For the past two months or so, Mediacurrent has been working intensively on a project that is near and dear to my heart. We formed a development partnership with Crossborders, a New York City based content creation company. Crossborders overhauled the entire design and functionality for the National Football League's (NFL) Miami Dolphins. We were brought in late to the Drupal development cycle to help with the much-needed final pushes in order to take the site live.
Okay, I will admit it. I am a self-confessed fantasy football junkie and Sunday afternoon couch potato. Couple that with my passion for Drupal, and you can understand why this engagement was pretty cool on a personal level. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time Drupal has been adopted by one of the "Big 4" professional sports franchises (NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA).
Now, I won't sugarcoat anything; this was a challenging project. The Dolphins have a feature-rich site that integrated a number of third-party applications; for example, the site uses live statistic feeds, where every morsel of up-to-the minute data is critical (especially for those of us who play fantasy football) and the user interface was custom-themed throughout to meet meticulous styling requirements. In addition to these challenges, the NFL sets strict formatting guidelines for websites to adhere. As one might notice, there is a lot of video integration within the site. Anyway, we will get into the site's technical specifications later on via a case study.
In short, Drupal was instrumental in meeting the Dolphins' goals when they set out to re-launch the site. They wanted to provide their fans with an improved online experience, and the new site does just that. Some of its features include live streaming of press conferences, in-depth content, a a robust photo gallery, and a “Gameday” section where fans can follow play-by-play results.
Our collaborator in the project, Crossborders, deserves a lot of credit. They relentlessly worked on connecting various stakeholders without sacrificing the high standards the Dolphins demanded. It was also gratifying to hear Brian Edelman, Crossborders’ CEO, say of Mediacurrent:
Given the complexities of the Drupal customization and the extraordinarily aggressive development schedule, Mediacurrent was a phenomenal and needed asset to help us get the site launched for the beginning of the 2009 season. They understood the high standard we set for design and functionality and executed it flawlessly.
Finally, the NFL boasts one of the most name-recognizable brands in the world and the Miami Dolphins launching in Drupal further springboards the platform’s growing popularity across all verticals. Look for Drupal's name to continue surfacing as devoted sports followers clamor for best-of-class websites from their favorite teams. More importantly, Drupal continues to make traction as a viable option for highly visible, enterprise-level sites. Now, if only the Dolphins could make the playoffs...stay tuned!