Blackout Squad

A microsite for a global football competition

Zak Agency
PhotoshopHTML5PHP & MySQLCSSJavascriptUX

The brief

New Balance (NB) run a competition to find the best undiscovered football talent from across the globe and form a squad.

Zak Agency got in touch as they needed help in creating the microsite that would form the basis of the competition. Initially, the site would allow applicants to sign-up and submit videos of their best football skills through social media. After a month, tens of thousands of sign-ups had been received. Professional footballers, together with NB pros cut this down to a shortlist of 100. The final step was an open online voting stage, which selected the final 30 for the squad.

The approach

I was supplied with the initial sign-up design by Zak's design team. I then crafted this into responsive HTML templates.

With the sign-up stage in progress, the design of the voting system began. User Experience was a key focus, specifically for mobile users, as we realised that whilst selecting from a list of 100 applicants may be a easy task on desktop or tablet, on mobile this was problematic. The solution was simple and elegant: a search field. Start typing the applicants name or social media handle, and any matches containing the search string are returned - easy!

A back-end system was also produced, allowing the NB team to extract in-depth data to Excel.

The result

The competition was a great success. With tens of thousands of applications and votes it was a great example of how the web can be used to drive an open, fun, and engaging global competition.