Major League Soccer experienced a radical change in the last few years as the brand expanded to engage fans online, and needed a partner to help execute. As soccer fans ourselves, MLS was something we had to get involved with.
MLS started in 1993 to bid on the World's Cup, which they hosted in 1994. Ten teams starting in their first season in 1996. Since then the league has nearly doubled in size, and with the addition of Montreal, there are now 19 teams all over North America competing for the coveted MLS Cup. Today MLS serves millions of fans around the world, while running a fantastic and vibrant league all over North America for the World's most popular sport.
We've had the pleasure of attending games, and several members of the Workhabit team have had the enviable experience of going to MLS Cup games in both 2010 and 2011. Working with MLS is unique, because you can go see the teams compete, and the fervor of the fans — it's absolutely amazing.
As we analyzed North American sites for sporting leagues, we realized that MLS Digital was uniquely situated for growth and had an exciting opportunity to grow the league. The engineering and implementation challenges matched the opportunity, and all of the work had to build on the momentum that MLS had already obtained, so we had to introduce improvements that didn't disrupt the existing experience — and that's not an easy balance to execute. On top of that, we needed to migrate everything from one provider to another, and build the complex infrastructure to support everything from the iron up.
The key turned out to be contained in a great partnership with the client, working through every aspect and really working together to make it happen. There were plenty of challenges, from design to server architecture, but working with MLS Digital has been an absolute pleasure, and one of the best relationships we've ever experienced.