Photo via WWE
The WWE released their official app for iOS and Android, and let me just say that it is shockingly good. I would even venture to say that it is sort of beautiful. The design is minimalist, the layout simple to navigate, and everything is exactly where you expect it to be.
It manages to merge their top stories, WWE.com articles, photos, videos, and social media all into one easy to handle delivery system. There's no unnecessary clutter, no digging to find out information, nothing between you and the content you want.
Who in the blue hell designed this thing?
Well it is powered by Bottle Rocket Apps, who have also designed apps for TNT, National Public Radio, and the X Factor among many others. Anyone who has used one of their apps (and you most likely have at some point in time) knows they have a penchant for simplicity.
And the official WWE app fits into that mold.
It is divided up into three main sections: A main page (or "Breaking News" for the phone version), Raw and SmackDown. From there you can read the latest WWE.com articles, watch videos and Touts from your favorite WWE Superstars, and swipe through collections of photos.
A Twitter stream is ever present, showing you Tweets from both wrestlers and fans, along with a calendar marking the next WWE show. You can buy tickets, along with merchandise, directly from the app itself.
It really is a great app for the WWE to put their name on. The only question becomes why did it take so long for them to make it?
For a company that has spent so much time pushing their "social media presence," the lack of an official app is unforgivable. The Apple App Store launched in 2008. This isn't a new fad that is going to disappear anytime soon. It is, for a large majority of Americans, the way we consume content now. The WWE can focus on Twitter and Tout all they want. But without anything tangible all it adds up to is a bunch of corporate buzzwords and pissed off fans.
WWE hired Perkins Miller as Executive Vice President of Digital Media on August 9. The official WWE app was released less than two weeks later. While it is possible this was in the works before his hire, I personally don't think it was a coincidence. It's not much of a stretch to see him walking in, stripping WWE.com to its bones, and making sure it's on mobile devices.
The best part is that they can actually make money off of it. You see that there's a live event coming in your area? Let's buy some tickets to it, and why not grab a t-shirt from your favorite wrestler while you're at it. Do you spend a lot of time checking out The Rock's profile? Up comes an ad for GI Joe: Retaliation.
Maybe you are part of the WWE's younger audience and enjoy looking at Sheamus' page. Well, the app should be able to tell the difference and direct you to the Scooby Doo movie they are working on.
This is direct marketing at it's finest.
I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg for the WWE. Miller was the Head of Digital Media for NBC Olympics, and was a part of the 2008 and 2010 Olympics' online and mobile success. On top of that, he oversaw the first ever live stream of an NFL game. This seems like a man who knows what he is doing. With the WWE simply paying lip service to their online presence over the past few years, this is a chance for a new beginning.
It's exciting to think of the possibilities that could be coming down the pipe.