AGH Worldwide predicts Manchester City to take Chelsea's website crown in 2010

August 24, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Chelsea FC have surprisingly won the award for best sports website 2009 from SportBusiness. Whilst nobody will argue with Chelsea's on field strength and commercial awareness many AGH Worldwide argues that their website is simply not up to the high standards expected by their fans. Manchester City fans will certainly be happier with their lot at the moment. Not only are they spending millions of pounds on players they now have a new advertising free website with excellent content and a very attractive and fan friendly layout.

Accepting the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Websites Award 2009 award Cas Knight managing director of Chelsea Digital Media stated:

"This award recognizes the increasingly important role that our website plays in the business of Chelsea FC. Our online operation is hugely important in developing our international fan base and makes a major contribution in terms of our communication with fans, our partnerships and our ticketing operation. Perform, our digital media partner, has enabled us to push technical, functional and editorial boundaries that mean is always evolving as a product."

The criteria for the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Websites Award 2009 were in six categories: "Content; Community; Style; Monetisation; Partnership Activation and Attracting New Fans." It is understandable that monetisation and partnership activation are important in determining a winner of a SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Websites Award 2009 and it is striking the balance between fans content and commercial activation that clubs are currently struggling with. A quick look at several football clubs' websites backs this up.

On demand video content on websites has expanded enormously in the last two or three years with the BBC iplayer and Sky's own Skyplayer making it easier to watch what you want when you want. However, on the Chelsea website all video content must be paid for with the exception of live press conferences due to the unreasonably expensive Chelsea TV. Manchester City on the other hand have a library of content including highlights of their pre-season tour, interviews with their new signings and press conferences all on demand and all in rapidly streaming 16x9 video format. Manchester City's recent agreement with Dutch production company Endemol highlights the importance they place on content available for fans.

On the Manchester City site there are links to fans forums, fans sites and you can even apply to have your forum or site put on the website. Furthermore, Manchester City fans are able to personalise their site removing tabs so only the information they want to see is displayed whilst Chelsea fans must struggle to read through all the clutter to discover anything of any note. Some other interesting features on the Manchester City site are the 3D seat selector allowing you to see your seat before you pay for it as well as the live statistics and commentary on match day. The fans have clearly had a strong input into the website and it has been thoroughly tested for usability a move we can all agree with.

Manchester City have redefined the football website, removing display advertising and concentrating on providing an interactive service for their fans. For these reasons they have the AGH Worldwide vote for next year's competition.