BYU launched a new app called “BYU Gameday” at the season opener against the University of California, Berkeley on Sept. 8. The app was developed to enhance the fan experience at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Brandon Alletto, BYU athletics corporate sponsorships senior account executive, listed the app’s features when discussing what the app had to offer BYU fans. It allows access to instant replays, player and game stats, player bios, social media integration, radio broadcasts, a stadium map, fan games, Cougar Club donations, food ordering for pick up and BYU Store merchandise ordering for seat delivery.
Alletto said he met Greg Pesci, founder and CEO of Pesci Sports, a few years ago and began discussing and making plans to create the app. They used available Wi-Fi to test the app at football and basketball games for two years, and Alletto later explained that the process has been a team effort.
“Pesci Sports has been a true partner with BYU sports through this whole process, and it’s been a pleasure to work with them,” Alletto said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did on Saturday night,” referring to the app launch.
The app is designed to exclusively work at home football games in LaVell Edwards Stadium, functioning “hand-in-hand” with the newly installed Wi-Fi system. Alletto mentioned the Wi-Fi’s extensive cost and explained that other universities don’t have Wi-Fi or a game day app, let alone both.
“BYU is cutting edge when it comes to the BYU Gameday app and connectivity,” he said. “We want Cougar Nation to recognize and appreciate all of the features of the Gameday app with the connectivity of the Wi-Fi.”
Alletto said when planning these two projects, BYU decided a game day app could help them monetize the Wi-Fi to make it worth its cost, helping the investment make more sense on paper. However, the main focus for the app was always on gameday fans.
“We are trying to enhance the in-stadium experience as much as we can,” Alletto said. “To an extent, we are competing with the at-home experience.”
Alletto mentioned the comfort and convenience fans can experience while watching from their own couches and emphasized the luxuries of pausing and rewinding games and having food at fans’ fingertips at home. He explained that BYU wanted to combat these comforts to encourage in-stadium attendance, resulting in the inclusion of the instant replays, live stats and food ordering features on the BYU Gameday app.
“I think, for the most part, there was a positive feedback,” said David Almodova, assistant athletic director and director of marketing and promotions, when discussing the launch on Sept. 8. “A lot of people loved the express pick up through concessions.”
Fans can use the app to order concessions from the comfort of their seats and pick it up in an express lane limited to app users only. This is a key aspect of the app to bring some home-style comfort to the stadium.
“We want to encourage attendance at games by enhancing the fan experience with the app,” Alletto said.
Another way the app is enriching the in-stadium experience for fans is through the fan games feature, facilitated by Anna Killpack, BYU athletics marketing coordinator. Killpack explained that fans login with their section number to play trivia and shuffle games for prizes.
“I hope fans are using it, and I hope they’re taking advantage of it,” Killpack said. “There has been a lot of time and a lot of effort put into it, and so I hope it’s something that’s enhancing their game day and that they are finding it useful.”
Pesci explained that there have been discussions about making some of the features available during the week in between games, like the replays and stats, but that it’s still early in the process. He emphasized his company’s devotion to collaborating with BYU to make their desires a reality.
“There’s always room for improvement, and we are focused on that,” Pesci said. “We are excited for Cougar Nation to participate in that process, and we are committed to making it better and better.”