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MCLA Releases iPhone App

1 - Published January 13, 2012 by in Commentary, Gear, Lifestyle

You asked for it, you got it: The MCLA has officially released an app for the iPhone iOS operating system.  Announced and released on Tuesday (site upgrades kept us from writing about this sooner!), the app is available for download for $0.99 and provides instant access for all iPhone users to the MCLA.us API for the 2012 season.  In layman’s terms: You’ve got everything about the MCLA in 2012 right here.

As a loyal iPhone user and MCLA Fan, I’ve already downloaded my copy.   After browsing through for awhile, the app is clean, doesn’t have any slow loads, and provides a very pleasing interface for MCLA fans, players, and coaches.  As usual, the guys that developed MCLA.us and MCLA The Lax Mag have delivered another well-executed piece of the MCLA experience.

I was able to get out a few specific questions to one of the developers, Will Duderstadt.  Here are his thoughts about some ideas surrounding development, and what is missing and what will be coming to future versions of the app:

What were the development costs of the app?

“No comment from AO or I on the development costs.  This is a league initiative, so we’ll defer to Tony Scazzero or Mike Martin to discuss finances if they choose to do so.

Are there plans to develop backend functionality for stat entry by coaches/staff at game sites? Either post game or real-time?

“This app is designed to appeal to the fans of the MCLA.  The parents, fans, girlfriends, alumni, and booster organizations of the MCLA need a way to stay connected with their favorite teams and players.  As the features of the app progress, it will be from a spectator point of view.  At the end of the day, this reenforces the push towards creating a fan-centric view of the MCLA.

Will archived stats, rosters, and records be available from past seasons on future versions of the app?

“This first version focuses on 2012.  While mobile, fans are looking to stay current with the latest info.  As games are played, all the results will be available via the app.  To preview what this will look like, you can use the date function to roll back into 2011 or check out the screenshots of game pages.  Just tap a played game and you get all the details.

Any other thoughts about the release of this app and the significance for the MCLA?

“Most importantly, the MCLA now has a presence in the mobile medium that rivals or bests what the MLL, NLL, and NCAA are doing.  This league is blazing the trail forward for lacrosse as a whole and the benefits of that are huge.  Just like MCLA.us back in 2009, version 1 dips it’s toe in the water.  Future versions will melt your brain!”

Thanks for the time Will!  Bring on the brain-melting!

I asked some pretty specific questions there about issues that immediately came to mind.  The answers I got don’t necessarily surprise me.

People are obviously going to grouse about the $0.99 fee to purchase the app.  The reason that price is there is to most likely recuperate development costs.  Shockingly, iPhone apps don’t build themselves.  I personally don’t find $0.99 offensive, and if you’ve hit Taco Bell past 1AM don’t tell me you find it offensive either, you’ve bought plenty of late night burritos to feed your drunk belly without much care for $0.99.  And if you eat your vegetables and say your prayers, who knows?  Maybe future versions will be free.

Stat entry will be a hot-button issue here.  This is what many coaches wanted.  The league-wide requirements for game score entry within one hour of game conclusion seem to beg for a quick access point, like an iPhone app.  The fact that it isn’t here tells me a couple things.  First and foremost, the backend funcitonality was not a driver behind the development of this app.  Further, it may be a logistical hurdle and provide significant security issues if the admin side of the site has an access point on an app being advertised to hundreds or thousands on iTunes.  Will makes a great point that this app is oriented around fans, and finding new ways to get the MCLA in front of more eyeballs.  For now, I’ll be chugging on 3G to load the admin side of MCLA.us in the team van on the way home from games, but I’ll live and so will you.

But what screams the loudest about this app release?  Revenue streams.  With the release of this app, the MCLA will be realizing another very real revenue stream from fans, both casual and loyal.  That’s the name of the game today people.  Even if it’s 99 cents a pop, the MCLA is bringing in cash here, and not just from rank and file players.  With advertising within the app, that adds even more.  Incremental growth upon this app’s revenue streams, coupled with the agreement with Inside Lacrosse, puts the MCLA in a position to build its revenues to offset operating costs for the present and the future.  A feasible business entity is growing.

It’s only version 1.0 of this app, but it’s beautiful and does what it says it will.  There are plenty of apps I’ve downloaded from the App Store that have delivered far less.

What do YOU think of the app?  Let us know in the comments below!

More screen shots of the app in action below:

Is there a better game to advertise the new iPhone app? Unlikely...

Players with career stats? Check!

2012 Schedules already? You betcha!

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