Website of a sports club is one of the most important sources of reliable and up-to-date information for its fans, followers, experts and journalists. What are the key features of a successful sports club website? How should it be built? What type of content has to be included to make it attractive and engaging? Let’s find out with STATSCORE!
What do you need to start building a website for a sports club?
Buy hosting for your sports website and name your website
The first thing you need to focus on when starting your sports website is hosting. To put it simply, your sports club website will need some space on the Internet, which means it will need to be hosted on a webserver to which your fans and users will be able to connect.
So what you need to do is to use services of a hosting provider form whom you can purchase a hosting package. Make sure that you’re selecting a reliable company, which will ensure that your website is always accessible. In fact, you should look for providers that are offering a “100% network uptime guarantee” (though in reality, every provider may experience some issues sometimes). It could also be a good idea to learn more about the support offered by different providers. In below video you will get some basic tips.
The next step is the choice of a name for your website. Here, the simplest ideas are likely the best ones – you should, obviously, consider using your club’s name here (or possibly its nickname, if it’s very popular among fans). If the name you want to use is already taken, you should try using different combinations or abbreviations. Or… maybe you’ll come up with something more creative. Still, it’s important to make the website address easy to remember.
Create the structure of your website
What makes website users unhappy about many of their online experiences? One of the aspects that can discourage them from visiting are difficulties in quickly finding the content they are looking for. How can you avoid it?
Well, we all understand that a football manager needs to make crucial decisions on players positions on the field and properly set up the team before the team starts playing. It’s almost the same with a website: before it starts working, you need to provide a clear and intuitive structure. The importance of providing your users comfortable with an easy-to-understand website structure cannot be overestimated.
This means you need to decide how many subpages your website is going to have, how they will be named, and what their addresses will be. Create a well-designed site structure in which each piece of content belongs to its relevant place.
Think about building easily-accessible spaces for video content, pictures, or sections for different teams and sports disciplines within the club. Always try to make it as simple and intuitive as possible for your future users!
Here you can find some useful tips and ideas:
Use a Content Management System on your sports website
In order to be able to properly manage your website and edit its contents, you will need to employ a good content management system and install all the necessary plugins.
The contents on a sports club website need to be updated on a regular basis to provide fans and followers with all the latest news and data, not to mention the latest pictures and video materials. That’s why it’s crucial to use a reliable and intuitive CMS that will allow you to easily edit, publish, update and optimize your website contents.
There are hundreds of Content Management Systems in the market, such as WordPress, which is by far the most popular one at the moment with nearly 75 million websites using it! What’s important, WordPress offers tons of themes and plugins for sports clubs and organizations, including SportsPress, JoomSport, Sports Club Management. It can also be easily integrated with more advanced solutions dedicated to sports clubs, such as STATSCORE’s TeamCenter.
Build pages and start filling them with content
Content is king, as they say – but before you start publishing it, you need to build all the subpages within your website structure. Remember to make it intuitive and easy-to-navigate:
- Build a clear and logical structure of the website by creating appropriate subpages, categories, and sections.
- Design easily-accessible spaces for video content, pictures, or sections for different teams and sports disciplines within the club.
- Make it responsive to enable access on various types of devices, browsers and systems.
- Highlight the most popular sections (e.g. scores, rosters, team news) to allow visitors to quickly see what they’re looking for.
Read more: 3 main threats for sport websites
How to manage a sports club website?
Keep it updated with the latest information and data!
That’s the core of a great sports website – it’s real value lies in the fact that it can provide users, fans, pundits and followers with the most current information about the team a nd its players.
You should always try to publish all the latest data, coverage, and announcements as soon as possible. That’s how you attract fans and users, and the better the traffic, the more interest from potential partners and sponsors!
Be the best source of information about your own club
What kind of news and info should you provide?
- current rosters and schedules, league tables and scores,
- coach’s and player’s opinions in forms of interviews or articles,
- medical updates and reports,
- articles, pictures or videos that provide a closer view of the life of the club. it’s management and fans.
How to engage fans on sports clubs website?
Build a community
Provide your fans with space designed specifically for them. There are numerous tools you can use to keep them engaged and entertained.
Although most discussions are now taking place on social media channels, it is still worth to consider using solutions for chatting or a forum for discussing club-related matters on your website.
You could encourage your fans to express their opinions and feelings by promising to publish the most intriguing ones on the club’s blog or sharing them through the club’s media. You can also use social media channels to animate and promote such discussions.
Use the creativity of your fans
Fans love all kinds of items and gadgets branded with their club’s badge and colours. But why not go one step further and engage them in creating such merchandise?
If you want to create new club gadgets, you could engage your fans into providing you with their own ideas and designs. You can organize contests for the best version of alternative club kits or the most creative club gadget.
Build an e-commerce store with club items
Shirts, balls and scarves? Of course! Keyrings, mugs, and pyjamas? Well, why not?
When you have the best possible club merchandise in the market (designed with the engagement of your most creative fans), then why not sell it directly through your club’s website? Let your fans identify with your club in each sphere of their life!
Encourage fans to follow you on social media channels
Social media is obviously one of the spaces where your fans are present – and so your sports club needs to have social profiles, keep them updated and promote them to gather as many fans as possible.
The effective use of social media can generate a lot of traffic to your club’s website – that’s why it’s so important to keep them attractive and updated. Your website should also include easy-to-find links to your social media channels to help encourage even more potential followers to give you a ‘like’.
Deliver the fastest live results, stats and news
Your fans are looking for the most reliable and quickest information, live stats, and news. Why let them go looking somewhere else when you can be the best source?!
Deliver to them the most engaging content, live results and quick updates and all the freshest news about your club in one place!
Not all of your club’s fans will be able to follow each game in the venue or via TV. This means they will be looking for the quickest and most reliable coverage online. Why not provide them with advanced visualizations, live tracking solutions and accurate stats published on your club’s website? If you do that, they won’t have to look for such data in different sources. This will guarantee they visit the website more often and spend more time on it.
How to make sports club website more attractive?
Create engaging visuals
A picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t it? There’s no denying that we’re living in a culture of images and, when it comes to online content, it’s hard to overestimate the role of its visual aspects.
Certainly, it’s relevant for sports clubs too. When your visitors enter your website, they want – apart from finding out all the latest news – to have a pleasurable and intuitive experience. That’s what makes them want to come back, and the more often they come back, the more attractive the website will be for advertisers and sponsors.
How to make it work successfully in practice? Here are some examples of how it’s done by top clubs:
- Creating a visually attractive homepage with eye-catching images;
- Employing a club’s specific visual identification – kit colours, badges, pictures of top players;
- Using high-quality images and videos on a team’s homepage.
Provide fans with up-to-date stats and live trackers
You can make your fans’ and followers’ visits even better by providing them with access to the most advanced statistics and match data, as well as by allowing them to follow the games in real-time.
These may include:
- Livescores and match centres to gather all crucial information in one place.
- Detailed player profiles with advanced stats on their performances.
- Live tracking solutions with immediately updated information about key events on the field.
- Comprehensive data visualisations and infographics.
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