SBJ/May 19-25, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA Digital adds flexibility to team sites

NBA Digital is rolling out a new responsive design for all 30 individual team websites, a move aimed at providing a consistent user experience across desktop and mobile platforms.

The initiative, which has been in the works since early in the season, features a more unified design template across platforms and is designed to automatically rescale itself based on the size of any user’s screen. Responsive Web design has been increasingly popular in digital circles for several years but remains something of a rarity in the sports industry.

 
The design aims to provide consistency across desktop (left) and mobile platforms.
The NBA this past season generated more than 60 percent of its overall digital traffic from mobile platforms, helping accelerate the move to the responsive design.

“We’ve seen record growth across mobile platforms, and moving to a responsive design that allows us to optimize our compelling content for a seamless delivery across all screens was important to all involved,” said Christina Miller, NBA Digital senior vice president and general manager.

About half of NBA teams have migrated to the new design format, with the rest expected to move to the responsive format over the next several weeks. Not surprisingly, the new format places greater emphasis on video, photos, curated story streams and social media.

The new system also provides a sharply increased amount of flexibility for team personnel to adjust the look of their team sites and what content is highlighted, even several times a day if desired.

“Before, there were maybe four or five basic templates we were working from,” said Doug Tatum, New Orleans Pelicans executive director of digital media. “Now, there’s so much more freedom to adjust things as needed and play around with various ideas and concepts. And given the growth we’ve seen on mobile, this serves both our fans and our advertisers so much better.”


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