The final part in our series talks about the online offering of sports clubs.
Almost all sports clubs in Finland today have a website and may offer mobile services as well. Using the Internet, clubs and their members can exchange information, maintain contacts and fuel their fervour. Most clubs rely on voluntary effort; an example is the American football club Roosters in Helsinki.
Olli Jussila, 52, is in charge of their physical training, but – as is common for sports clubs with limited resources – also has a hand in other matters such as club website maintenance.
How was it that he became webmaster?
“The online offering of Roosters got a big boost in connection with a general development program we decided to start after a rough competitive season. Right at the outset we defined external and internal communications as a development focus area. I took charge of web site development, inspired by the online offering of my son’s school during his exchange year in the US. A new player who studied media technology, Aliaksandr Kureichyk, said that he could get involved in digital imaging and set up a Facebook account and a YouTube channel. The club chairman’s daughter is our photographer, I and some other people shoot team practices and other stuff on video, and we try to get more people involved in things like article writing and player interviews.”
To what extent is producing web content a team effort?
“Yep. The workload can be quite large, given that our club has a half a dozen teams and it would be good to put out content on all of them. Our writers have plenty of freedom to write the way they want, perhaps apart from materials related to our top team in the Maple League, which may be somewhat more regulated. Obviously we try to coordinate the writing to ensure broad coverage. At least the WordPress platform we use is easy to learn, and we apply advanced solutions to produce and publish our versatile video content,” Jussila explains. “One thing we do is meet and greet foreign players already at the airport and publish this online, so that their families back home see that their guys are safe and sound.”
Is there a need English-speaking people as writers and in other tasks?
“We always have new roles for people who are interested in the sport and want to collaborate with us on a voluntary basis – just get in touch with us,” Jussila concludes.
Similar encouragement can be found on other sports clubs’ websites. The rest, dear reader, is up to you.