Friday, August 24, 2012

Celebrities Score With Apps

If you think all celebrities do is take home their winnings, you’re wrong — they have taken the plunge into the tech world to do more than sing and play—they are letting you do the playing…
A celebrity’s popularity is directly related to the app’s popularity. That is the newest strategy that mobile application developers in USA have lately adopted to market their apps.
By working with celebrities during the development process, developers create celebrity-centered apps. ‘Bolt!’ stars the fastest runner in the world. Two-time Olympics gold medalist Usain Bolt aka Lightning Bolt helped develop and launch the game app. It was intentionally set to coincide with his triumphant win at the London 2012 event. The game now ranks as the 25th most popular app.
Other celebrities have also previously left their imprint on the app stores. These include famed boxer’s ‘Mike Tyson: Main Event,’ Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco’s ‘Mad Chad’ and Portuguese soccer player’s ‘Heads Up with Cristiano Ronaldo.’ Companies too have invested in mobile platforms for sports and entertainment. Mobile content developer Babelgum offers free ad-based video content on iTunes through which they have recently launched a game app featuring musical band Coldplay on the iOS. The app also contains newsfeed, catalogue and contests for fans where winners get free tickets to Coldplay’s concerts.  ESPN runs their own ‘Developer Center’ to connect with other platforms. In house as well as third party developers can use their APIs to build sports apps. This open up new avenues for sports fans and celebrities to come together, just as their motto relays “Where geeks and jocks stand united.”
Another initiative involved singer/actor Jon Bon Jovi pitched in on the government’s cause to provide care to homeless veterans. The joint project Reach (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless) invited software developers to an open challenge to create “an online and web application that would provide real-time info to connect service providers who aid the homeless” from which five finalists were selected.
Why celebrities? Applications are also an excellent tool for fan engagement and celebrities consider mobile platform a way through which they can gain a wider international audience. Users prefer real-life personalities more than they do imaginary ones whom they can relate to, or pretend to be! For developers, besides successful marketing, it has opened a window of job opportunities. As one website rightly confirmed “This could be the start of a big trend on iPhone, and a big new source of income for developers.”
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