Wednesday, December 19, 2012

TOP NBA Holiday E-Cards

One of my favorite projects from my time working for the Orlando Magic was the 2009-10 Holiday E-card.

The NBA made a really fantastic card this year.

My Full Sail colleague Kathryn Stuart and I went around the web today and picked out our top 5 NBA 2012-13 team holiday e-cards. Enjoy! And let us know which one you liked the best.

1. Dallas Mavericks - This one is pretty entertaining! 

2. Minnesota Timberwolves - The players are great in this one!

3. Houston Rockets - Happy Hanukkah!

5. Orlando Magic - Not quite the glory of years past, but hey that's where we're at here in Orlando.

Which 2012-13 NBA Holiday Card is your favorite?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Who is making the most of their Monday Night Football Website Traffic? Patriots VS Texans

Today was 40% more Mondayish then other Mondays. For Patriot and Texan fans Monday wasn't so bad, though. They knew all day long they would end their Monday in front of the TV for NFL's Monday Night Football fun.

If your team is fortunate enough to get featured on MNF, then they better be making the most of it on their website. 

Today lets see which MNF team is doing the best job of hyping up their big game and capitalizing on the high web traffic teams receive while the game is in progress.

Let's start with the Patriots - 

The Patriots have partnered with Dunkin Donuts to bring the fans a "Pre-Game Social" which is essentially a pre-game live chat via CoverIt Live. When you click through you go to a Facebook page with the chat window embedded, along with the ability to share photos with other fans. I think this is a great way to engage fans and to capitalize on the game night traffic. However, wouldn't it be great to have the chat and the photo sharing happen with out having to leave the Pats website and lose traffic to Facebook? Facebook has enough traffic already I think. 

The Dunkin Donuts branding might be a little too strong for my taste because their orange, pink and brown seem to take over the entire top story content area. Then on top of that, they have the same ad on both sides of the background. Congrats to Dunkin Donuts for getting so much prime real estate on this NFL team site. I hope the Pats got big check for all that love!

And now, the Texans...

The Houston Texans have a different approach to their game day website traffic. They have a separate site for their game day coverage called "Gameday Central".  This Gameday Central site takes over the domain during a game and the entire page has content focused only on the game at hand. There is a social media feed that populates right into the page, so no one has to leave the site to connect with other fans via social media. 

And the SOD winner for this match-up is:

The Houston Texans.

They made a whole site just for game night coverage, they didn't sell it away to a corporate sponsor, and they didn't send their traffic to either. 

This one was pretty easy in my opinion, what do you think?

Who is making the most of their Monday Night Football website traffic? 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lions Vs. Packers Homepage Design

Tonight the Lions and the Packers are facing off at legendary Lambeau field. The score is tied right now as we go into the 4th quarter so this one can still go either way. The better homepage design of each team's official website is also a close call at this point. Let's take a closer look...

First, here is the homepage of the visiting team, the Detroit Lions. I really hate when ads are placed above the team's own logo on their own website, but unfortunately, this is done all the time on NFL sites. Boooooo. Otherwise, the site seems to be strong in terms of content and usability. I like that the scoreboard is prominent and the top stories area is full of a great mix of articles, videos and various content. The branding on the site is not particularly strong however. The photo of the player on the background of the site is not exciting in my opinion mostly because he is not in an action posture. This site is mostly just mediocre to me from a design perspective, but I do acknowledge the great content and organized layout.

Here we have the Green Bay Packers homepage. Again, boooooo on the ads above the site's masthead.  The masthead on this site includes the team they are playing, the Detroit Lions. It also includes a huge "Shopko" sponsor logo which seems to me like a waste because I have no idea what Shopko is and nothing about the logo being right there makes me the least bit interested in finding out. The right column features an "Ask Vic" graphic in an odd shade of red that seems out of place on this site. The score board is underneath the top stories area and in my opinion should definitely be above it since that is the most important information while a game is in progress. I am surprised to not see any social media links placed above the fold. This site seems to be a bit confused when it comes to prioritizing it's content. The branding is mediocre on this site as well because nothing is particularly exciting or interesting to me. 

S.O.D. Homepage Design: Green Bay Packers VS Detroit Lions- 


Now, you decide....

Poll: Which team has the better home page design?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Top NBA Holiday Ticket Ads on the Web.

The holidays are a great time to sell ticket packages in the NBA. I went around and found some of the better ones from the official websites of the NBA teams.

5. Sixers Holiday Packs -

Nice typography, elegant and simple. Design won this battle. No yellow "BUY NOW" copy or bright red buttons here. Although, let's say I want to buy this... what do it do? I'll just click on it and see what happens.

4. Hornets Holiday Plan -

Nice use of a holiday tag and gift wrapping ribbon. This example is festive and clever, but the best part is the photo collage of all the stars on the right. I would be excited to give this gift to loved one!

3. Bucks Holiday Packs -

This one lets the product speak for itself. Nicely placed over ornament shapes the players are all in exciting action posture. The copy is short and sweet. The "Holiday Packs" logo matches the Christmas ball theme and look at that price point! What a deal!

2. Magic Holiday Packs -

The 3D rendered ornament balls give this design polish. The blue color palette works for the holiday and the team. The call to action is clear and the price is right! Design and Marketing both score a point with this one!

1. Heat Holiday Plan -

The NBA Champs come through with a really great design for their Holiday Plans. The marketing copy points out how much money I save and the logos of the opponents make the value of the product very clear. The fonts and holiday graphics are simple yet festive. Top notch both in messaging and design. 

Poll: Which NBA team had the best holiday ticket ad?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Holidays from Real Salt Lake

Here is a great example of incorporating the holiday right into the franchise logo. The holiday theme is present over the entire team website. See it live here: Official site of Real Salt Lake.

NFL Shop Holiday Homepage Design

Tis the season to sell sports merchandise! is looking very good this holiday season! They have done a nice job showcasing a few items above the fold and not everything all at once which seems to be a common mistake on sports shopping sites. They have a nice incentive to offer with free shipping on $50 orders and discounts on specific items. Nice urgency is made with the "Last Day" sticker included and big red buttons tell you exactly what to do! Well done, designers! Hope you get a nice Christmas bonus for all your efforts!

I will be featuring more Holiday themed sports marketing graphics all month. Send me anything you think is worthy of discussion here. Thanks for reading!

Yours truly,
Kristy Cannon-Key

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Sport of Design Blog - First Post

Greetings! This post marks the official rebirth of my blogging career! My former blogging has always been in the area of local skateboarding, which I still follow passionately. I have thought about doing a sports-meets-design blog like this for years and for what ever reason, Wednesday of last week was the day I decided to finally make it happen.

This blog will be about creative design in the industry of sports marketing. Having worked for a professional sports organization for 7 seasons, I saw the good, the bad and the ugly of sports creative. Now it seems to be second nature for me to notice and have immediate opinions on sports design so I figured why not put it all "out there."

I would love to hear from anyone at all who would like to disagree, concur, or share examples of sports creative of note. I will try my best to represent as many sports as I can, however that may have to depend on what I am paying attention to at any given moment.

Thanks for checking out the Sport of Design blog! Let the games begin!

Yours truly,
Kristy Cannon-Key