For the more dedicated basketball fans, gameday doesn’t begin with tip-off or entering the stadium.
There are whole pre-gaming rituals to be followed! The buildup to gameday is just as important to channel the energy of fans.
And for one football team, they wanted to build a communal space for its fans… an entertainment district just outside of its arena, the Fiserv Forum.
The Milwaukee Bucks went about constructing this 30-acre fan space, called the Deer District, which opened back in 2019.
It has become the premier location for sports entertainment in the city – featuring restaurants, bars, retailers, and even an apartment complex. The Deer District also hosts festivals, concerts, and farmers’ markets.
To complement the success of its sports entertainment district, the Bucks launched a web app to broaden their fans’ experience.
“Our business objective is to be the best sports and entertainment company in the world,” said Bucks’ digital platform manager Parker Goran. We’re always trying to enhance the experiences our fans have.”
A slam dunk platform
The website for the Deer District was a brand new adventure. As such, there was no existing digital infrastructure to build a website on.
After searching around in the content management system market and doing their own analysis, the Bucks decided to build their website on Contentful.
The headless CMS came recommended by NBA developers who use the content management platform to keep fans engaged with leading digital experiences.
For Parker, the content solution had to have a particular quality: headlessness. As the only developer, he knew that as the site grew, manual integrations would create bottlenecks.
So the ability to scale as a second’s notice was vital, given the number of upcoming projects. And this made Contentful the idea fit, given its headless architecture and flexible APIs.
Today, using Contentful, Parker is able to adjust content and tools when needed. “Contentful allows me to take the information and requirements shared by our events teams and structure them with various content types to create a template to use for future publishing,” added Marker. “After that, the actual day-to-day implementation becomes easy to manage.”
Low learning barrier
The Deer District solution had to be easy to implement given that it has a lean dev team. Parker was able to launch the Deer District site in no time with its documentation and learning service courses.
“Having access to a trial version was a huge help as I could familiarize myself with the platform without committing,” Added Parker. “From a cost perspective, this is a huge plus. You can set things up, gain confidence to launch a full-stack, and then make a financial investment.”
Also, with Contentful’s low/no code landscape, the onboarding process for additional users of the platform is quick and straightforward – such as content writers and editors.
Team members can now share responsibilities and feel rest assured that creating and publishing content can continue when one key member is AFK.
Perfecting the performance
The Bucks’ performance isn’t confined to the court. Its victories are not only accrued through a net but also through the web.
Like gameday, reliability and speed are key performance indicators for the Bucks’ Deer District app.
More than 18,000 fans converge on the Fiserv Forum on gameday and has a capacity of around 65,000 at the Deer District.
As a potential issue, Parker and co. thought about cell connection and its impact on its fans. As such, speed and accuracy are absolutely necessary. Contentful’s Content Delivery API offers reliability that the Bucks can count on so that when traffic hits the site or app, speed doesn’t diminish – something the Bucks I’m certain would want to emulate.