To start the season right, the new Chicago Bears Website was created according to current design and technology standards. Since 80% of all computer monitors are set at 1024x768 resolution or higher, ChicagoBears.com was built to support a 1024 design while also remaining user-friendly to people operating on smaller resolutions. What’s more, the design opens up additional space for advertising opportunities, multimedia, interactive features, and advanced technologies—allowing for a more engaging and profitable Web presence.
The 1024 design teams up with robust technology to give the Chicago Bears an unrivaled Website within the sports industry. No other NFL site embodies an optimized design to meet today’s resolution standards, while also delivering the same breadth of content and functionality to serve a variety of audiences including fans, media, sponsors, etc. In fact, ChicagoBears.com is a content-rich site that employs many innovative features to increase the success of the site. These features include AJAX technology, multimedia, message boards, and even dynamic applications such as the Interactive Depth Chart, which provides a forum for fans to see each player’s position and string.
But perhaps one of the most comprehensive and useful tools for online visitors at ChicagoBears.com is the search functionality, which goes beyond advanced fields and filters. This tool begins with the Content Management System, in which Bears staff can create keywords for the Website. Each keyword is then set up to flag associated information. This gives Bears staff unlimited control over the content that is displayed for specific terms and gives visitors quick and easy access to more information. For example, clicking on a player from within the Team Roster will bring up photos, player bio, news, multimedia, and other related player information all within a quick-view popup window.
As Mike Svanascini, COO of Americaneagle.com, puts it, "We know that pro-sports fans are a demanding audience. They are also typically very aware of newer technologies like blogs, RSS feeds, and multimedia. Accordingly, we knew it was necessary to employ technologies that would bring the fans as in touch as possible with their favorite team."
In addition to meeting the needs of fans with interactive design and functionality, the Website is also a revenue-generating tool for the Chicago Bears Football Club. While the design allots extra space for advertising opportunities and sponsorships, ChicagoBears.com also profits from an extensive e-commerce store. Following the success of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Chicago Bears turned to Americaneagle.com to design and develop their online storefront. Recognizing the specific needs of the Chicago Bears and their fans, Americaneagle.com implemented customized features within the Bears Pro Shop. Some of these features include "Shop by Player" and "Shop by Price" search menus, a multiple ship-to option, a scrolling merchandise tool, inventory and shipping indicators, fully integrated e-mail marketing, and more.
In order to maintain all aspects of the site, including the Pro Shop, Chicago Bears staff members rely on a sophisticated Content Management System (CMS) to keep all the Website content and functionality up to date. With the CMS, Bears staff can control virtually every aspect of the Website without any programming or coding knowledge. Americaneagle.com created this fully customized CMS to streamline administrative processes, ensuring that updates are handled efficiently, timely, and correctly. For example, with one quick edit, a content change can be implemented site-wide. This eliminates the need for multiple edits to the same content that appears elsewhere on the site, which saves time and guarantees consistency. Trevor Frederickson, Web Content Manager at the Chicago Bears, acknowledged the system’s value by stating, "Americaneagle.com created a customized content management system based on the needs of the Chicago Bears to optimize our daily work schedule and to accomplish necessary tasks efficiently." Furthermore, the CMS is equipped with timers to allow staff to add anticipatory content at their convenience by designating a time for it to be activated on the site. Armed with this robust Content Management System, the Chicago Bears Website was built to accommodate an unlimited amount of information and functionality for continued expansion. Mike Svanascini contends, "With the input from the Chicago Bears we definitely feel that the new site scores from all vantage points. Needless to say, Americaneagle.com looks forward to working with the Bears to further their online success in the future."
To explore the Chicago Bears Website please visit www.ChicagoBears.com.