Professional athletes and sports franchises bring in a ridiculous amount of revenue. People love to identify with their favorite sports teams or athlete. Fans fill massive stadiums to cheer on their teams and heckle their rivals.
Mobile internet access, provided by smart phones and tablet PCs, allow sports fans to stay more connected than ever before to their teams and fellow fans. Just in time for the New York City Marathon, the New York Road Runners have expanded their Mobile Spectator App. Now fans can follow the race without having to navigate the crowded course.
Throughout human history, we have consistently shown an interest in athletic competition. There are some obvious evolutionary reasons for this phenomenon. Human beings have a pretty violent history, having to survive in caves and battle great beasts in order to eat. Physical strength and stamina, along with mental strategy have been crucial for our species survival.
In our modern society, one doesn't need to be physically fit to survive, but the drive to push ourselves physically is deeply encoded in our DNA. This could be a big reason why so many people look up to athletes, as they push their mental and physical limits far beyond what is required for mere survival.
The New York City Marathon is a perfect example of extraordinary athletic achievement. The race is made up of elite and recreational runners, who've trained for months for this one event. The course includes all five boroughs in the city, and attracts more than two and a half million people wanting to catch a glimpse of these runners every year.
This year, the race will take place on November 6, and fans can access all the updates and news with the Mobile Spectator App. Just for this event, cell phone carriers, such as Verizon, will be erecting additional towers around the course to ensure that estimated 100,000 Mobile Spectator App users get their alerts on time.
The Mobile Spectator App was quite popular at last year's marathon, but many new improvements and features have been added to enhance the spectator experience. The app includes a countdown clock to the start of the race, as well as prominent leader boards for the men's, women's and wheelchair races.
Users can search for and track their favorite runners, based on team, name or number. This year's version also includes tabs that show where live music, mile markers, shops and more are located along the course.
Mobile Spectator App is free for all iPad, iPhone and Android phone users, available at the Apple store. This app was developed by the New York Road Runners along with MapMyRun.
Spectators without a smart phone or tablet can still track up to five runners for free on the Road Runner's website. Users can also access premium content, including the ability to track up to 10 non-elite runners, for a one-time fee of $2.99. The premium account also includes the ability to receive text messages, updating them on the location of their three favorite runners.