10 Features All Sports Websites Need to Make an Impact
WordPress has made it very easy for athletes to make a sports website for their teams, but is it easy to make one that serves a strategic purpose?
While it isn’t exactly a walk in the park, it can be done when you know what you are trying to achieve and you’ll be able to use it as a tool to accomplish your goals for your organization.
A sports website can accomplish a number of things. It can help the team stay updated with the upcoming events, attract new players and make it easy for them to contact you, or help fans stay in touch and get updated on the latest news.
Most importantly, it can help the sports team market themselves better by having an online presence.
In this day and age, and it’s almost expected that your organization is on the web in some shape or form.
But unfortunately just having a domain and slapping together a site is not enough if you want your site to work for you and make an impact.
In this article, we will walk you through the 10 core features all sports websites need so you can set your team up for success!
Must-have Sports Team Website Features
Your sports website needs to stand out in a way that makes it easy for visitors to digest every bit of information within the first few seconds. They should have a good idea of what they’re in for once they land on your site.
Keeping up to date with today’s trends for sports websites, here’s how you can make your web presence really stand out:
1. Your Logo is Your Identity
Your team’s logo needs to be placed properly on your site. It is what gives your team its recognition and make your visitors connect with you.
Take a look at NFL.com, you will see their logo placed on the upper left corner. Logically, that’s the best spot to place your logo, but not just there. If you look closely, you’ll notice that they’ve strategically placed the logo all around the site, including it in their images and videos as well.
Logos are important for branding purposes. You need to be consistent and make sure the logo is effortless placed. There’s no need to bombard your visitors with your logo, but i they can’t tell whose website they’ve landed on, that’s a bad sign.
By using good User Experience or UX principles, your visitors should always know which page they are on and be able to navigate their way around so everything flows together beautifully and logically.
If you’re still in the process of creating your own sports team logo, you can brainstorm and look for existing examples for inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to get those creative wheels spinning!
2. Keep The Visitors Updated with News and Blogs
Every sports website needs a news section to help visitors know what’s going on with the club.
From players and event managers to the diehard fans themselves, everyone needs to stay connected to get the latest scoop!
There’s no better way to share your big wins with your audience than by starting up a blog on your sports team website.
Apart from the wins and losses or transfers happening on the field, people want to know what’s happening off of it. Fans will love a “behind the scenes” glimpse of what’s happening in the lives of your players. After your games, you can share detailed match reports and make social media updates as regularly as you can.
In addition to this, blog posts are also important for several reasons as well. Not only does it help with SEO, but it also helps attract and retain visitors, and grow your social media following!
Having a proper content marketing strategy will help you get clarity on who you are trying to reach with your content and what you are trying to achieve in the long-run.
You should also make use of plugins and widgets allowing users to subscribe so that they’ll know whenever a new blog post is released. In addition to this, creating a sign-up form for newsletters can also be of great help to keep your audience engaged with your team.
3. Photos and Videos Speak Volumes
Your multimedia section should be solid with everything from photos to videos to even audio files.
Videos increase engagement rates by up to 22% and are also heavily searched for. YouTube has become the biggest search engine, and sports channels are usually always among Top 10 on the video sharing platform.
If your team is eager to share video footage to reach a bigger audience, it might even be worth starting up a YouTube channel of your own! Have you ever thought about the types of videos you could create for your sports website?
You can upload everything from interviews to short clips to highlights, or even training videos made specifically for your audience and sport. Liverpool FC seems to be doing it just right.
In addition to this, photos are of huge importance too. You can have galleries for events and players, making it easy for your visitors to find what they need.
You can also highlight images of the fans in attendance cheering or jeering to show how thrilling the matches are. This will help you grab more attention.
Tip: Remember to use high quality photos, videos and images. There’s nothing visually appealing about a grainy or stretched out image!
4. Current Team Roster
A sports team is dynamic, and there are changes happening all the time due to various reasons including a new player, a retirement or even injuries.
Therefore, it is important to have a Team Roster section to keep your fans aware of the latest player lineup!
Have a look at Manchester United’s Roster page to see how it is done.
5. Schedules to Show Upcoming Events
Schedules are an important and very easy way to make sure everyone associated with the team knows about any upcoming events.
Event calendars or team schedules, though they are always subject to change, do not only help officials and players plan better, but they’ll also help you spread the news so fans can make your games, too!
6. Leaderboards, Top Scorers and Standings
Every fans wants to keep an eye out for their favorite teams and players and how they stack up against other teams and clubs.
Displaying leaderboards and top scorers on your sports website is also a great way to encourage competition amongst your team members to get them inspired and motivated to aim higher!
Keep a track of game scores, player stats, tournament results and a detailed standings board so your players know where they stand or which areas to focus on in order to improve their performance and leaderboard positions.
You can use plugins specifically designed for this purpose to make the job easy.
7. Social Profiles
Are you using social media to communicate with fans and followers?
If not, you really should get your team on social media channels. Fans and organizers alike often go straight to your social media pages to get news quickly. It’s a great place to engage with them and grow your following.
If you haven’t got a clue of where to start, be sure to check out our guide on how to create a professional sports team Facebook page to help you set it up the right way.
In addition to having an active social presence, don’t forget to add social icons on your site to make it easy for visitors to find you on various networks. You can use WordPress plugins like Ultimate Social Media or SumoMe to easily add social icons to your website.
Don’t let all the tweets, Facebook messaging or email-answering cut into your day-to-day training regimen though!
8. Player Profiles
Combine player statistics with unique player profiles for every team member so fans (and managers) are always aware of the key performance metrics of their favorite players.
Our free SportsPress plugin lets you set up players profiles on a dedicated page where each player’s performance can be easily tracked throughout the season, along with their individual performance stats.
9. Contact Information
Every true fan and sports organization would want to keep in touch with your team. As far as sponsorship offers and press inquiries go, you should be making it extremely easy for people to connect with your sports club.
I would recommend dedicating one page on your site for the sole purpose of getting in touch with your organization. In fact, enhance it with a contact form so that people can save time by directly leaving you messages without having to switch over to their email inbox to reach you.
10. Team and Player Stats
Have detailed team and player stats displayed on your website so that visitors can see exactly who is at the top of their game.
These statistics should be updated regularly and must be presented in a neat manner so that the numbers are easy to comprehend.
Rather than jumping between emails, Facebook threads, calendars, or any other tools you use to keep the club organized, imagine if everything you needed to know about the club existed in one central place?
After some planning and discussion with your team, building a professional website doesn’t need to be so daunting.
Keep these features in mind when building your site so you are represent your club or sports team in the best light possible. Your sports team website can become a real asset for your team, fans and followers alike. Good luck!