BY Jeff Weisinger
Senior Sports Editor
Let’s be honest, school spirit at CCNY has been at a lower point than customer satisfaction of the MTA. Nobody cares, nobody wants to care – but more importantly, nobody knows what is going on, especially when it comes to City College athletics.
And now, there’s an app for that … because why not.
The City Spirit app, brought to you by the City College athletics department and developed by Superfan U attempts to make it easier to keep up with everything that’s going on with CCNY athletics: from game schedules to all of the social media happenings.
The app aims to keep students and “fans” connected and going to games by using a points system that gives you points for checking into the various athletic events whether at home, or in the Nat Holman Gym, or on the road.
The points system puts you on a leaderboard so you can see how you rank amongst your peers, while the fan cam aims to posts pictures from “fans” social media platforms, primarily Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
While the launch of the app on Google Play and Apple’s App Store is a significant step forward as to promote CCNY athletics, something that’s desperately needed although improving, the City Spirit app aims too high in its initial launch.
In short, it’s extremely basic.
The only necessary part of the app is the event calendar which is very simple and easy to follow, marking all of the athletic programs’ upcoming events. It also allows you to add it to the calendar on your phone, so you can get reminders on whichever specific event you choose.
The awards leave a lot to be desired. Literally, a lot.
While it’s a good idea, or an attempt at it, to use a points and rewards system to get people in the stands or at games in general, the prize selection is bland. Each event notches you five points and the first “prize” is a CCNY pen/stylus worth 30 points. So, if you go to six different events, you’re eligible for a stylus. The prizes do get more interesting as you gain more points – that is if anything at City can be interesting. There’s a discount card for Subway available for 125 points and a CCNY beanie available for 150 points.
The beanie is actually the best prize available and, as expected, the highest priced one at that.
The leaderboard lets you see how many points you have compared to everyone else. So far there’s 17 people on the app – everyone has zero points. This could be a thing going forward because people love competition, however there should’ve been more ways than just going to games for people to get points, like social media tagging.
Which takes us to the biggest part of the app that City Spirit misses out on: social media.
The social media button of the app directs you to all of the recent social media posts by CCNY Athletics … only.
With a chance to get some sort of engagement as a whole, instead of creating hashtags that will show up on the social media section from students, faculty, athletes and the department itself, it’s strictly news posts from the department itself from their Twitter and Instagram accounts. The inability to get student engagement outside of just going to games is the biggest miss of the app.
The Fan Cam should, hopefully, put fans’ photos on it, but without a specific hashtag and the closed-door social media the app shows in its initial build, how are people supposed to interact and get their photos on the app?
City Spirit is another attempt by CCNY to make something that should be important relevant again, however misses the shot wide.
It’s simple, easy to use, doesn’t take up a lot of space, however way too ahead for its time. By “too ahead,” I mean there needs to be somewhat of an awareness of CCNY sports on campus first.
But, the attempt that City is using to improve attendance and overall presence is smart, modern and admirable, but poorly executed. The best fan apps on the market allow for full-user interactions, mainly through social media and this app swings and misses on several opportunities.