Sunday, November 15, 2009

11/15/09: Looking Forward To MLS Taking Over It's Own Website; Also, Looking Forward To A Crew Website That Doesn't Suck

Most MLS team websites cannot hold a candle to those of top flight clubs such as Manchester United or third world clubs such as Caracas FC.

If you haven't heard, and I sure haven't before doing a little searching on Street & Smith's Sport Business Journal today, the MLS website (which was run by Major League Baseball) will be managed, starting in March 2010, by MLS in a new format. Well, if there is no strike and a season to cover in March, but that aside, I think this is a much needed move by MLS.

As first and foremost, it is no secret that the team websites lack personality (of any sort) and are bland. MLS websites are lagging behind even the Venezuelan leagues, just look at Caracas FC (who I looked up when researching the Crew's Emilio Renteria) and compare that to the Crew's website. Or compare the Crew's cookie cutter, website design to a NFL team.

How I hope MLS does it...
1.) First, MLS needs to have a website design that is going to attract an outsider to the website and a team's page, and get them wanting to know more. Case in point being, if some regular American stumbles over the MLS website, you want them to be like "whoa, what is this, I need to know more", not "sh*t, I just stumbled upon a soccer website." I like what Caracas FC does above and I like what Manchester United does here, it just looks fresh, especially start up pages like the aforementioned displaying some form of passion from the get go.

2.) Secondly, each team page needs to be different. At least the Rapids and the Revolution at least try (albeit neither design is much more appealing). Anyways, each MLS team and their fans have created or at least started to create different identities. Therefore, the team's websites should fit those established identities. The current design for each team just looks like a business; like each team has no individual importance, that they all have similiar nondescriptant identities, and each team is just a subsidary to MLS. This isn't what MLS is going for and by taking over I'm betting they will change this. I mean what do you expect from the MLB anyways?

3.) MLS appears to get this and that is why I'm looking forward to the new design. From the words of MLS President Mark Abbott via Street & Smith's SBJ:
“Fans are interacting with their teams through a number of digital platforms,” Abbott said. “If we want to continue to grow our league, it’s critical we have ways to provide fans with what they want on those platforms, so that we can continue to build our fan base.”

It is interesting that MLS, according to the article, hired the founder of the Offsides Rules, Shawn Francis. It's a pretty solid move considering that, personally, like 80% percent of my MLS news comes from blogs instead of MLSnet. Hiring a guy that can liven up the website is a good move and thus MLS will likely get this right and at worse cannot do worse than their current product and format.

Overall... I'm just happy at the prospect of a Crew official website that doesn't look like total crap.


  1. The MLS is bad but let me tell you, some of the premier league teams and almost all of the championship teams have some of the worst cookie cutter website designs outthere...



    I made this site^ 3 years ago for a project it's not an active site but at the time it was way better than the actual crew site.

  3. dc, seattle and philly have their own site. i really like seattles its very professional IMO