Mavericks Custom Theme, Vol. 1

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, wanted to take the team's site off the default NBA platform. He wanted his team's site to stand out from the rest to give Mavs fans a better experience. What he requested was an experience that was innovative and fresh and behaved more like an app than a website. We collaborated with the Mavs' IT and development department to come up with something truly unique and inspired.

dallas mavericks logo

DATE: Completed in April 2013 to be ready for the off season and draft day.

ROLE: With Nien Studios, we were responsible for analyzing data, strategizing on architecture, designing the templates, and developing the theme.

URL: This version of the site no longer exists. But you can see the second iteration we built for the Mavs at mavs.com.

CLIENT: The Dallas Mavericks are an professional basketball team competing in the NBA Western Conference, based in Dallas, Texas.

mavs-v1-home-page-desktop

Going Beyond the Template Look

Often WordPress sites are easy to spot because of common layouts and styles. With this design, we pushed way beyond many normal website conventions of the time to create a site that was engaging, interactive, and awe inspiring. This meant also being creative with development to bring these designs to life.

Project Gallery

Using a mobile-first development approach, we created an interactive experience for users to find information about game days, players, stats, schedules, and news about their favorite basketball team.

mavs-transition

A Rich User Experience

To achieve the "app" feel for the site that Mark Cuban had requested, we used two main tactics. First was to use as much of the available window as possible for the content. This meant moving the nav to the left side and making it collapsable. Second was to add a transition between each page so when the user clicked around the site, the page would transition up, down, left, or right to denote how they were navigation through the site hierarchy. But this had to implemented in such a way as to not affect load time or make the user feel like they had to wait for content.

Third Party Media Integration

While the design and interactivity was up to us, much of the data that populates the mavs.com site comes from the NBA. More importantly, that information is updated on a regular basis. We used the NBA's API to watch for new data for players, videos, images, and more. When new content was available we imported it into the site.

mavs-video-example

Praise from Peers in the NBA

Jenn Schiffer who was a front-end develop for the NBA when this theme was live was impressed not just what we did with the site, but also that we accomplished this using WordPress. She featured the Mavs site in her presentation at WordCamp San Francisco 2014, the premier WordCamp of the year. There is often a misconception regarding the power and extensibility of WordPress. This site helped change that paradigm. 

Conclusion...

Getting the opportunity to collaborate with the Dallas Mavericks on a web project will always be a company highlight for Pixel Jar. The were a very communicative and open team to work with, which is something we always appreciate. We were extremely proud of the innovations we produced for the project. The final product delivered surpassed expectations of the client. And we continue working with the Mavs organization to this day on new themes, upgrades, and developments.

Ready To Get Started?

We look forward to hearing what challenges you are bringing to us.

arya ahmadi

Back in 2013, we partnered with the talented team at Pixel Jar to make Mavs.com the first fully-responsive team website across the NBA. Brandon, Jeff and Robert have been keeping us in front of the cutting edge ever since.

Arya Ahmadi

Managing Editor at Dallas Mavericks
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