iPhone application developer Zumobi, backed by venture capital firms Oak Ventures and Hunt Ventures, recently launched their free Pro Football app. Since last Tuesday, Apple has slowly begun releasing unique apps for each of the 32 NFL teams. Yes, there's one for every team in the NFL!
Pro Football gives football fans access to all sorts of information on the go. You can check your favorite team's scores, view playing schedules, read news, and check standings. Fantasy football players will even be able to keep track of their team's players with the individual stats function.
We recently had a chat with John SanGiovanni, Co-Founder, Vice President, Product Design to chat about the Zumobi and the application.
Seems like half the people we interview are former magicians, dancers, or performers. What's your background?
JSG: My background is in user interface design. I was one of the first mobile research scientists at Microsoft.
So, you have a "little" bit of knowledge about mobile phones. Who came up with the idea?
JSG: My Co-founder Benjamin Bederson and I came up with the idea.
Who is your target audience?
JSG: We really tried to spend some time getting into the mind of sports enthusiasts.
So, NFL fans 16 to 50?
JSG: Yes, exactly.
What makes this NFL application unique?
JSG: The way we were able to make them free makes them unique. They are being driven by very expensive data fees. It's pretty comprehensive. There are iPhone banner ads in signature tiles. A brand can skin the entire application. They can create a custom branding skin.
They are able to create things that are lovingly dramatic and we're able to provide lots of spaces in between the tiles.
Which one is your favorite?
JSG: The Seahawks, the logo shows really beautifully.
Is there anything you would classify as cool about this application?
JSG: It's viral. You can tap on the Zumobi Z and forward it on to other Seahawks fans.
Tap on the gallery button and it will take you to "introduce to other users."
What is a Zumobi?
JSG: Zumobi is a mobile media company creating interactive, branded applications for the newest generation of smartphones. We're committed to delivering fresh and fun ways for you and friends to enjoy and discover a wide variety of information, entertainment, sports, and so much more on your mobile phone.
Are you all strictly an iPhone game app developer?
JSG: No, we do apps for a wide variety of devices. We are very much focused on the superphone segment - iPhone, Android, and Windows 7.
What do you think Apple could provide to app developers to make things smoother for them?
JSG: It would be nice to have more transparency in the certification pipeline. If they could offer a little more detail with an estimated promotional date that would be helpful. Another request we had was for a local in-house distribution mechanism. They listened. Now we have an ad hoc local distribution model available.
What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
JSG: I am into tracking the news and life streaming. I enjoy a blend of web-based apps and native applications like the NY Times....and widgets. I love that I have the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. The Official Obama app is pretty cool too; it separates contacts out by swing state.