Arsenal release match day programme on the iPad

Arsenal have taken a huge step for Digital Football with the development of an iPad app for their matchday programme. The app is available in the App Store and the first issue is free so that ‘Gooners’ can get a taste for the slick digital programme.

The traditional matchday programme has been a staple tradition in the football experience, and still today this is a key aspect of fan engagement. The managers pre-match comments allow a dialogue between manager and fan without media interference,  match reports from the youth academy raise the profile of potential young superstars and player interviews provide some insight into the training, lifestyle and opinions of professional athletes.

With all this mind, has been fortunate enough to ask Ben Ladkin of the Arsenal Digital team a few questions about the development of the app and why football fans should take notice:

How long has it taken to go from concept to completion for the app?

“We kicked off the project in earnest at the start of the year so it took 8 months to choose a development tool and then put in everything in place to launch the app.”

What was the reasoning behind launching the digital app?

“The matchday programme is an iconic part of the matchday experience and we realised that it was something the vast majority of our fanbase was missing out on.  So, leveraging the iPad’s potential to serve long form content and its scope for interactivity, we saw opportunities both to bring the matchday programme to fans around the world and also to enhance it for the iPad platform.”

What’s part of the iPad programme app is the most impressive feature – what’s the selling point why all Arsenal fans should download it?

“Rather than simply reproduce the matchday programme on iPad, we decided to make the most of the iPad’s functionality and have added various layers of interactivity – the digital version includes video, browsable photo galleries and a range of interactive graphics.  We think this gives it a strong identity and provides added value to fans as it plays to the iPad’s strengths.  Also it is available early – at midnight before an afternoon kick-off and midday before an evening kick off – so fans can start to enjoy match build-up well ahead of kick off.”

How many downloads has the Arsenal iPad programme app had so far?

“We’ve had over 20,000 downloads so far and already we’ve seen good numbers of subscriptions following the first free issue. We will be promoting the subscriptions heavily before the next home game and hope to get a good regular audience who will look out for it on every home match.”

Our thanks goes to Ben for taking the time to answer our questions and provide us with some valuable insight from one of the world’s largest football teams.

Sean Walsh

Founder of and leading Football Social Media expert.

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