Fortunately, we’ve had a front row seat, working closely with the NBA’s digital product and fan engagement teams across a long list of strategy and design asignments under a partnership that’s spanned more than a decade.
In 2021 we set out to redesign the NBA team sites platform. Our goal – to create the ultimate fan experience delivering pre-game, live-game, and post-game coverage, through clean design, simple interaction, and a thoughtful strategy for content delivery.
We created a scalable design system adaptable to each team’s brand, providing the flexibility to make each team site distinct in form and function. We designed a modular framework that gave teams the ability to organize and prioritize content and interactive features to support their own unique narrative.
Internally, we called it Flex, a design system created around the principles of adaptability – to each team’s needs and preferences; cohesion – with the NBA league site; elevation – of team brand elements through improved experience design; and monetization – through better sponsorship opportunities, tune in, and ticket sales placement across the platform.
But most importantly, we set out to stretch what the desktop and mobile web can do for a large-scale publisher, taking an app-like approach to create an elevated fan experience.
A central feature of the team site platform, the Game Block gives fans quick access to the schedule and game action across the site with pre, live, and post game states. This module also provides teams with the ability to customize for specific needs while helping support business goals from tune in to ticket sales.
Far from an afterthought, the team site design system was created with mobile fans in mind. Not simply a scaled down desktop site, the mobile fan experience was designed to drive engagement through an app-like approach to product design.
Driving real-time engagement, we brought the concept of stories into the team site platform, creating instant, short-form content to excite the most active fans.
Creating a design system to stretch across thirty unique team brands required a smart approach to balancing unity with flexibility. We set out to design a framework, giving teams the freedom deliver on-brand while providing fans with a consistency experience across the network.
The best ads are seamless, not disruptive. With the team sites design system, we gave sponsors a whole new way to play.