Enterprise CMS for a Sports League ObjectStyle Creates Enterprise-Level Content Management System for a US Sports League

  • Sports
  • Industry:Sports and Tournaments
  • Year founded:Late 1910s
  • Location:USA

The client is a major sports league in the U.S. Besides its main news website, the organization runs localized sites in eight different languages, 30+ team websites, and a number of specialized fan and media communication channels.

ObjectStyle has been working on the CMS since 2006, adding new functionality as new platforms like mobile devices and TV consoles emerged.


Challenge

The league’s main website gets millions of views daily during the games season. It’s a place for game scores and other team/player statistics where visitors find game previews, game recaps, news pieces, advertising, photo galleries and videos, commentary, and more.

When ObjectStyle started working on the CMS in 2006, the system wasn’t fit for multi-channel content distribution. The client wanted a more robust content management system that would meet their high standards for speed, performance, and security.


Solution

The new CMS was written in Java as the main programming language. In addition to being a great choice for building complex software architectures, Java helps eliminate many known security threats and vulnerabilities (e.g. SQL injections) that put many off-the-shelf PHP CMS solutions at risk.

ObjectStyle designed and programmed the CMS backend to fit the client’s content publishing needs. Here are some highlights of what has been done.

  • Design templates

    Sports articles can be complex in structure (from the markup point of view) because they often include leaderboards, games schedule, team logos, game videos, etc. ObjectStyle provided authors with a set of design templates for various content types with many customization options.

  • A publishing pipeline was created that supports automatic publishing of content from newswire services, third-party image galleries like Getty Images, Twitter feeds, and other sources. The publishing flow is usually centered around a particular game and allows for the update of the game score, player statistics, and other information in real time.

  • Both journalists and bloggers have access to a private “media” website where they find a wealth of information about the league, the teams, the players, scores, schedules, and more. On this private website, the information is presented in a succinct form, is searchable, and is noise-free (contains no promo materials or ads). So, one can quickly look up a piece of information, download player headshots, access team media kits, find news releases, and much more.

  • Interlinking content on the website not only creates a better user experience, but also helps the search engines make sense of the site’s meaning and structure. The content management system allows writers to interlink player names with dedicated information pages. The editor only needs to mention a player’s name in the article, and a link will be placed automatically.

  • The geo-targeting feature allows the client to show relevant content to visitors from different locations. This is done to geo-target advertising as well as to promote local events. In addition, admins can create a separate news module for each location.

  • A website visitor can create an account, leave a comment (comments can be turned off for selected pieces), and share the post on social media or via email.

  • The CMS allows teams to create subscription-only private websites for fans/season ticket holders where fans can interact with the brand, purchase their merchandise, unlock insider deals, and more.


Results

ObjectStyle started working on the CMS in 2006, and has been adding new functionality in the background of the emergence of new platforms that weren’t here before when we started. The iterative approach provided a solid foundation for ongoing evolution of the league’s content management system. The technical decisions made along the way shaped the CMS into what it is today: a scalable enterprise-level content management system.


Technology stack

  • Java
  • Tapestry
  • Cayenne
  • MySQL
  • ReactJS

Time Span and Resources

  • Duration:10 years and counting
  • Effort:N/A – not disclosed