ESPN, the preeminent source in worldwide sports, has built on its already extensive use of CalReply by releasing the ESPN Daily Calendar. The ESPN Daily Calendar is a curated calendar which is managed by ESPN's editorial staff and is updated daily to remind sports fans of the biggest events in sport across the globe.
By manually curating each event, editorial staff are able to include commentary and insights that provide context around the event taking place. Here is an example:
The editorialized reminder provides context around the seeding of each player, who is playing, where to watch and the fact that this is a historical situation.
The ESPN Daily Calendar does not only feature events that air on ESPN, but also features events that are generally popular in nature. Examples include important UFC fights, tennis match ups, Rio Olympic events, international soccer rivalries, golf tournaments and more. By taking this approach, ESPN positions themselves as the leader in sports regardless whether they are a rightsholder to the event or not.
Explosive Subscriber Growth
To drive subscribers, ESPN began featuring the Daily Calendar in-app as a pop-up overlay which has resulted in tremendous growth. Upon opening the ESPN app, a full screen takeover invites visitors to subscribe and includes an example of what a calendar reminder looks like. After a one-click opt-in, fans’ calendars are immediately populated with events and news. Here is an example:
By promoting calendars through in-app campaigns, ESPN has converted a large number of users into calendar subscribers. Additionally, the high calendar conversion rate and the value of a perpetual subscription-based methodology in CalReply nets ESPN a long-term engagement asset in the form of the ability to remind audiences of key programming directly via their native mobile calendars.
Instant Subscription via the Direct Link
One of the key drivers of subscriber growth is the flexibility of the CalReply API which allows for the creation of direct subscribe links for iOS for Android. When implemented on mobile the user experience is drastically shortened since users don't need to load an interim CalReply calendar page before subscribing. The direct link methodology has resulted in a 10x increase in subscription volume.