta had experience using Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite and had no intention of using anything else. He gives it high marks for ease of use and the ability to overlay content. With Adobe DPS, "you're able to bring in HTML content, whether it's streaming somewhere on the Internet or it's just a tech that you want to try to integrate into the folio itself seamlessly," he says. It's "more of an elegant way of presenting content.... That to me is probably the best thing about [Adobe's] solution."

Using the Adobe suite, the Bills were able to design, develop, and release the Bills Touch app for the iOS within three weeks. A year later, the team released Android and Windows versions. By the end of 2014, the number of app downloads of Bills Touch had doubled from the end of the previous year. …

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