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news article:

11.04.08: Kick off in style.
James Barnett & Associates are delighted to see the new Waikato BoP Football website 'go live'. An exciting new website to mark the start of the new football season. Our involvement with the organisation began more than a year ago. We were initially invited by the 'No. 3 District Federation of NZ Football' to develop their new brand. They had been known as 'Force Three' but it was felt this name did not create the right impression. The decision was taken to change the name to 'Waikato Bay of Plenty Football', a clear, unambiguous statement of what the organisation does and where they operate. The notes from the original briefing read, "The new brand needs to project a professional, modern image, where a passion for the sport runs alongside effective, efficient administration." The website forms part of a broader body of work carried out by James Barnett & Associates that includes a full 'brand consultation', logo design, business cards and stationary.

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We decided the new brand needed a more formal authoritative feel, so the cliche flaming footballs and metallic frame that featured in the old 'Force Three' website have been replaced with smart typography, cool photography and efficient use of colour. To put it another way, less Americanised glitz and more smart design - using images of 'grass roots' players and local officials to build a relevant visual identity. Many images are from local games, taken by local photographers, helping to ensure the brand engages with its key stakeholders - their own players and supporters!

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The visual style of a website is important, especially when it comes to building a strong brand but the aesthetic appeal is cirtainly not the only consideration. Information and structure are other critical areas that require attention.

The first job was to carry out an audit of the old site, working with the client to determine which information should be retained for use in the new website and loosly identify what new material would be needed. Next we created a 'website plan' to help firm up on the details. These plans are extremely useful and really help organise larger websites and focus attention on structure. Many sites are plagued with confusing menu systems and seemingly random placement of content. A 'website plan' helps to overcome this problem and is an essential development tool.

Another important issue was the need to provide the audience with regular, updated information. Staff needed to access the site and add information without becoming web designers! This freedom was achieved using a content management system (CMS). We used a robust, flexible system created by 'Ultimate Design' in Hamilton. This CMS gives a great deal of flexibility and offers staff full control over the content. Match results and league tables are other obvious areas where up to date information is important. For this project it was decided to use 'SportingPulse.com', who collate sports results for many sports throughout Australasia. They offer the facility to use 'IFraming' to pipe information directly from their website into partner websites.

The website is still undergoing minor changes as staff become more familier with the new CMS and become more adept at contolling placement of text and images. The site is sure to become a huge asset to Waikato BoP Football and will be 'bookmarked' by many of the regions football players and fans.

You can see the Waikato BoP Football website at:

www.waibopfootball.co.nz

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