The Web Design Company and Football Team Analogy
Every football fan knows — the game is a source of pride, disgust, anger, and joy. Interestingly enough, clients often face the same primitive emotions when dealing with a web design company. When you think about it — web design is a lot like football. The more you compare the game of football to the many aspects of web design, the more you begin to realize the similarities.
Like football teams, web design companies require teams with certain skill sets working together to accomplish a common goal. For football teams, success means bringing home a Super Bowl. For a web design company, winning is about delivering a strategy-driven, visually outstanding website that is fully equipped to fulfill the marketing goals of the client.
There is more to the web design company and football team analogy than meets the eye. The connection between football positions and web design teams is so strong that Bowen Media’s Project Manager Nick Migliorino discovered a football equivalent for key members of our web design team — from owner and quarterback, to wide receiver and offensive lineman.
Owner: Upper Management
In football, the owner’s attitude permeates throughout the entire franchise. Owners play to win — and that requires bringing in the right talent to make their team a consistent competitor. More than money, successful football team owners require inherent knowledge of the game — combined with the ability to recognize top level talent. Owners essentially create an atmosphere for the team to succeed or fail. The difference usually comes down to the owner’s level of passion and focus for the game.
Just like football team owners, successful web design owners invest in the quality of the work output. Success begins with a deep interest in everything that happens within the business — including the ability to recognize the needs of both the team and clients. Victory in web design means recognizing the right talent to fit into the system. Bringing on a talented web designer is one thing — but bringing on the right designer for the individual project is how a web design owner conquers the competition.
Success Story: The perfect example of continued success in the NFL is the Rooney Family — proud owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Always a competitive team, the Steelers claimed an unprecedented six Super Bowls under the ownership of the Rooney Family. How can a football team stay competitive from the 1970’s through 2015? Simple — through the relentless dedication of the owner.
Project Manager: Quarterback
Plenty of football fans agree: quarterback is the most challenging position in all of professional sports. Mastering the position requires years of dedication and drive — and the pressure alone is enough to crack even the most talented players in the NFL. The quarterback of an NFL team is also the face of the franchise, often representative of the entire team. The same is true for a web design project manager.
Quarterbacks and project managers alike require both a unique skill set and the ability to interact with the rest of the team. A representative of the entire web design company, project managers are the main point of contact for clients. Just as quarterbacks are responsible for every aspect of an offense — including placing the players in the right places to succeed — project managers assign the right talent for the unique project. A football team with the most talented players in the league could lose without a quarterback to place players in the right positions.
Like football, it’s critical for a web design project manager to correctly communicate the needs of a client to team members. For most quarterbacks, the real talent is what’s between the ears — and the same is true for project managers. The real skill is understanding and utilizing the team’s skills to their fullest capability.
Success Story: Joe Montana maintained a reputation as an undersized and unathletic quarterback without the skill or speed to compete with players like Jerry Rice. But Joe walked away from the game with four Super Bowl rings. Why? Because he knew exactly what it took to win — the ability to utilize the skill sets of his teammates to accomplish the ultimate team goal.
Content Writer: Offensive/Defensive Coordinator
Executing plays in football takes skill — but someone has to design the plays. Even the strongest offense in the league would fall flat without an established playbook. Like an offensive and defensive coordinator, content writers provide website designers with playbooks to build a design. In both football and web design, it’s the right plays that allow team member to truly showcase their skills.
In football, offensive and defensive coordinators generate plays to give the team the greatest chance to score with every possession. In web design, content writers do the same — provide the greatest chance to deliver the right message at the right time — to generate business every time a user enters the site.
Success Story: Bill Walsh, head coach of 49ers, shocked the league in the 1980s with his west coast offense. Ahead of his time, Walsh changed the way players thought about offense — the same way a content writer can change the way people think about a business.
Web Designer: Wide Receiver
With a combination of athleticism and attitude, wide receivers execute the type of plays that make fans say, “Wow, how did they do that?” In the world of web design, talented designers make clients say the same. Just as a great wide receiver makes a quarterback look good, a great designer makes the entire web design project shine.
Web designers use all types of styles — but bring one common element to the process: excitement. Watching a wide receiver turn a five yard pass into a 50 yard gain is equivalent to watching a web designer turn a simple concept and idea into a full fledged design. Just as football team get their identities from their most talented players, web design teams form their identities based on the tastes and style of their graphic designers.
Success Story: Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s pure talent changed the attitude and culture of an entire team. In 2008, Fitzgerald teamed up with quarterback Kurt Warner — by all accounts washed up and ready to retire — to bring a team to the Super Bowl that never should have been there in the first place — and within a couple minutes of bringing home the Lombardi Trophy.
Web Developer: Offensive Linemen
Die-hard football fans know — a team can only go as far as its offensive line will take them. Just as offensive lines allow the players on the field to function correctly, so does a web developer allow the designs to do the same. The offensive line is the only line of protection a quarterback has against an entire defense — just as a web developer is the only way that a web design team can launch a project.
Offensive lines rarely make the front page of the news — but no player would succeed without them. It’s the reason quarterbacks often buy their offensive linemen gifts at the end of the season. Without an offensive line, no quarterback could do his job on a daily basis. The same is true in web design. Without a web developer coding the entire website, web design teams would never be able to finish a project.
Success Story: Offensive lineman John Hannah was somewhat undersized — but “The Hog” made up for his lack of size with speed, agility, and fiery intensity. His athleticism helped the 1978 New England Patriots bulldoze defenses for a record 3,165 yards on the ground.
This post originally appeared on the Read Our Minds blog by Bowen Media.