Microsoft And Nokia Pay Perform For A Mobile Soccer App

Illustrating how rival platforms are keen to attract quality apps from iOS to their stores, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) are funding online sports broadcasting powerhouse Perform Group to build an app for their Windows Phone 7 and Symbian handsets.

Perform is building an app in-house for, the soccer website it acquired earlier this year, which already has iPhone and Android apps, built by Handmark.

This flips the usual economic model for apps, in which brands fund their own development and consider app stores a welcome shopfront. And it comes despite Perform having raised £72.5 million by going public this year.

Perform is pitching the app as being “integrated” in to Symbian and Windows Phone. Microsoft and Nokia are also investing in promoting the app, which includes advertising.

“They are funding the apps build and we are building specific Windows Phone 7 features for the app, whilst they are committing to marketing spend to promote the app in multiple markets,” Perform tells paidContent.

“Then, we are looking at rolling out on to other Nokia platforms with their support – for example, in Nigeria, where Goal is huge, we will work with them on local marketing.

“We are very much integrating our content into both operating platforms – it is a mutually beneficial relationship where they are offering their customers a lot of Goal-branded football content for free and, upon building the user base, we then have a very exciting mobile ad platform.

“As a content business, we are, of course, keen to discuss other options that would mean further integrating our content into their operating platforms and developing a wider sports content related partnership.”

In 2010, Nokia bought Ovi platform exclusivity for The X Factor’s UK mobile app as part of a £1 million sponsorship deal with the ITV (LSE: ITV) show, whilst playing catch-up to iPhone.

Nokia’s Windows-powered Lumia handsets already include a version of the ESPN Sports Hub app.