E. luke@luke-allan.co.uk

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Midnight Madness is the biggest summer basketball program in Europe, responsible for bringing some of the world’s most iconic players to the UK and reaching an accumulated audience of more than 6 million people.

The program was originally created in 1999 to help combat gun crime in London, using a series of basketball ‘open runs,’ through the night, as a positive diversionary activity for 16-25 year olds.

In 12 years Midnight Madness have sent elite teams to Hollywood, Chicago, Paris and Miami. Showcased renowned music artists such as Chris Brown and Busta Rhymes. Staged finals at world famous arenas such as Wembley. And, attracted sporting superstars such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant to UK shores.

The Brief
Having established itself as a focal point for summer hoops, the Midnight Madness website offered an opportunity to leverage that exposure all year round.

The challenge was to migrate the site from it’s current platform (Ning) to a more robust, flexible and sustainable platform. In the process we were tasked with improving the visual design and user experience whilst saving the team money by challenging their current infrastructure and suggesting improvements.

What we did
The result is a fully featured community built by integrating Buddypress with WordPress. The design is considerate of the unique brand identity Midnight Madness have developed over more than decade, whilst building character in every interaction. User profiles and community features are heavily customised.

Midnight Madness wanted to empower each player that signed up with the tools needed to promote themselves to prospective coaches. We transformed the normal user profile into a more visual ‘player profile’ that communicates vital statistics (such as height, weight, wingspan and vertical leap) plus photos and videos. We also leveraged their proprietary ‘Ranking’ system, allowing event staff to update a players’ rank after every event.

With the group managing multiple sites on the WordPress platform already it was logical to align these processes, saving internal staff valuable time. By improving their internal infrastructure we were able to double their requirements whilst halving their outgoing costs.

The Launch
To say these guys don’t do things by halves is an understatement. An ‘Entertainer’s Classic’ style 3on3 tournament between some of the UK’s leading media outlets complimented by live musical performances, fashion shows and Caribbean cuisine. This was the tastiest website launch I’ve ever experienced! The event was hosted at The Regal, a renovated purpose built basketball court in London at the Black Prince Community Hub.