Showcase Of Beautiful Sports Websites

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By Steven Snell, April 4th, 2009 in Design Showcase | 79 Comments | Forum

We recently showcased beautiful websites from the fashion industry, and in response to reader requests, we’ll do the same thing here for sports websites. This article showcases the most beautiful website designs from the North American sports industry, including ones for news, teams and leagues, sports apparel and more.

Trends In Sports Websites

As in any industry, sports websites have their own trends, as you will see below. However, because the websites showcased here fall into a number of different categories and serve different purposes, not all of the trends we discuss will be relevant or applicable to all types of sports websites.

1. Large Photos
Many of the best sports websites include a lot of images and photos, and many use large photos in the background or a featured area. News websites obviously include a lot of smaller photos to accompany current stories, but team websites and sports apparel websites in particular often rely on large photos as a prominent part of their design.

2. Colorful
Naturally, team and league websites are typically very colorful and highlight their official colors. Apparel and product websites are also frequently colorful.

3. News Area
Even websites that aren’t news-focused, such as team and league websites and those of individual athletes, typically contain recent news items on the home page. As more sports fans turn to websites to get their news and stay up to date on their favorite players and teams, news and blog sections provide an opportunity for easy communication with few barriers.

4. Featured Content Area
News websites of course have certain sections in their layout for headline news, but even team and league websites now provide content in feature areas of the website. In many cases, this featured content area works in conjunction with the news headlines mentioned in the previous point. Most of the featured content sections have a slider or similar effect that moves readers from one featured item to the next. Most also allow the user to override the slideshow effect and control what content is shown in the featured area.

5. Network
Many of the leading sports news websites are part of larger networks. You will see many of them pointed out in the news section. Sometimes the sports section of the network is on its own domain, other times it is part of the main news website’s domain.

To see the full article with screenshots of some great sports websites, check out http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/04/showcase-of-beautiful-sports-websites/

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Not on the list…….but definitely worth a mention is a sports website designed and developed by the company I work for…… zu.com communications.  zu collaborated with the Calgary Stampeders to launch a new website that features a sleek design and extensive video and audio capabilities. A continuously updating flash header introduces Stamps fans to the team with current season images taken from the field.

The site also features news, an Insider blog, a Locker-Room blog, extensive player interviews, profiles, statistics and video and audio material updated daily from games and practices.  The team dedicated significant resources to offer their fans fresh content that is unparalleled in the CFL.

stampeders