The announcement of a partnership between BlackBerry and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment this week was interesting from the standpoint that it's among the first to take advantage of BlackBerry's new BBM channels service.
First unveiled at the BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando, BBM channels will allow BlackBerry Messenger users to connect with specific groups such as sports teams, musicians and organizations.
According to the news release, a channel will be developed on BBM hosted by Leafs and Raptors personalities who will share exclusive information and stories with users.
Other new platforms on the BlackBerry 10 operating system are also in the works to enable the teams to connect with fans, the release noted.
It's the latest in a string a good news for BlackBerry as the Waterloo-based company gets set to release its first quarter earnings Friday morning.
The company announced that several high-profile corporations including PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada, Whirlpool Corp. and BDO Canada recently signed on to use its BlackBerry enterprise service 10 platform geared to business customers.
To date 60 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have ordered the enterprise service, BlackBerry says, and 18,000 enterprise servers have been installed worldwide.
But BlackBerry still faces an uphill climb to regain market share. According to the research firm Gartner, the company's global market share for smartphone sales by operating system fell to three per cent for the first quarter of 2013 from 6.8 per cent a year ago, good for third place, barely ahead of Microsoft.
On the plus side, BlackBerry's new suite of smartphones have only been out a short time so it's too early to measure how well they'll do over the long term.