New app provides fans ‘front row’ seat to Emerson athletics

by Libby Sweeney / Beacon Correspondent • October 19, 2016

Emerson's athletics app showcases the latest news.
screenshot
Emerson's athletics app showcases the latest news.
screenshot

Emerson Athletics is always trying to compete with other collegiate athletic programs, and now it has an app for just that.

The college released an app called “Emerson Lions Front Row” at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, and gave it a major push over the summer. It provides news, stats, and scores for all Emerson sports.

Matt Ulrich, athletics’ director of media relations and game operations, said the department wanted the app to broaden student access to Emerson athletics, and it is available for both iPhone and Android users.

The app was created through a company called Presto, which also distributes the app to other colleges’ athletic programs.

“Presto had already developed the app, so they skinned it for us and pull the content from the website,” Ulrich said. “We just had to say, ‘Yes, we want it,’ and they added [it] to the contract. We don’t have any control over extra features; it’s all down to Presto.”

Ulrich said that while it’s handy to not worry about making the app itself, he wishes he had the ability to have more content available on it.

“One thing I’d like to see is being able to pull up rosters on it, so coaches can be checking rosters; players can be checking their stats that way,” Ulrich said. “Right now they don’t want rosters up [because of] privacy concerns, even though it’s on the website. I don’t know why, but I hope they will add that. They have to refine the app to make it run better.”

He also said that the live stats don’t load as quickly as they should, and that the notifications for in-game action are currently not working.

The goal of the app, Ulrich said, is to expand the fan base and put forth information on the athletics.

“We just hope it’s something that, as we build up the fan base and we get the name of the athletics more out there in the Emerson community, and as people are getting excited about coming to college, they’re hopefully downloading the Emerson College app and hopefully downloading our app as well,” Ulrich said.

To him, it’s all about accessibility.

“[The app] just makes [the students and parents] feel a little more connected to the games, [and] gives them an easy place to go for schedules without having a calendar or anything like that,” Ulrich said. “[We] just really hope people are using it to follow the teams, pull up articles … it’s just one more outlet so people will be able to follow our sports easily.”