As part of my civilian job with a Winnipeg marketing company, I keep a keen eye on all things web. My world is surrounded by social media and smartphones, to the point where I’ve considered putting up a poster of Steve Jobs in my office.
So as you can imagine it was a bit startling when, seemingly out of nowhere, the Winnipeg Jets announced the launch of their new app yesterday. It caught many Winnipeggers by surprised, who instantly flocked to the iTunes Store and picked up the new free toy. (As of 6:00am central, the app was rated #15 in the free section in iTunes; I presume this is local but I put nothing past the hoardes of ex-pats across Canada.)
Released by MTS Inc., the app is surprisingly solid. As soon as you login for the first time, it queries you on your favourite Jets player and subsequently devotes feature space on the front page to said personality. There’s also, upfront, a listing of the latest score, a scroll of Jets headlines and links to news, videos and the Jets schedule. Other features include standings, statistics, ticket information and even a “fan noise” meter.
On first go, the Jets app looks pretty good, but there are definitely a couple spots for improvement:
1> Social media integration – Some of my favorite apps allow me to not only view information, but connect up with the individuals within. Putting a hyperlink to a player’s Twitter account, for example, should be an easy program, and a little advanced work should get you going on Pinterest.
2> Insider player appearance news – Okay, it’s not like the Jets are exactly short on fans for special appearances (witness the two-hour wait to meet Dustin Byfuglien at a local Shoppers this past Sunday), but having, say, Andrew Ladd at the Jets Gear store for an app-user exclusive would be an interesting wrinkle.
3> Location information – Let’s say I’m out of luck for tickets for the upcoming Jets game but still want to watch the game with other shinny fans. A quick integration with Google Maps could signal me on what local pub or eatery will let me know where I can watch the game (great added bonus for the club’s various partners).
Of course, like so many other apps, the good news is that there are inevitably going to be updates to come; so let’s see what the Jets app developers cook up next.
Have a suggestion for what you’d like to see next from the Winnipeg Jets app? Leave your comments below!
Jon Waldman has written about hockey for several publications over his decade-long journalism career, including The Hockey News, The Toronto Sun and Winnipeg Men Magazine. A graduate of Ryerson University’s journalism program, Jon is working on his first book on the history of hockey, to go along with two other books he has published since 2009.