NBA App Engages Fans During Finals

The NBA finals begin tonight, with the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Golden State Warriors in the Bay Area, and Airshippers are caught up in the excitement! Of course, those in our San Francisco office are big Warrior fans, but we’re rooting for the Cavs too. They have achieved great mobile engagement with their app! No matter which team you favor, the NBA app is a great companion to the series.

Looking at the app, there are a lot of things they are doing really well to drive greater mobile engagement with their primary audience: fans.

The Opening Tip: Mobile App Onboarding

Upon opening the app for the first time, you are greeted with a timely, custom “Finals Edition” homescreen. The app then asks for permission to send push notifications and use your location to provide a better user experience.


The NBA app takes advantage of increased engagement during the playoffs by releasing a special edition.

Driving Toward Conversion

After completing the notification and location permissions, you’re brought to the main screen of the app and shown a game schedule (which is great utility, as schedule and score updates are likely the main reasons most fans go to the app). You are also given the option to set alerts for the game, which could be considered a conversion since that person is then much more likely to check back into the app to stay up-to-date on the score, or even tune in to watch it on TV while using the app to stay current on in-game stats. The fan can also select a “favorite team” to make sure they don’t miss any important events or information related to their #1 team.

Scoring with Mobile App Retention

The NBA app sends notifications related to your favorite teams and allows you to watch game recaps and highlights, which can keep users actively engaging with the app. Fans can get a custom feed of updates, such as when one of their favorite players breaks a personal record, or excitement alerts for big moments. This is a great way to use a user’s loyalty to their favorite players and teams to create loyalty to the app — and brand.

Off-Season Re-Engagement

The off-season is a natural time for fan engagement to drop off within the app since there are no games scheduled. But, this time also provides the opportunity for the NBA to re-engage its audience by sending alerts about draft picks and team roster announcements, as well as classic content and clips based on their preferences. Those users with an NBA League Pass subscription can use the app to watch entire on-demand archived playoff and regular-season games from their favorite device, including classic NBA games.

All of this is a great way to keep fans engaged in the off-season, and then once again get them excited for the next season’s tip-off when the time is right!

Mobile App Best Practices

Mobile app marketing, when done right, provides true utility to users and the NBA app demonstrates many mobile best practices. Want to learn more about how your app can keep users engaged? Check out our guide, 10 Mobile Engagement Best Practices Explained, for more tips and tricks.