The Bradentucky Bombers

GravityFree

Written by GravityFree
on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
in Case Studies

Bradentucky Bombers

An Epic Sport Needed an Epic Website

Formed in 2006, by League Founder Gigi RaMoan, the Bradentucky Bombers are the “original women’s flat track roller derby home team of Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice, on Florida’s Beautiful Gulf Coast.” Currently a league of 30 girls, the Bradentucky Bombers play local and away bouts monthly throughout the year (with a short off-season period in the winter) to crowds of fans with a passion for the game. This isn’t like the old school derby from the 70s, a new wave came through in December of 2000 and has now spread through 2046 amateur teams. These woman are strong competitors, amazing leaders, and true athletes with a love for the game and GravityFree couldn’t have been more excited to team up with them for their new website.

Connecting with Fans

A sports team like the Bombers have an amazing fan base and connecting with those fans is an important part of participating in the community. At the foundation of the new website is content, both about the the team and events as well as learning more about Roller Derby for interested fans. To accomplish this GravityFree created an entire blog around the concept of connecting with and educating those fans.

Interested in learning more about the rules of derby or what the process is like to join the team? The Bombers have really laid it all out from their blog and help even the newest of fans really start connecting with the sport.

The blog’s sidebar pulls all things social together in one place to bring Facebook posts and Instagram photos to fans without having to hunt to find content to connect with their favorite team. Fan can like their Facebook page without leaving the site or immediately start following them on Instagram.

GravityFree did an absolutely amazing job taking my team’s outdated and nonfunctional website and turning it into a roller derby lover’s dream site. We are officially in the 21st century! We look forward to having usability for years to come and adding onto the site with ease with the way that GravityFree built it.

Sookie Smackmouth, President of The Bradentucky Bombers

Keeping Up with the Game

The full season schedule is always available with the next upcoming bout front and center on the homepage to make buy tickets to the game as easy as possible. We knew that fans that wanted to get their tickets would want to do so as quickly and easily as possible.

Bradentucky Bombers

Even in the smallest features of the site we played close attention to the details of flexibility for the Bombers content editors as well providing great concepts in visual design. The homepage announcing the next event uses advanced image blending concepts that allow the imagery to be changed out easily, all the color overly and design features to be applied on the fly. This means that the team can focus on the content and the design of the site is as self-managing as possible.

For fans who might have missed a game the complete history of the season is available with a scoreboard for each bout and bout details on game MVPs and location by click to view more bout stats.

Bradentucky Bombers

Scores are quickly updated after bouts and easily show the winner of the bout with a star.

Highlighting the Team

The Bombers are a great team through the collective of their individual players working together. We wanted to make sure we gave the team a place where they could highlight each of their players, discuss their history in the game, and talk about their individual talents.

Bradentucky Bombers

Fans can find their favorite players and read about what got them into the game.

“GravityFree did an amazing job updating our website. We have a new, more professional face for the world. The navigation of the site is very intuitive, and the graphics really pop! Not only is the site eye catching and memorable, but the graphics and text features really exhibit what we do and who we are. The GravityFree team was super easy to work with, and really focused on creating a quality product specific to our needs. Actually, they went above and beyond what we wanted, and did a lot of extra homework to make sure our site was of equal caliber, if not better than, other Roller Derby leagues around the world. Kudos to Gravity Free!”

Gigi RaMoan, Founder of The Bradentucky Bombers

It’s All Mobile

Currently more than 55% of the visitors to look at the Bradentucky Bombers website are coming from a mobile device. This told us immediately that making sure mobile was not only a great experience, but a primary experience for visitors to the site. Everything from the navigation to the scoreboard were created to focus on the mobile experience and than adjusted for the desktop experience.

Bradentucky Bombers

Commonly called “Mobile-First Design” this gave GravityFree the chance to build the essential interface into the mobile experience and use progressive enhancement to add feature iteratively to the the desktop and larger screen experiences. This is the opposite approach to a more common design philosophy to degrade features for the mobile devices when they are built for the desktop sites first. Both concepts have their pros and cons, but we understood that for the Bombers fans, mobile was going to be their priority.

It’s a Power Jam!

In Roller Derby there is a moment when one team’s Jammer lands in the penalty box leaving only the other team’s Jammer a scoring opportunity, this is called a “Power Jam.” With this new website for the Bradentucky Bombers we feel we’ve taken things to such a new level for a Roller Derby team’s website. We’re really excited to see how their fans will engage with them in new ways.

But all is not finished already right now our team is planning and working to put together a merchandise store so fans can buy t-shirts, buttons, and other team logo merchandise even during off season. One thing is for sure the online successes for the Bombers are just getting started.

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