New NCHC Website Makes Good First Impression
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) unveiled its new official website this morning to much fanfare and, upon initial inspection, does not disappoint. The upstart conference’s new web home is a clean, easily navigable site typical of a Sport Ngin designed venture.
“This is an exciting time for the Conference as we unveil the official NCHC website,” said NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton. “Our partner, Sport Ngin, has developed a product that will allow us to share the NCHC news; engage our passionate fans through unique content and features; and showcase our corporate partners.”
“The NCHC represents many of the most exciting and storied teams in the history of college hockey,” said Justin Kaufenberg, CEO and co-founder of Sport Ngin. “We’re honored to have been entrusted with putting together a website the NCHC, member teams, players and fans will be proud of. Our shared goal is to create an incredibly interactive website that will connect the NCHC with fans and media like no other conference. We’re really proud of the new nchchockey.com”
The league says the concept behind the design is for visitors to experience the sense of “being within a hockey rink” as they browse the site which I found to be a stretch. But in addition to the drop-down menus along the top, below what has become the standard “top stories” slide show and video portal users will find a pair of useful tabs.
The first is a social media tab currently housing the latest tweets from the league, its member schools and Commissioner Josh Fenton. The second tab is dedicated to a dynamic schedule of upcoming games which includes color logos of all participants making it simple to locate your favorite team. Although it says “Next 8 Games” at the top, as of right now, it appears to be a composite schedule of the entire season.
Key elements to the league’s web presence such as a mobile app and an online store where fans can purchase NCHC and member institution branded merchandise and apparel remain in development. Conference officials say, however, both its mobile app and the NCHC Shop are expected to be launched prior to the beginning of its inaugural season on October 18, 2013, with a double-header featuring North Dakota at Miami and Colorado College hosting Minnesota Duluth.
“Fan engagement through technology is a priority for the Conference,” stated Fenton. “We will focus our time and attention on the continued evolution of the site and mobile applications to meet the needs of our constituents.”
The site’s functionality will have to be evaluated over time but, at first glance, the NCHC seems to have provided its fans and media a useful informational tool. Although I think simply keeping its Twitter feed focused on current events, unlike another well-known conference, might be enough for a lot of us.