The Oregon Ducks have launched their new Sports iPad app. They are one of only a handful of NCAA athletic programs that have their own custom sports iPad app.
The new app, developed in partnership with NeuLion, includes the following features:
- News – easy access to up-to-the-minute news
- Schedules & Results – keep tabs on the Ducks all season
- Rosters – check stats and player profiles
- Live Scores & Stats – follow the action anywhere you go
- Photos – browse exciting photos
- On-Demand Video – watch exclusive highlights and clips
- Live Audio – follow all of the live audio action
Oregon Ducks Sports iPad App Interview – Ryan Therrell – Director, Internet Management
Sports Networker authors Katrina Galas and Mitzi Ing interviewed Ryan Therrell – Director, Internet Management (University of Oregon) about the new Oregon Ducks sports iPad app. Watch as Ryan walks them through all of the new features. He also takes time to discuss other ways that technology is being used to help improve athlete performance, coaching and fan experience at the University of Oregon.
What do you think of the new Oregon Ducks Sports iPad app? Are there other Sports iPad Apps out there that you think are better?
Oregon Ducks Sports iPhone App Overview
Ryan also took some time to tell us about the Oregon Ducks iPhone App.
Oregon Ducks Sports iPad App Interview – Transcription
So we’ve just released the Oregon Ducks iPad application and we tried to combine all of our media presence on here so instead of just coming in and getting the news the first screen that you get combines our videos, our news, any new photo galleries we published and our most recent Twitter feeds as well. So it’s kind of a one stop shop for anything that’s happening in Oregon athletics.
The other really cool thing we have is all of our video archives right here. So we do a lot of post game interviews and pre game interviews; this is all from volleyball, we can go and see what coach Kelly had to say after practice. And of course you can tilt it sideways and go full screen. It’s a really great application.
Then you can go to our schedules page and you can actually watch live events on the iPad. So this is an extra benefit for our O-Zone members where you can see the live events and then OnDemand we also create condensed games. So you can watch every play of the football game but it only takes 45 minutes because all the time in between plays has been cut out for you.
We have the scores of all of our recent events and I can go in and actually see the stats from the basketball game by team, by player, I can get the whole play-by-play of the game. It’s pretty amazing.
Does this all populate off the Duck’s Web site?
This all pulls off of GoDucks.com. Anything that we have pushed up there comes here as well. Of course this is a form factor made for the iPad so it’s at a higher quality and everything just designed for this screen.
Another feature I really like is our rosters. Let’s say I’ll go in and want the football roster. You’re at home watching the game and you don’t know who a player is? Well you can come up here and you’ll get to see their head shot as it loads I’ll show you all about it.
Technology never works when you want it to right?
There you go. So you go through and you say “OK, well who is Kiko Alonso?” You can click on him and it will pull up his bio and I can scroll and kind of read all about him pretty easily right on here. So again this is for all of our sports.
And then we also have the photo galleries which are pretty cool. So after a lot of events we build photo galleries and I can go in and actually scroll through to see all of the great photos from the game.
So we think this is a pretty impressive offering in a college space. We’re not the first but one of the first to have a true iPad app. Again the great thing about the iPad app that we haven’t been able to do before is give it the mobile live streaming. We have live audio streaming on our android and iPhone apps but the iPad app actually finally gets that live video streaming out to our fans. We think folks will be really excited about it and it literally got put in the store this Thursday and we’re still testing and figuring out a few things so we have yet to do our first live broadcast but probably Saturday we’ll have our first live broadcast.
And it will be the volleyball game not the football game because ABC owns all the rights. That’s the worst part about a lot of what we do. When, according to Pac-12 contracts, anytime big TV buys up a game, and that’s across any sport, they have all live rights to that. So ESPN, ABC and Fox all own the live rights so we can’t stream it but for any sport other than football not all of our games are televised or they’re on Comcast SportsNet South West and we’re allowed to stream that. So we’re gonna show over 30 basketball games live online with the iPad and through our O-Zone service. Almost all of our softball games, baseball games, we’re going to put all kinds of stuff online. It’s pretty fun and allows fans all over the world to keep up with the Ducks.
Do you post games on there post game?
Yeah. We archive all the games. So you can actually watch all of the games OnDemand. For the “big 4” I’ll call them; football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball; we also build a condensed game. So again it’s that shortened version of game where you pretty much watch the whole game but the time in between is cut out. We also build highlight packages for those games. It’s pretty cool stuff we just started doing a year, year and a half ago.
Have you integrated much with coaches in terms of training and video replays for analysis purposes?
Well the teams all have their own video systems and for football, what the basketball programs have and even softball and baseball; what they have for video analysis is mind-blowing. They literally have people there every play during the live event deciding that’s a sweep to the left or a run to the right or a run up the middle or a pass down the middle and long pass or short pass. They categorize everything and then the coaches get back and they say, “I want to see all running plays to the right side of the field,” and boom, they’re all brought up. The stuff that they do video wise is phenomenal. Coach Westhead comes in and says “I want to see every three-pointer on the left side of the court,” boom, they’re all there. So they can literally watch every type of play and that stuff that they do is phenomenal on their end. What we do is more for the fans not for the teams but that was a good question.
So how recent is that kind of technology? That they can pull up all of that game information?
That’s a good question. That video space has really been improving dramatically over the years. I’ve only been in the collegiate space now for 4 years so I don’t truly know what was here before I got here. The football programs, because of the money involved with football programs and the NFL and everything, that space was pretty well populated I think with quality product offerings and is only getting better.
It’s the other sports where programs are getting better and better. Our softball and baseball teams have four cameras around the field – one behind home plate, one on each dugout and one behind the outfield. So you can take a swing from that batter and review it with them and say, “from four different angles here’s exactly what you did.” Here are your hips coming through, here are your hands; it’s phenomenal the stuff that they can do with these new programs.
So you have no excuse not to improve.
Right, right. It really helps out.
Or at least to know what the problem is right. That you need to improve on.
Right. And often, even though you think you know what the coach is talking about, when you see it on a screen it’s a night and day difference so I think the teams have really enjoyed that. Those were installed maybe just two years ago so that’s new for us here at Oregon.
I have to ask because I’m always curious and I never know who to ask these questions to. The digital yardage in football that comes up under the players feet, is that based off of a sensor that’s underneath the field or how does that actually work?
So there’s a team, and they’re actually from our media services department, that is up in the press box. They sit down and almost replay everything; they have a little TiVo running there and so they’ll rewind every single play and try to get everything accurate through the whole game. They’re running all the live stats up there and trying to record all the stats. And that’s how we also build out all of the stats that you get at the end of every game. They really try to get all of the calls right; no matter what the call was up in the booth where they announce on the field, “seven yard run,” well maybe it went down as a six or an eight yard run. But it’s that group that it working throughout the game.
And then technically how does it actually show up?
Over on the football broadcast?
Well that’s not something we do, that’s something the TV trucks do. That technology typically takes a whole second truck to do a lot of the cool stuff, all of the on-field graphics. It’s all computer algorithms and they figure out that’s a player not the grass so they have to be running on top of that yellow line or all that stuff. Outside of Autzen probably two days before a game you’ll see a big trailer show up there, one of those super long semi-trucks, and then you’ll see another show up the next day. Those are actually the video trucks that plug into our system and we have another truck that runs Duck Vision, our big video board out there so we can do a lot of the cool graphics on that as well. The horse-power it takes to do all of that stuff is mind-blowing. But then their truck is plugged into our live stat system so they don’t have to reproduce the stats themselves they pull that feed in. The video board can, from our stats feed, pull the live stats in as well and that’s how you get to see yards per carry and all that stuff right on the video board.
In the past you just had to have a graphics person saying, “What graphic do you want in a few minutes? I’m going to bang that out.” Well now it’s all integrated through a database and, for example, in baseball games out stats change every at-bat on the board because every time through that order is updated through the system. That’s new for us with baseball; of course we didn’t have a baseball facility before that. Now with the video board at Matthew Knight Arena, same sort of thing. All of the stats are live, pulled off of this one feed, so one person is there making sure all of it is right and then it’s distributed out to whomever is actually going to put it up. Yeah, kinda crazy.