This past summer we all watched the world cup that took place in South Africa and these past two weeks we have been watching the world basketball championship in Turkey. Both events have their accompanying websites that provided additional information, statistics, media and interactive features, such as forums and games and an online store. But let's take a closer look at each site.
The world cup site has been live since the draw that decided which group each team would be in. On that day the site had a live update feature, that allowed visitors to follow the draw live. During the world cup the site featured live scores, recaps and statistics for each game. For example, here is the page for the final game. Visitors can read a recap of the game, see photos and highlights, see the statistics, as well as the players that were substituted and carded during the game. They can also leave comments and vote for the "man of the match". The description of the venue, i.e. in this case "Johannesburg - Soccer City" is linked to a description for the city and the stadium. There are sections for the teams, as well as a section for players and detailed statistics that includes head to head comparisons and goal reviews. Finally, there is a schedule and a section for buying tickets. The FIFA world cup website is definitely rich in content - pictures and media - as well as games such as fantasy football. Creating an account and signing in offers visitors more customizable options. The very top menu bar also has a link to the FIFA store, where visitors can order team jerseys and official products of the world cup.
The FIBA world basketball championship site features similar features, such as a schedule, teams and players section. And of course there is a statistics section that can be filtered by player position, round or the type of statistic. In addition, the site features a number of games for visitors that sign in, featuring a game of predicting the results of each match in cooperation with bwin. There is once again a section with photos and a link to FIBA TV where you can purchase live streams for matches. As far as video the site also links to its youtube channel where there are featured videos and interviews with players.
Following a major sporting event today involves much more than simply watching the matches on TV. A complete website such as the ones above, allow users to get information on the tournament as a whole, catch up with games that they cannot watch, see highlights, go in depth with statistics (instead of depending on broadcasters), interact with other fans and even purchase tickets online. Especially as far as statistics, watching a live game while keeping track of real time statistics adds another dimension to the match. The official sites of sporting events tend to provide high quality content through a clear UI. Some might be a bit more cluttered than others, but usually it is not hard to find the most important information - scheduling, recaps and statistics. The two events mentioned above, provided excellent information with up to date results, photos and other match information.
In a future post we will explore sports websites in general and what makes such a site good.