Alumnus leads development of MU Gameday football app
Mizzou football fans: Get ready for a new interactive gameday experience.
Tyten Teegarden, who earned his bachelor’s in information technology in 2010, and four convergence journalism students began work on an MU Gameday app last semester, with the goal of being ready to go by kickoff of Missouri’s 2014 season and home opener on Aug. 30 against South Dakota State.
The app, slated for Apple’s iOS operating system, will enrich the game experience by providing instant access to pertinent and customizable Twitter feeds from a pool provided by the MU athletic department, allowing for easy access to additional commentary or stats pertaining to the game. The app will have a map feature, which will allow users to share their location within the stadium or in the nearby parking lots. This will make meeting up with friends for tailgating much easier and will aid in finding restrooms, concession stands and other in-stadium amenities.
The MU athletic department approached Teegarden with the idea, and convergence journalism students Mal Ensor, Jared Jeffries, Claire Murphy and Annie Trout joined the team for the Fall 2013 semester as their senior capstone project. The goal was a more user-friendly, unique app.
“They wanted to see what could be done in the space of a gameday app,” said Teegarden, lead developer and lab manager of the Microsoft Application Development Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at MU. “I think some other universities had taken a stab at it, and if I remember right, most of the gameday apps were kind of canned or white-boxed apps that were like ‘one app fits all’ for all schools, and Mizzou wanted one that was custom to here.”
Surveys, meetings with the athletic department and additional research helped Teegarden and the team whittle down what feasible features fans wanted and development began. The resulting app was tested at the annual Black & Gold spring football game on April 19, a game attended by 23,121 Mizzou fans. The early rollout allowed Teegarden and the team to take an early look at how the app would fare given the heavy workload on the area’s cellular towers as well as allow them to discover what else might need fixing before the regular season starts.
“We’re still working through the information, but we know what we need to fix. We have a whole list of bug reports to work through,” Teegarden said.
Though there’s still work to be done, Teegarden said he can’t wait for the rollout in August. And with interest in Mizzou football riding high after a 12-2 season and an SEC East Division title last season, the timing could be perfect.
“I always am excited whenever we launch an app,” he said. “Usually several months of work goes into these things.”