There are several sports apps on the market, and most of them try to be everything to everybody, covering pretty much every angle of every sport imaginable. While a noble effort, and appealing to the greatest number of potential fans, a lot of times this ends up making the app interface a confusing labyrinth; resulting in a convoluted mess.
While there are a number of ways to track your scores and highlights, a newer option out there has come into the limelight: ClutchPoints, a sports news and tracking app, much like the big boys out there….but with one main difference.
ClutchPoints focuses only on the mainstream pro sports; and in that just the “big 3”: MLB baseball, NBA basketball, and NFL football. That’s it. No beach volleyball, cricket, or other ancillary pro and amateur sports vying for your eyeballs.
The idea seems to be, “Hey, let’s start with the popular sports apps, and pare it down to just the most mainstream sports. Then let’s freshen it up with intense colors, uber-modern layouts, and photos & videos everywhere!”. And for the most part, they hit the mark.
Opening ClutchPoints, you have a pretty modern interface, looking much like a very clean sports website (there is an established website that the app emulates). At the top you pick from your 3 sports leagues, MLB, NBA, and NFL. Within each you can also pick your favorite/primary teams to follow, to ensure these appear first and most often.
The NBA playoffs are amongst us; two months plus of non-stop pro basketball bliss for casual & hardcore fans alike. Let’s use these games as the focus for this review…
At the bottom of your screen you have several icons:
- A ball (games)
- A newspaper (news)
- A trophy (playoffs)
- A graph (team & player stats)
- A generic avatar (the social corner, using Facebook as your hub)
Starting out with games, you get what I’d call a “scrolling newspaper” effect. Each of today’s games (you can choose days by scrolling left-right-left from the top) is listed top-to-bottom in its own block. Each game shows the score (duh), plus several videos/photos/news overlays in a mini-slideshow right in the window. There’s also a button to allow you to vote on who will win, and also a comments section to talk (argue) about who’s going to win, and why.
Even More Features
Clicking on the game takes you to several more options:
- Stream (a live-blog with immediate highlights and small real-time news snippets)
- Box score (self-explanatory)
- Matchup (a mix of stats and graphs; similar to the game summary a network put on-screen coming out of halftime but updated in real-time).
- Play by Play (a time-stamped narrative of each score, rebound, timeout, etc.)
The color palette was very noticeable to me, in that in addition to a deep red-to-blue transition in the background, each block of game or news provides a contrasting color that is wonderfully organic yet contrast-y. I don’t know a better way to put it, but it’s one of the best overall uses of color I’ve ever experienced in any app, ever. ClutchPoints really nailed this aspect of their app build.
The News section is impressively updated and comprehensive at the same time. In this
section the sports are compiled by chronology, listing all the trending stories in the Big Three, with live links to tweets and other social media posts.
As a closet stat-head, the graphs tab may be my favorite. This is a scrolling list of statistical categories (scoring, assists, etc.). Under each category is the live list of that stats leaders, by team & player, scroll-able left-to-right.
Perhaps the best part about this page is the speed of this page. I could scroll up/down and left/right/left, at what almost felt simultaneous. The movement/animation is extremely smooth, and the presentation is very efficient. You get the category, team/player, and categorical stat, and that’s it. With this approach, you can plow through all kinds of categories and get your numbers fix in satisfyingly extreme speed…..sweet.
If you can’t tell by now, I’m truly & very impressed with ClutchPoints. If you’re into any combination of the Big Three pro sports leagues, you owe it to yourself to give this app a test ride. Chances are you’ll find ClutchPoint’s approach a fresh breath, and one you’ll want to hang to.