NHL skates into mobile space with WAP version of its site

Just in time for the 2009 Stanley Cup Play­offs, which began last week, the National Hockey League (NHL) has debuted a new mobile WAP site to reach fans on the go.

The new site ? an ad-backed publish­ing site supported by mobile ad network Quattro Wireless ? is a mobile version of NHL.com that has been reformatted for the mobile phone with some special mobile-exclusive features.

“The foundation of our NHL mobile strat­egy is to develop the best creative means to engage the hockey fan,” said Larry Gelfand, SVP of media sales at the NHL, in an e-mail to DMNews. “Because the mobile Web is accelerating at such an exciting pace, we committed the resources to build a feature-rich WAP site that automatically configures to the various types of mobile phones.”

Like the online site, the WAP site features news, and information such as statistics, photos, standings, schedules, scores and NHL headlines. The mobile site incorpo­rates a dynamic feed process, which keeps the stats updated in real time.

It also features a special personalization tool, MyNHL, through which fans can set their favorite team or player’s stats to show up on the homepage.

The NHL will work with Quattro’s Ad Sales and Ad Network to help build their mobile business via the mobile Web and in concert with the NHL’s text messaging partner, Telescope.

“It is designed to first and foremost help fans interact with all of the great content on NHL.com,” said Lars Albright, SVP of business development at Quattro Wireless. “Secondly, it is also an ad supported site, so it can help NHL.com generate revenue.”

The site will be live in the US, as well as globally. Bell Canada subscribers, in an exclusive arrangement with the NHL, also have exclusive access to audio and video components of the site.

“The NHL is expanding its fan base across the world, and we’ve mapped devices internationally to adapt content to conform to NHL.com, to the mobile Web for this global audience,” Albright said.

To promote the new mobile site, NHL.com is running promotions on its Web homepage, which links to a full-page micro­site. They also are using integrated online marketing and SMS messages to cross promote. In addition, mobile banner ads are running across the Quattro Wireless network promoting the new NHL site. All of the marketing drives people back to the mobile WAP site.

The NHL joins Quattro’s sports publisher roster of sports organizations already a part of the Quattro Mobile Ad Network, includ­ing NFL.com, CBS Sportsline, TSN.com, CNET, Fox Interactive and Univision.

“Sports content is very popular on the mobile phone,” said Albright. “It’s one of those things that is very dynamic. Scores and news change very quickly, so it makes sense for consumers to use the device to check in on their favorite teams while they are on the go.”

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