A new online home for a sports management company that organizes events for college basketball programs
Founded in 1991 by two former college basketball coaches, Global Sports Management organizes events and foreign tours for college basketball programs.
It’s helped around 100 men’s and women’s college basketball teams travel outside the United States to countries such as Italy, Spain, and Canada. It’s also put together nationally televised college basketball tournaments.
But like many businesses who built a strong reputation offline in the days before the Internet became ubiquitous, Global Sports Management held back from putting their presence online. They didn’t need a website to keep building relationships with college basketball programs and putting together events for them.
As their president Maury Hanks tells it, the time to set up a website came in 2011.
He felt like there started to be an expectation that if money were going to change hands and a contract were going to be signed, potential clients expected to be able to see that the company had a credible website.
Frank Burlison, a colleague of Maury’s and a recent client of mine, introduced the two of us in the summer of 2011. I had completed a project for Frank a month or two prior and he suggested to Maury that I was the person for the job.
The project was fairly straightforward in terms of its goals, as it didn’t need to serve as a full online business portal, in terms collect payments directly or managing communication.
More than anything, the website needed to provide Global Sports Management with an online presence that showcased its body of work, especially its impressive client list and accompanying testimonials, so that potential clients would have something to go on.
Name recognition mattered because coaches are well-connected.
College basketball coaches change jobs fairly frequently and often see one another at tournaments and events. (And they compete against each other, of course!)
Before they book a foreign tour for their program or join a tournament, they want to hear more from people they know who have worked with this sports management company before.
Therefore the new Global Sports Management website needed to serve as a jumping off point for those conversations to take place by making people aware of the business’s past work.
We had a couple different methods in mind to help facilitate this process.
First, we put together a full list of the events and foreign tours the company had organized over the previous two decades, including a list of participating teams.
The list is quite long, which in itself is a great illustrator of the work done by Global Sports Management. Here’s an excerpt below.
Then Maury garnered testimonials and endorsements from a number of well-known college coaches and athletic directors, including people such as:
- Bill Self, Hall of Fame coach from Kansas University
- Jay Wright, two-time champion coach from Villanova University
- Jamie Dixon, head coach from TCU and the 2009 Naismith College Coach of the Year
- Kermit Davis, head coach from Mississippi and a Coach of the Year recipient for four different conferences
Here’s what that looks like.
The new website was to feature both the endorsements and the lists so that the business had both the credibility to get people’s attention and a long list of potential entry points into finding out more.
We used photos from foreign tours to tell a story.
It’s one thing to say you sent college basketball teams to Italy.
It’s a whole other to be able to show photographs of the players at the Colosseum (such as the photo below) and other recognizable places in Rome.
Maury gathered photos the teams had taken on their trips. I put them together into easy-to-browse photo galleries, while also featuring them in key places throughout the website.
These photographs play an important role in showcasing the work Global Sports Management does in organizing the foreign tours, which have several key components:
- The teams are going to play games first and foremost, so Global Sports Management uses its relationships to set teams up with the level of competition they’re looking to face and make sure it goes off without a hitch.
- It takes a high level of planning and attention to detail to organize the games in conjunction with the travel, hotel stays, and the sightseeing the teams do.
- Per NCAA rules, teams can only take a foreign trip every few years, and the trips themselves are fairly short, so getting things right is a high priority for these special events.
The photos and endorsements help put the minds of coaches and athletic directors at ease.
It makes it easy for them to picture their own team also having a great experience.
Hearing that Global Sports Management does all the planning and organizing makes things even easier!
We launched the new website quickly in 2011. That Maury was so on top of getting me the content I needed certainly helped speed things along.
In 2018, I did a redesign for the Global Sports Management website, adding more photographs and endorsements. The goal here was to give the site a facelift after seven years, especially making it more mobile-friendly for small devices such as phones. It also received a boost in the search engines.
The website has been running smoothly. Maury features it in his marketing and communication. We update it periodically with news and events, such as tournament announcements (pictured below).
As a result of this work, Maury hired me for the Emerald Coast Classic project, which we launched in 2014 and has been a strong annual event ever since. It’s nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network and has attracted schools such as Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Florida State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech, among others.