How Sports Teams Are Bringing Stories to Life in Their Mobile App

Executing an effective digital strategy has never been more important – and nowhere is that more apparent as of late, than mobile.

The recent pandemic has emphasized the importance of effective digital and mobile content due to limited capacity in stadiums. Teams recognized that they needed to rework their fan engagement strategy to present new and unique ways to interact with their loyal supporters. With the help of mobile, fans were able to engage with their favorite teams and players despite the inability to attend games live.

One popular feature that teams have turned to is real-time story-style content. Teams have utilized this form of storytelling to showcase behind-the-scenes images/videos to their fans.

How have mobile apps become the next destination for story telling?

As it has become increasingly difficult to break through the excessive clutter on social media, mobile apps have presented sports teams with an opportunity to create memorable, team-focused content.

Utilizing the Judo platform, teams have taken advantage of the successful story-like campaigns that they have launched on various social channels. By creating story-like content in an owned platform like a team’s mobile app, they have been able to engage with fans through one of their most valued channels. Through their mobile app, teams have delivered incredible experiences in a distraction-free space, while ensuring more fans have the opportunity to engage with this content and their team sponsors.

A great example of this can be seen with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who published incredible GameDay+ content in their mobile app this season. The GameDay+ section included a variety of Judo-powered fan engagement campaigns including trivia, wallpaper downloads, curated playlists, and so much more.

In addition, the Cavs utilized story-like activations, showcasing their player walk-ins/arrivals, warm ups, and photo galleries – each featuring a unique sponsor and design.

“Recognizing how our fans love consuming our player walk-in photos on Instagram, we wanted to provide them with even more ways to enjoy that content where, when, and how they want. That’s part of the reason we included these highly-engaged tap-through mobile experiences via Judo in our GameDay+ section of the Cavs app. It has kept fans regularly coming back for more.”
– Georgia Sapounas, Cavaliers’ Director, Digital Products & Innovation

Chiefs Turn to Stories for Super Bowl Sunday


Another advantage of utilizing these story-like templates through Judo is that teams are provided with unlimited design flexibility for their campaigns. This provides teams with endless opportunities to highlight their unique content and their sponsors in a seamless fashion.

This focus on design and branding can be seen in the Kansas City Chiefs mobile stories that were launched for Super Bowl LV. These stories were decked out in Chiefs red and gold while simultaneously highlighting the Super Bowl brand.

For this campaign, the Chiefs showcased 25 of their players departing Kansas City for Tampa Bay. Presenting their beloved stars in off-field clothes, the team was able to create an authentic connection between fans and their favorite players, all while creating excitement for the game to come. This activation presents an opportunity for teams to promote their travel partners.

Chicago Becomes “Bullish” on Stories Too

Another team that has taken mobile stories to the next level are the Chicago Bulls. This past season, the Bulls created a “Virtual Home Court” campaign that provided fans with an elaborate behind-the-scenes game day experience. The virtual campaign included stories of crucial game content, real-time player arrivals, footage from the pre-game shootaround and unique games/activations for fans of all ages.


One of the best aspects of their use of stories is how they tied sponsors to their different activations in a way that made sense for both their fans and their partners. The Bulls posted behind the scenes images of their Mascot Benny around the stadium promoting one of their biggest partners, Jewel Osco.

This unique content was enjoyed by fans of all ages and offered a different perspective into the game – and the stadium – that fans would normally not be able to receive.

Raiders “Draft” Up Awesome Mobile Story

The opportunities for this method of storytelling are endless. For instance, the Las Vegas Raiders recently utilized stories to showcase their 2021 first-round draft pick, Alex Leatherwood.

The experience highlighted behind-the-scenes images of their new Offensive Tackle as he stepped into Raiders HQ for the first time. Fans were presented with the ability to meet their newest pick and develop a stronger connection through this mobile campaign.


The team did a tremendous job with the design of this mobile experience, as they highlighted the Raiders’ black and silver branding throughout and included strong parallax effects that showcased Raiders Allegiant Stadium.

Additionally, much like other storytelling platforms, the Raiders were able to use the Judo platform to seamlessly include links to other parts of their app and external website. For instance, many of their screens included a button with a link for fans to be the first to pre-order Leatherwood’s Raiders jersey, while other screens linked to their app page showcasing how the 2022 NFL Draft would be held in Las Vegas.

Storytelling Primed for Success on Mobile

In a digital world of excessive social media noise, mobile apps have become the next marketing vehicle that brands should be using to deliver behind-the-scenes stories, while amplifying brand engagement. This approach keeps their users in the data rich, owned ecosystem that is their mobile app, rather than taking them off platform to third party social networks.

Thanks to these interactive storytelling campaigns, fans at home are able to utilize mobile to get more than just team box scores and player updates from their favorite teams, but instead an enhanced fan experience like never before.

The seamless integration of stories has increased mobile engagement for teams, their partnered promotions, contests and more with help from the Judo platform – allowing teams to create personalized content without disrupting the fan experience. That’s one story that certainly has a happy ending.

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