Melbourne agency Thirst Creative has unveiled an expansive online rebrand for Baseball Australia, involving a complete overhaul of the league’s digital properties across their network.
It’s the franchise’s first major brand overhaul in 20 years.
Baseball.com.au acts as a cohesive one-stop digital platform, allowing Baseball Australia to gain wider relevance by producing original content across multiple mediums for baseball fans worldwide, as well as servicing the needs of a traditional national base.
As part of the refresh, Thirst Creative has rebuilt Baseball Australia and the ABL’s flagship sites and eight team pages, introducing cross-platform responsive web design across the board – a first for Baseball Australia.
Baseball Australia CEO, Cam Vale said: “This outcome sets up Baseball Australia to be able to communicate, present and promote the sport to our key stakeholders – sponsors, participants and baseball fans in a way comparable to any major sport.
“The commercial appeal of our website and digital channels is transformed as a result of this project.”
The website utilises a perfect blend of automated, up-to-date stats through the API and localised editorial content by local teams to ensure the site is always populated with the latest game figures, data and news.
The streamlined navigation guides users through four main site sections – News, Videos, Play and Stats – with completely live scores, standings, rosters, schedules and local club info now all just a click away.
In an effort to boost Aussie interest in the sport, Baseball Australia also tasked Thirst Creative with simplifying the on-site process for finding local clubs and signing up to play.
Thirst Creative head of digital media, Olivier Michelet said: “This was an exciting and ambitious project for us to work on, and we’re thrilled with the result.
“The new content hub firmly places Baseball Australia at the cutting edge of digital innovation in Australian sports, and we’re excited for fans around the world to enjoy it.”
Another key goal in the redesign was to produce a network of sites that better reflected user priorities and appealed to Australian design principles.
Thirst Creative opted for a cleaner, simplified layout that allows established fans to quickly find the content they want and didn’t overwhelm new visitors.
The fresh makeover also allows for full site takeovers for partners or advertisers to create seamless and dynamic promotions across the league’s online presence.
Baseball Australia GM of broadcast, media & communications, Andrew Reynolds said: “The complexities we had to deal with for this project cannot be overstated.
“Moving away from a platform built and managed entirely by Major League Baseball and coming up with something that better suited our needs was always going to be a challenge.”
He added: “Thirst Creative listened to our needs and helped us develop a network of sites that exceeded our expectations, proving you don’t need a mega-agency to build a mega-site.”
Baseball.com.au’s new look premiered on July 22 2019 and the full network of redesigned sites will launch in mid-November, just ahead of the 2020 ABL series.