Sports are about competition and, to a great extent, their thrill comes from taking sides. So how can a 'vertical portal' web site seeking fans of many sports from many nations hope to capitalise on opposing loyalties on all fronts?
It could start by following the ingenious lead of British-based Sportal.com.
Rather than create a single web site that labours to be all things to all people, Sportal has launched an intensively cross-linked archipelago of mini-sites sorted by sport and nation, thereby providing as many entry points and experiences within Sportal as there are interest groups.
It is also exceptionally well linked to team sites hosted outside its network, and has been named official web site producer for Euro 2000.
Thus, the brand makes itself a kind of vital nerve centre to the otherwise disparate worlds of football, hockey, motorsports, horseracing, golf, and so forth - across seven European nations and Australia. (Whew.)
To keep the experience coherent, Sportal imposes a clear, and pretty uniform, layout and content strategy for each of its sites. It interlaces its comprehensive game results with proprietary content, including star interviews, quizzes, and even 'live' coverage of past events in the form of minute-by-minute timelines detailing who kicked what (and whom) at each stage of the game. Goal!