Sports has become a very important part of every social being(Gerdy, 2002). The levels of involvement of people in sports has increased tremendously (Chak, 2003). Sports is defined as any activity that has specific rules that define how it is played and the main reason in engaging in such activities is to win (Gerdy, 2002). Sports has developed so much that sports organization have been forced to develop system that will help them engage in the competition that exists both in and out of the fields (Chak, 2003).
Information technology especially the use of internet has come out as some of the most commonly used avenues through which such organizations can meet their objectives (Guttmann, 2007). The clubs have developed into money making organizations that have become so much absorbed into commercialization and financial practices that separating them from profit making organization is not an easy task (Norlin, 2002).
Professionalism in sports has developed greatly due to increased mass media coverage that has made the games available to a wider audience, improvements in technology which have made the transmission of the games in a clear form to a larger audience and increase in incomes levels that has allowed a large number of people to engage in sports as leisure (Chak, 2003). Traditionally, sports is a social event where communities come together and join each other to celebrate (Chak, 2003).
The nature of sports is thus voluntary from the very start in that the members of the community are free to chose whether or not they wanted to join in the games (Chak, 2003). Clubs and organization have embraced the principles of free will and there are many clubs and sports organization where members are free to join ad leave at their own will. Web Presence Web presence is a social definition of a website which is a collection of files stored in a database that are made available through the internet through specific universal resource locators (URL) addresses (Chak, 2003).
The owner of the sites are responsible for updating the field and upgrading the data depending on the data policies (Chak, 2003). The files that contain data kept in the sites are only accessible to the administrator though there are situations where the sites are made to be as proactive and dynamic as possible through the aid of scripting languages and the use of programming languages that allow for dynamic programming in designing the websites (Chak, 2003). The dynamism associated with this kind of programming provide the web visitors with an interactive interface through which they can interact with the databases (Norlin, 2002).
Professional Real Madrid The official site of the professional club based in Europe can be accessed through the URL <http://www. realmadrid. com/cs/Satellite/en/Home>. The site is comprehensive and contains lots of facts including the latest article, fixtures and results. The site is quite navigable and provides the option of either using English or Spanish. The sites provide a number of intra-page links to some of the issues and subjects that any sports fan could be interested in. The page uses colorful pictures and story heads which blend effectively to create a good visual impression.
The site is updated twice in a week and is accessible as it uses the hypertext transfer protocol (http) that is implemented by most browsers and requires no additional plug-ins to be able o assess the homepage fully. The promoters of the club are also included in the clubs official site. The last date of update of the site is also included in the site. The site provides the capabilities of redirection to live matches and match casts and provides an efficient dialog box that is easily typed on for unstructured search.
The speed of the searches and the nature of the response is effective in dealing with the user navigation requirements. Boston Celtic The official site of the professional basketball club based in North America can be accessed through the URL <http://www. nba. com/celtics/>. The language used is English and the site presents links to a number of articles. The page provides an interactive platform for interaction between the users who are allowed to vote on who they consider to be the player whose impact will be greatest.
The results and fixtures of the club including the clubs best scorers and relevant statistic of the game have also been included. The site provides links to live coverage of games and to software that make access live streaming of game easier. Pictures and graphic that relate to the club have been included in the page and is then included are. The sponsors of the club have clearly been displayed in the sites, the fans can buy tickets and read the previews to a game through this site. The site provides links to contacts, fans and history of the team.
Furthermore, the site provides the functionality for searching article and information that relate to the club through a dialog box. Club Atletico Boca Juniors The South American club official site can be accessed through the URL <http://www. bocajuniors. com. ar/english/>. The site is provided in English and has both text and graphics. The site has no link to the fans and the home page does not show any results. Navigation is easy though access to some resources have been restricted by the use of user names and passwords.
The site also provides a platform for interaction with the fans as they are allowed to vote. Though the site is in English Spanish phrases and words can be seen in their pages. The date of last update does not appear anywhere in the page. Compared to the first two the site is less superior and has low visual appeal. Voluntary Bexley Athletic Club The club can be accessed through the URL<http://www. bexleyac. co. uk/>. The homepage has a short history of the club and provides links to other areas of interest.
The links to results, records and statistics are such that if the user the user has to be extra careful to identify them. The page cannot be displayed fully if additional plug-ins have not been downloaded. The only form of interaction that the site has with the fans is a link that leads to a page that allows the users to shop on-line. The Sports Club/LA It is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Their official site can be accessed through the URL<http://www. thesportsclubla. com/clubs/template. asp? Club=boston>. The page can be opened by any browser and does not need additional plug-ins to display the content.
Simplicity describes the homepage as it has the front view of the club followed by a short description of the facilities provided by the club. The external links are very few and the links to other pages though clearly displayed do no give the website visitors a chance to interact with either the site or other member of the club. The search functionality is aimed at getting the user to navigate to other clubs and does not in anyway help the user get information about the club. Castle Sports Club The official website can be accessed through the URL <http://www. castlesportsclub. com/>.
The homepage is covered in texts and lacks in visual impression. There is no avenue for interaction with the site and the article are based on topics that could be of interest to members and those contemplating joining the club but not for the fans who may wish to find out more about their club. The page is full of news and does not in any way provide a searching mechanism, moreover the date of last modification of the site has not been indicated. Differences The are a key difference in the manner in which the professional and the voluntary sports franchise implement their websites.
The functionality provided by the professional cites is of a much higher degree. The sites are fast and quite attractive they focus more on the aspects that an ordinary user could be interested in. The pages compared to the voluntary franchise have better links and can be opened without necessarily having to add additional plug-ins. The statistics posted by the professional franchise are focussed more on performance while those posted by the voluntary sports franchise focus more on skills and levels of development (Potts, 2007).
The voluntary clubs have links to articles that relate more to social events while the professional clubs have links that are focussed more focussed on performance. The professional clubs present more dynamic websites that allow for interaction not only between the club and its fan but also within the fan base; voluntary sports organizations lack on this aspect as their websites are rarely interactive and if they are they provide limited functionality.
Another major difference is the use of graphics: The professional franchise websites use more graphics than the voluntary sports organizations. The graphics in the professional sports franchise are aimed at bringing the feel of belonging and is often include images of players and glory moments. The voluntary sports franchise on the other hand have websites that rarely load images and if they do the images address issues that are of a social dimension.