Sports club web design case study

This football club was located in a growing area and its membership was growing rapidly. The club was finding it difficult to manage all of these members and keep them up to date, particularly membership fees.   The club also needed a simple and cost-effective way to keep in touch with their growing number of members in order to keep them up to date with information about events. 

Despite their large number of members, the club was also having trouble attracting sponsors and was seeking more financial support. The club’s overall aim was to stand out from other clubs in the areas and be seen as the best club to join.

Stage 1 - Website presence

The football club had Bloomtools build them a modern, attractive website that matched their team colours.  The site needed to show that the club was a great team to be a part of, so to illustrate this to visitors straight away, the site's flash header featured images of members playing football and having fun.  The overall layout of the site is simple and streamlined so people can easily find the information they need.

Some features of the website include:

  • Events calendar - the calendar contains details of games, training and special events and is updated regularly so it was an important resource for club members.
  • Wall of fame - a photo gallery of all the best performing club members from each season.
  • Photo gallery - images from awards nights, club events and pictures sent in by club members. The photo galleries got people coming back to the site, spending more time there and raving about it to others. 
  • Online shop - a simple shop on their site for people could buy branded merchandise from their club, such as jerseys, water bottles and towels.  This was a huge hit with their members and helped them generate extra revenue.

The club also implemented a sophisticated membership management system on their website in order to manage all the details of their growing number of members, as well as the payment of their membership fees. Within this system, they could easily add and edit member’s details, as well send them payment reminders and actually collect payment from them. This system significantly lowered their administration costs and made it possible for them to accept more new members.

To help with their other challenge of attracting new sponsors, the club needed to offer local businesses something that other clubs couldn't.  They implemented an advertising program on their site where sponsors got to place free advertisements on their website and in their weekly email newsletters.  This was a great incentive for sponsors because the site received a large amount of traffic.

Stage 2 - Driving traffic to the website

The sports club decided to do something that most other clubs weren't doing and invested in getting their website higher up the search engine rankings.  They chose some relevant keywords and implemented a search engine optimisation program to get other websites linking to theirs.  This was a creative and cost-effective way for them to attract new members to the club and there was little competition in their area because most sports clubs aren't Internet savvy.

They also created a Facebook page for their club to build a presence on the social networking site.  They use the page to put up photos of games and events, to share club news and also to promote their sponsors.  After just a few weeks they had hundreds of fans and it became a great way for them to interact with members and the local community.  They also got their site listed in as many online directories as possible for their local area and football associations around the country  to boost their Page Rank and also to generate site traffic.

The club also promoted their website address offline as much as possible - team jerseys, merchandise and the local newspaper.

Stage 3 - Direct people back to the website

To keep their members up to date and to drive people back to their website, the sports club began sending out a weekly email newsletter.  The newsletter went to everyone involved in the club from members and sponsors, to local businesses and to all the fans that signed up on their website.  The newsletter contained game results, player awards, upcoming events and club news and was a great success for the club.

As a sports club with hundreds of members and numerous events to manage at one time, complications often arose such as cancellations or venue changes. The club needed to be able to get in contact with all their members in short notice to inform them of these details, and it simply wasn’t viable for them to phone all their members. They began using email and SMS marketing to send out important instant notices to their members which cut their administration time, was very convenient for members and encouraged people back to the website to find out more information.

Tools used


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