ESPN's latest iPhone apps have a local angle

ESPN bills itself as the “Worldwide Leader in Sports.” With a recent spate iPhone app releases, it looks like the Disney-owned cable sports channel plans on conquering the world one city at a time.

ESPNLos Angeles.com is one of five city-specific iPhone apps released by the cable sports giant.

In the past few weeks, ESPN has rolled out a series of localized sports apps, targeting specific cities—New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and Boston. It’s no coincidence ESPN came out with apps focusing on those five cities—they’re the same ones with their own dedicated subsites at ESPN.com.

The five apps, all available as free downloads, offer localized news, information about hometown teams, and a customizable SportsCenter feature. Users also get access to writers and bloggers who cover the local sports scene. The localization extends to included stadium guides for nearby sports teams, weather updates tied to your location, and the ability to send text messages to ESPN’s radio stations in the corresponding city.

Over the weekend, ESPN also rolled out its free ESPN Passport offering. Sports fans can use the app to track the games they attend, uploading photos, seat locations, and comments that you can share through ESPN, Facebook, and Twitter.

The app also takes a location-based page out of Foursquare’s book by allowing users to “check in” at sporting events. A leaderboard will track which fans have attended the most games, as ESPN Passport users vie to move up in the rankings.

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