Chips and apps on tap for Super Bowl
Millions of American football fans will be watching the Super Bowl on television Sunday with one hand in the potato chips and the other holding a smartphone.
The "second screen" experience will be fueled by Facebook and Twitter and a host of Super Bowl-related applications for mobile devices providing everything from recipes to game statistics to re-runs of the celebrated commercials.
Sixty percent of mobile owners will check or use their devices during the showdown between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, according to a survey commissioned by mobile marketing company Velti.
And nearly half of all viewers will check or use their mobile device up to 10 times during the game, mostly during commercial breaks, according to the survey by Harris Interactive of 1,428 US adult mobile owners.
"You're looking at your phone as the second screen or your iPad as a third screen and it's not just about watching the game on TV, it becomes part of the entire experience," said Krishna Subramanian, Velti's chief marketing officer.
"People are using their mobile devices to communicate with friends, to share information and to engage with ads and TV content," Subramanian said. "They're looking at the game and going like a level deeper."
Facebook and Twitter apps will be getting a workout during Super Bowl 46, which kicks off at 6:30 pm (2330 GMT), but so will many of the other programs available in Apple's App Store or on the Android Market.
Both the Giants and the Patriots offer free apps with team and player news while the National Football League is offering a Super Bowl 46 Commemorative App for the iPad for $2.99 that promises "exclusive video" and other content.
The official Super Bowl game program is available as a free app for the iPad. Another free app, Football Connect, lets users play against other fans and earn points based on events in the live game.
For those actually going to the game, there is a free Super Bowl 46 Guide with information on restaurants, nightlife and Super Bowl events in the host city, Indianapolis, along with an interactive 3D map of the stadium.
Another free app is NFL Pro Tweets which features tweets from NFL players -- although not from any of the Giants or the Patriots, who are banned from using the service during the game.
This year's Super Bowl will be the first ever streamed live over the Internet, and there's an app for that too.
Computer users can watch the game live at NBCSports.com and mobile or tablet owners can also tune in -- provided they are customers of Verizon and download an NFL Mobile application.
Super Bowl commercials are a sport of their own and Subramanian said fans will be using their smartphones more than ever this year to engage with ads.
"In the first quarter, perhaps, you'll have a brand saying vote for your favorite flavor," he said. "So you'll have people texting in and voting and in the fourth quarter you'll actually see the results."
A Shazam app for advertisements directs smartphone users to bonus content or special offers on the web and a $1.99 Super Ads app for the iPhone offers over 200 Super Bowl commercials from 2006 to 2011 as well as the 2012 ads.
As for Subramanian, he'll be in London on Sunday -- smartphone in hand.
"I still need to figure out where to watch the game," he said. "And I'll have to stay up all night watching it."
(c) 2012 AFP