Ever wonder what the thinking is behind how a sports company tackles a major event like the Africa Cup of Nations? We thought we would try something a little different and let you in on the thought process behind SuperSport.com’s coverage of Africa’s premier footballing event.

While the watching of live sport is obviously the first prize, we understand that the sports nuts want so much more than that, and that’s what we try to offer. Our role is to support and extend on the TV experience. We also have to think like a fan in order to please the fans. It helps that we are sports fanatics too.

Navigation and Usability

  • No microsites for web that will drive users away from SuperSport.com and works completely different.
  • We use templates for tournaments and mobile. Not because we are lazy but because our regular users know how SuperSport.com works.
  • The main reason users go to SuperSport.com is for video, news and match data (results, fixtures, logs).  That’s what we focus on getting right first.
  • We also give prominence to important events, like the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, in the secondary navigation of the homepage and further down the homepage under the spotlight section.

Mobile First

While we still have more users on web than mobile, this is extremely marginal – the difference is a few thousand. This trend carries over into Africa and sometimes those margins are even less. Mobile First isn’t a catchphrase for us, it is a business decision.

  • Mobile phone users are primarily looking for immediacy – the latest live score, news etc. So the mobile layout is mainly focused to provide that. This is also why we have a dedicated mobisite: http://afconmobi.supersport.com
  • We found that users are more willing to interact with mobile websites, they are more willing to use their phones for streaming, conversation, that was traditionally the domain of users on websites. So we are rolling out Facebook comments and all match highlights and behind-the-scenes video footage will be available on mobile soon.

Games

Again, keep it simple so it lends itself to mobile use.

  • We found the recipe for unlocking casual gamers is to make sure the game is easy to navigate on mobile and that the gameplay is simple. The prize money also probably helps.

Editorial Content

  • Apart from the live video streaming of all games and TV magazine shows, the fans get to interact with a number of the famous faces they see in the studios. This is kind of an extension of the on-screen experience.
  • We go out of our way to ‘borrow’ the likes of Daniel Amakoci, Mark Williams, Benni McCarthy, Andre Arendse and many more to do Question and Answer sessions with our users.
  • We have all the major news feeds, our own news agencies and freelancers covering the event.
  • We also translate a great number stories and match reports, into French and Portuguese to cater for a wider audiences across the continent.

We always run out of time, no matter how well we plan. That’s just the way it is with sport.