Comparison of NBA Teams' Websites - Internet Essay Example

Comparison of NBA Teams’ Websites

Chicago Bulls

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            The Chicago Bulls’ website presented the team in an apparent simplistic manner.  Simple in terms of site navigation and overall layout design. We may also say that the website is simplistic in that it prominently focuses on the team rather than on its key players, focusing the site visitor’s attention on the focal point of the website: the Chicago Bulls basketball team. This serves indeed as an advantage as the visitor is spared of the unnecessary visual complexities that other NBA team websites found too alluring to resist. This can be evidenced by the fact that despite their popularity, only one player appeared in their website; contained in a limited space on the upper right hand corner of the screen.  Perhaps their reason for this is to promote the team for what they truly stand for: simple yet hard-working; simple yet effective.

            Likewise evident is the obvious refusal to result to the utilization of women as subliminally-suggestive of other motives other than the sport basketball or the team Chicago Bulls, in hopes to attract site patronage. This decision keeps the site entirely wholesome, which also attributes to the wider audience that they could cater to.

            Another added commendation in their site is the minimal use of advertisements in their home page, which as of this writing consisted only of Brew Pub’s Select Carvery (Chicago Bulls, 2010, p. 1), thus efficiently utilizing the space for topics that are solely in the interest of basketball. This effective and controlled implementation of advertisements found on the Bulls’ site allows for the site visitors to stay on the page without being distracted by other outside influences, unlike in other websites that allow too many  advertisements to litter their webpages,where although the page my benefit greatly from sponsorship, their advertisements’ ability to detract and redirect visitors are so powerful that unless it can be balanced with the rest of the site features, the main point of putting up a website to showcase the team would greatly suffer.

            However, one evident weakness in Chicago Bulls’ website is the lack of photos that depict their actual battles on the court.  Unquestionably, fans would prefer to see their sports heroes captured and immortalized on still shots as they conquer their enemies on the court. Although images are available at the site’s photo galleries, these galleries are somewhat hard to navigate to and are not even featured on the site’s homepage. Video clips are made available to fans, but sometimes the best moments in gaming are better captured on a still photo.  Another is the absence of social networking sites that may allow the visitors to directly interact with other fan-visitors of the said website.

Washington Wizards

            The employment of a black and white picture of their players in a huddle depicts the wizards’ intention to present their web site in a more formal method.  This is an advantage because it was able to convey a certain depth in their team’s attitude towards the game of basketball.  Likewise, the absence of a dominating photo of a superstar athlete convey that theirs is a team composed of dedicated men, and not of a single player who’s public image represents the entirety of the organization.  Also evident in their website are the numerous social networking sites such as facebook, twitter, and linkedin for on-the-go people who still want to stay on top of their favorite NBA team without having to check out the team’s official web site. This allows them to keep in touch matters concerning the team so they wouldn’t have to check on the webpage every now and then.  It is a fan-based site, as clearly stated in one of their sales pitches, “For the Fans-For the Future” which allows for the fans to renew their game tickets through the team’s official website (Washington Wizards, 2010, p. 1).

            However, despite of their strong points, there is a prevalence of too much advertisement in their site.  These include automobile ads, hotel and dining accommodations, and lottery pages, among others. As mentioned with the Chicago Bulls website review earlier, too many of these ads provides greater distractions to site visitors which may cause them  – especially the casual visitors – to leave the team’s webpage too soon. There is also a noticeable utilization of sexy women in their ads for auditions for Wizard Girls, perhaps to attract a certain market share. Demographically speaking, the site reaches out to – let’s face it – the more “mature” bracket of adult males as obviously shown through  its online ticket renewal feature and the prominence of the Wizard Girls page. Psychographically speaking,  it caters more to business-minded individuals who have a certain passion for the game.  Despite all of these detractions in the form of their web site, the Washington Wizards home page maintains an air of class and sophistication and is still able to convey the brand of basketball that they possess.

Boston Celtics

            Dominated by their black and green brand colors, the Boston Celtics’ web site is an epitome of an NBA team home page.  Firstly, the site is possessing of the players’ photos in action. As mentioned earlier, in-game images of the team have a great effect on the team’s image and the emotions they evoke from the audience, most especially in a website format. With the virtually limitless possibilities the internet provides, one can put in as much images as they want to affect the audience the way the website creators want them to for as long as strategic placement of these images is considered. Examples of these images  in the Celtics site are  Rondo’s attempt at a basket against a defender, Tony Allen’s spectacular block on Miami’s Wade aptly entitled “Total Defense” (Boston Celtics, 2010, p. 1), and Garnett’s interview in their audio archive.

            Likewise, at least in the front page, the total absence of any advertisement is noticeable, allowing for the site visitor to enjoy the entire screen for the sole purpose of basketball enjoyment. This focus on the team  and the game itself is a refreshing break from other team websites where visitors are bombarded with a barrage of advertisements. Sometimes even before a visitor gets to the site he or she is visiting. This causes frustration in some visitors and they would rather visit a different website because of this. It also features the “essential” social networking sites that almost any citizen of the internet has an account with. Websites such as facebook and twitter  where fans can access information on other fans who may share the same preference in their NBA team favorites also provide them the latest updates on the Celtics. Lastly, it is apparent that there is an absolute absence of sex themes in their brand of basketball, as evidenced in the web site. Again, another example of a wholesome internet experience as the page is without sexually suggestive content and does well without the annoying advertisements that incessantly plague any visitor on the World Wide Web.

            However, perhaps the fans would be more appreciative if they were to devote more space on the superstars of their team, namely Garnett, Pierce, and Ray Allen.  After all, these players had been the main reasons for their winning the NBA Championship in more recent times, and have also been the main reason for their enormous fan base. Not to take away from the team or hog the spotlight, showcasing these key players can actually help promote the  teams as their popularity is an invaluable addition to the overall image of the team.

Los Angeles Lakers

            The Los Angeles Lakers’ web site is very similar to that of the Boston Celtics’, in the sense that they are able to devote the entire page solely for basketball entertainment alone.  Most apparent of which is the absence of any commercial advertisement and the allotment of stories or special features involving their main superstars, being Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.  The site is also distinctly Lakers’, as the colors of violet and golden yellow dominate the entire web site.  Likewise, several social networking sites such as facebook and twitter have been provided specifically for the site visitors who wish to involve in discussions or forums pertaining to the said team. This ease of access to the team’s information is vital in promoting an awareness of the team, its activities, upcoming matches, and other related news updates that fans may deem important without them having to check up on the team’s official webpage every now and then.

            Although inconsequential, perhaps the fans would appreciate it if the developers have provided more action-packed photos of their two superstars, instead of the simple and inanimate pictures that portrayed them in more relaxed dispositions. Bryant and Gasol being in the limelight more than the other team members, it wouldn’t hurt the site developers to churn out a few more information regarding these superstars such as a sneak peek into their private lives or what they devote their time on whenever they are not on the court playing hoops.

Houston Rockets

            Of all the NBA teams that were discussed, it is evident that the Houston Rockets’ web site was the most-planned and technically-sophisticated.  This had been apparent in the very presentation of the team; in hard-court action, in social work, as well as with the team’s corporate levels.  Also, this is the only web site among those discussed where a language option existed, as such, there is a choice for Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese Chinese, clearly aspiring for every sector of the diverse fan base to be included among its patrons.  The stars of their team were likewise given appropriate attention.  There was Yao Ming tutoring a youngster on the importance of reading, Shane Battier on the court, and Aaron brooks’ commendable studio shot. It’s obvious that the site developers and designers really put into mind the foreign fans of the team which may be due to some of the team members who are of the international community

             Likewise advantageous for the web site are their commercial advertisements, that although comprising of numerous entities such as Toyota, Budweiser, Continental Airlines, T-Mobile, Adidas, and others, they were efficiently combined to form the lower border of the site, thus effectively avoiding the possibility of topic overlapping.

            However, the web site seemed to exude a minimal implication of sex theme, in their aim of making the entirety of the site more appealing. Perhaps it would better serve the real purpose of sports if the section, RPD of the Week (Houston Rockets, 2010, p. 1) were to be marginalized in order to protect the more sensitive sectors of the society. Despite careful consideration by the site developers and creators on the possible demographic of the  team’s fanbase, it is still possible that some of the more conservative minded fans would rather not have the Rockets Power Dancers be featured so much on a page that should have been solely devoted to sports.

            As in many other official NBA team websites including some of those mentioned earlier, the Houston Rockets webpage also inccludes support for outside networking sites such as facebook and twitter. But what makes them stand out form the other sites is the “Rockets Mobile App”, an application that can be installed on supported mobile phones that allows for fans to receive updates on their teams as well as game schedules, real-time team and player stats, and exclusive content such as news and videos.

Compared with the other teams that had been discussed, the Rockets’ web site possesses the highest technical and aesthetic qualities necessary in garnering the most number of global fan base. It is a combination of the physical appeal of the Lakers’ and Celtics’ web sites, the mass appeal of the Chicago Bulls’, and the classic appeal of the Wizards’.  It is also the only NBA website that has exhibited the sensitivity to address the inherent diversity that is common in the locality they represent.

Questionnaires

What was distinctly Chicago Bulls’ technique of representing their players in their team’s website?  Do you find it effective?
Do you agree that employing a black and white photo, as can be witnessed in the Wizards’ web site, will not be as effective in an NBA team that has a dominant superstar?
What are the main similarities between the Lakers’ and the Celtics’ web sites? Name at least three.
Being an NBA fan yourself, what is your stand in the prevalence of commercial advertisements in some of the teams’ web sites?
Is it a wise decision on the part of the Rockets to have language options?
Elaborate on your beliefs on the practice of employing women in skimpy outfits in sports pages, such as the ones discussed.

References

Boston Celtics. (2010). NBA.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from <http://www.nba.com/celtics/>

Chicago Bulls. (2010). NBA.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from <http://www.nba.com/bulls/>

Houston Rockets. (2010). NBA.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from <http://www.nba.com/rockets/index_main.html>

Los Angeles Lakers. (2010) NBA.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from <http://www.nba.com/lakers/>

 Washington Wizards. (2010). NBA.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from <http://www.nba.com/wizards/index_main.html>

 

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