YinzCam gains huge access to college market with Learfield partnership deal

Sports stadium app developer YinzCam, the Pittsburgh-based concern that has numerous app development wins across the NFL, NBA and NHL, scored a big entree to the collegiate market with a deal that makes YinzCam the “preferred supplier” of mobile apps for Learfield Sports, the giant marketing firm that sets up media, sponsorship and promotional deals for many of the nation’s top universities.

In a press release announcing the deal, Learfield said YinzCam would become a preferred solutions provider for the nearly 100 colleges and conferences Learfield represents — a list that stretchs alphabetically from the Alabama Crimson Tide to the Xavier Musketeers — as well as for the 750 college programs that use Learfield subsidiary Sidearm Sports‘ digital production services for websites and other sports-related content.

While YinzCam has already scored several college-app development deals thanks to its NFL experience (like the recent Baylor University app and a forthcoming app for Texas A&M University), YinzCam founder and CEO Priya Narasimhan said the Learfield deal could provide a far more rapid expansion path into the university mobile-app market.

While we are working on a much deeper in-depth profile of YinzCam — coincidentally, we just finished a long (and long in planning) interview earlier this week with the always-busy Narasimhan, who provided some background information on how YinzCam has basically come from nowhere to leading the stadium mobile-app development field in its 5 years of existence. One thing we’ve always wondered about is how a 30-person company in Pittsburgh is able to develop apps for 20 NBA teams and 25 NFL teams, among its 91 customers. The secret? Automation.

According to Narasimhan, YinzCam is able to scale well because it automates most of its core app functionality — for instance, when it comes to making replays available to the mobile device, Narasimhan said a YinzCam algorithm breaks down the video feed, instead of having someone doing the task by hand. Narasimhan also said that the company uses all its clients as a kind of crowdsourcing idea pool, and quickly shares any new innovations with all existing clients. Narasimhan also said that YinzCam’s core app has “well documented third-party guidelines” for integrating outside feature-apps like ticketing and seat upgrade programs, which can then be melded into an overall YinzCam-produced team app.

One final YinzCam nugget for now:

— Where did the name come from? Narasimhan says YinzCam is a mashup of the Pittsburgh term “You ones” (a linguistic equivalent of the Southern “y’all”), which when pronounced quickly in a Pittsburgh accent sounds like “Yinz” and “camera” for the personal video the app supplies.

Stay tuned for more on YinzCam and the Learfield deal…

Fan Vision Delivers the PGA Championship to Attendees


Have you ever been to a golf tournament and you can hear the roar of the crowd after some great feat by a golfer, but you did not witness it because you are sitting at the 18th hole waiting for your favorites to play through?

Well FanVision, a company that is seeking to establish itself as a leading provider of in-venue content is offerings its technology at the tournament that is being held this week at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

The idea is simple: lease or buy a small device that features video feed from the venue, and possibly elsewhere at the same time. The handheld device supports ten channels that have the ability to provide multiple camera angles or events happened at multiple places.

It is not just a source for live video but also provides information about the event as well as providing up to date news from the tournament. The company is renting the handheld devices at the Championship on a daily basis as well as for the week. If anyone uses one there we would be interested in some feedback.

The company first came to our attention two years ago when it started pushing its technology at NFL games, but then fell off the radar as that effort appears to have fallen to the wayside. But that did not mean that the company went away- it moved into new areas including NASCAR, which seems to be a natural fit for the technology, the Indy 500 and had a relationship with Formula One but that appears to be over, which is a pity. This is an interesting approach, and I can see it appealing to fans at events such as auto racing and golf, and even horse racing.

FanVision allows Fans to follow NFL Games while in Attendence

Football fans upset with the limited or poor reception capabilities of their smartphones at football venues might want to take a look at FanVision and its mobile broadcast offerings. While currently only available in a limited number of venues the technology has the potential to save you from the frustration of using your phone as well allow you to see plays that you might have missed.

Available in only 12 NFL stadiums, as well as for Formula 1 racing and the University of Michigan football games it offers fans a number of viewing options and additional features. FanVision Entertainment, which started life as Kangaroo TV in 2003 the company claims that it has so far attended 170 live events in 20 nations including PGA and NASCAR events.

Designed for use in the stadium where the attendee is watching the game FanVision provides a handheld device that features a 4.3-inch display and it claims that it has a six hour battery life. It provides live coverage of the game with multiple camera angles, and has instant replay from multiple angles. There are also custom highlight reels as well as player and team stats and bios .It provides live audio from the local announcing team and in select out of market games it also provides the national radio feed.

There are a total of ten channels and among the other content is the NFL Red Zone, a cheerleader cam, the network telecast of the local game and live fantasy football updates. The NFL teams covered are Arizona, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Minnesota, Miami, New York Jets, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington D.C.

FanVision has developed a system that avoids the reception issue by putting the broadcast gear in the stadium with equipment at both ends of the stadium and elsewhere and claims that it can reach everywhere in the entire facility. As many fans know, despite having five bars or a strong signal does not ensure that you will be able to make a connection to a network with your phone for uploading, downloading text, email, and video or for any possible purpose.

Since it is offered at a limited number of NFL stadiums currently, and not any that I have attended in the last few year, I have not seen it in action but the premise looks solid and it gets generally positive to very positive reviews. It is not a perfect system according to the reviews but the flaws seem minor compared to the advantages that it brings and I could see buying one if I had a still had season tickets at a stadium it is offered in or rent one if available at a game I am going to attend, now I will not miss the action while in the beer line!

Rental of the devices is $19.99 per game while purchasing the device costs $199 for the remainder of the current season. The full-season price is $249.