Mobile Technology

SPL Mobile Marketing League Tables

13th February 2013

Commiserations to Celtic last night. The team were unlucky given some questionable refereeing decisions and some even dodgier Italian defending. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, Celtic FC have come out on top in our SPL mobile marketing league table. Congratulations to Celtic FC! We’ve put together a league table for the SPL, highlighting the mobile marketing winners of 2013. The league table judges all of the teams in the SPL based upon the breadth of their mobile marketing efforts across a variety of web based and mobile platforms. Each team has been allocated an individual points score – based upon the existence of an official website, the responsiveness of the website across mobile devices, an iPhone app, an iPad app and a Google Android app. Unofficial apps not endorsed by SPL clubs have not been included in the league table.


Mobile responsiveness scoring has been judged according to specific criteria. Websites that are fully mobile responsive have been altered comprehensively in layout and overall form to provide a better browsing experience via devices such as iPhone and Google Android. Astonishingly none of the SPL clubs has adopted a fully comprehensive mobile responsive layout for mobile. A handful of the websites have undergone minor modifications to enhance a mobile browsing experience. In other words, the clubs’ websites look great on desktop devices and PC’s, but not on mobile. As traditional desktop users are increasingly consuming content via mobile, it’s important Scotland’s clubs keep fans up-to-speed via mobile devices.

Overall Celtic FC come out on top. This is perhaps unsurprising given the clubs global audience reach and the decisive factor – they are the only club in the SPL to have an official app for Android. A handful of other clubs come in joint second place including Dundee United, Kilmarnock, Hearts, Hibs, and Aberdeen. These clubs have apps developed for iOS which enable iPhone and iPad owners to download the apps. In increasingly uncertain economic times, clubs in the SPL must look to mobile devices to engage supporters and generate much needed new streams of revenue.

The price of applications varies depending upon the club and the developer, most range between £2.99 and £4.99. The SPL club apps are available via iPhone, iPad and Google Android mobile devices. These creative collaborations between clubs and app developers can help bring additional revenue into the game, as existing supporters and ex-pats seek to keep in tune with the latest activity of their favorite SPL clubs. In some instances, SPL clubs have negotiated deals with app developers in Scotland to make sure they get a share of the revenue.

Throughout Scotland, a handful of app developers create the technology for free and agree to split the additional revenue with the club. This is great for smaller clubs who do not have the cash flow to permit paying for up-front development costs. Usually an app of this nature can equate to the cost of a car. So anywhere between £5k and £50k (Excl. VAT) per platform depending upon the scope, design fidelity and complexity of each app.

So for a larger club with an international audience such as Celtic FC, it actually makes more financial sense to pay a small fee to cover development costs and retain 100% of the revenue created from sales of the app across iPhone, iPad and Google Android. It’s interesting to compare the table with the actual SPL league table. Perhaps the teams who have invested in mobile marketing efforts are more successful. Maybe these teams are successful because they have invested in a strong presence in mobile. What’s clear is that Scotland’s clubs have an opportunity through mobile apps and responsive design to create deeper levels of engagement with supporters. In turn, these channels can be used to monetise engagement with supporters, through the revenue derived from app sales, web subscriptions and in-app purchases.

It is worth noting that many of the teams have apps that are developed unofficially by supporters. Increasingly as mobile app development becomes more accessible, there are opportunities for budding entrepreneurs and aspiring app developers to create their own apps for SPL clubs. Perhaps in some cases, apps that are designed by the fans, for the fans, can by nature offer a more viable product in terms of the latest content and news.

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