I was sitting in a giant meeting at ABC Studios in Los Angeles, with probably 30 to 40 PR and marketing people. Someone raised their hand and said “what about posting the bracket online?” and I smiled because this was a plan that I had from day one, knowing that the bracket of our TV show was going to be a living, breathing entity. And unto itself it would be a big part of the show, much like the NCAA brackets are so important to that playoff championship. It was going to be the same for BattleBots.
Discovering SportsPress Pro
We wanted a WordPress plugin that could simply and elegantly display our tournament brackets for the BattleBots television show. And then you could click to detailed information from the bracket about the individual robots and teams. On top of that, we wanted it to be responsive. That was crucial.
So I looked around at all the usual suspects for bracket plugins. A lot of them were ad-based, which was just a non-starter for us. And with others, the design just didn’t look as elegant.
Then I stumbled upon SportsPress Pro, and it seemed like a perfect fit. It looked good, it was responsive, it did what we needed it to do, and did a ton of other stuff that hopefully we’ll be able to start using in the future as BattleBots continues to grow and expand.
For me it came down to responsiveness, look and feel, features, and price. And you ticked the box on all four.
Using SportsPress Pro
It was really easy. I went through the help pages, I talked to the developer, and literally I was up and running in less than 15 minutes. Everything was super self-explanatory and easy to tweak. My main concern was making the bracket, and that couldn’t have been simpler.
Plus I could customize it with great ease. I mean, the plugin is setup for traditional sports. We are a non-traditional sport. We don’t have flags of countries, or logos for sports teams. We have pictures of robots. But it was super easy to make transparent images to put them into the bracket, and add that graphical nuance to make the brackets come to life even more.
We wanted a WordPress plugin that could simply and elegantly display our tournament brackets for the BattleBots television show. Greg Munson, Executive Producer and Co-Creator
Furthermore there was an update mid-season to the plugin, where you can now choose between standard brackets and mirrored NCAA-style brackets, which we used. So that update was perfect for us. And I don’t know many software packages or plugins for WordPress out there that allow you to do that. I don’t think there is one, actually.
Dynamic Tournament Brackets
Thanks to SportsPress Pro, our brackets were more than just a graphic. It became the living, breathing entity that it is on the website, because I could update it after every show, people could click through it, mouse over it to see who’s advancing, and it had graphics to show the robots. It was cool because we got our brackets up on our website and got a lot of positive feedback from fans.
The Future of BattleBots
There’s so much under the hood with SportsPress Pro that battlebots.com has barely scratched the surface. So it’s now an exciting opportunity for us to find ways to leverage all of those extra features that come with the plugin for future seasons of the show.
Expect more bots, more carnage, and more kick-ass action next season.