Sydney University Football Club

Balancing tradition with modern needs of sporting clubs for online success

HyperWeb was approached by the Sydney University Football Club (SUFC), a prestigious rugby club that competes in the Shute Shield, Australia’s highest domestic grade of rugby. Driven by the forward-thinking Executive General Manager and former Wallaby Nathan Charles, the club sought to revamp its online presence with a modern, user-friendly website that would engage its fans, players, and the community.

For sporting clubs, optimising multiple concerns for different audiences is vital. Engaging with the club’s community of members, players, and supporters, regularly providing club and team information, and promoting and attracting sponsors are all important for ensuring a club’s smooth operation and sustainability. Obviously, a strong web presence that balances these priorities is essential for success.

Background of Sydney Uni Football Club

The Sydney University Football Club, established in 1863, is one of the oldest rugby union clubs in Australia. Competing in the Shute Shield, the club has a rich history and holds the record for the most senior premiership titles among Sydney clubs. The club’s Women’s Rugby team was founded in 1994, while the Juniors program, established in 2005, includes various boys and girls teams from different clubs. Today, it stands as a symbol of unification, bringing together athletes, students, alumni, and Rugby Union enthusiasts under the banner of collegiate pride and competition.

Website Development Objectives

Recognising the need to modernise, with the Sydney Uni Football Club leadership and marketing team, including design agency Southern, we embarked on a mission to create a digital platform that would serve multiple purposes. The new website wasn’t just about looking good – it had a job to do. The project’s primary objectives included:

  1. Create a visually appealing design that reflects the club’s rich history and values.
  2. Enhancing user experience for existing fans and players by integrating features to enhance user engagement
  3. Broadening the club’s reach to engage potential new members, players, and sponsors
  4. Fostering a sense of community online via dedicated information for members
  5. Providing comprehensive match information, including live updates and statistics
  6. Streamline content management for easy updates by the club’s staff.

The majority of sporting clubs in Australia use templates supplied by the service each competition uses to facilitate match fixtures, results, and ladders. These templates are restrictive and result in each club looking homogenous with a minimum of club logo and colour identity, the only differentiator from their competitors. Our solution was to provide SUFC with a distinctive and premium online presence that sets it apart from other clubs in the Shute Sheild, making it attractive to potential players and sponsors. This is a business focus of competitive advantage applied to a sporting club.

Challenges Faced

Like any ambitious overhaul, the project was not without its hurdles. The club, steeped in tradition, was cautious not to erode its legacy while striving to present a modern image. Additionally, there were technical challenges related to third-party integrations for live match data and robust design preferences from Southern’s design work that needed to align with these functionalities. Balancing a sleek, contemporary design with the club’s historical aesthetics was paramount.

Development Process

The development team, in close consultation with the club’s stakeholders, opted for an agile approach, allowing for flexibility and incremental developments that could be tested and refined in short cycles. This iterative process was key to aligning the website’s maturation with the club’s ethos and the audience’s actual needs. From wireframes to live testing, each stage was punctuated with extensive user feedback.


Our team collaborated closely with SUFC to understand their unique requirements and design preferences. We developed a custom WordPress theme that showcased the club’s colours, logo, and imagery. The responsive layout ensures optimal viewing across desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Key features of the website include:

  1. Interactive Fixture and Results: An easy-to-navigate section displaying the club’s upcoming matches, past results, and a live Shute Shield ladder.
  2. News and Events: A dedicated space for the club to share news updates, match reports, and club events.
  3. Membership portal: Members only section for exclusive access to club news and event information.
  4. Sponsorship and Partnership Opportunities: Prominent display of sponsors and information for potential sponsors and partners, highlighting the benefits of supporting the club.
  5. Online Merchandise Store: An e-commerce platform for fans to purchase club merchandise securely, both internally and externally, with their supplier Canterbury.
  6. We implemented a user-friendly WordPress content management system (CMS) that allows the club’s staff to easily update content, add new player profiles, and manage the online store without requiring technical expertise.

Lessons Learned

One of the most profound insights gleaned from this case study was the importance of strategic web development. Cookie-cutter templates and rushed launches can stifle the unique value a custom site can offer. The time invested in understanding user needs and preferences reaped substantial dividends. We also learned that tradition and innovation need not be adversaries. When respect for legacy meets the enthusiasm for progress, powerful results can unfold.

The Sydney Uni Football Club’s website development case study is not just an account of technological transformation; it is a testament to the pivotal role a website plays in the life of a sports club. For business managers seeking to invigorate their company’s online presence, this case study underscores the importance of a user-focused approach, continuous iteration, and a balance between heritage and innovation. It serves as a blueprint for business leaders looking to enhance their brands in the digital age.

The Sydney University Football Club now has a strong online presence that reflects its status as a premier rugby club in Australia. The website serves as a central hub for members and fans to stay connected with the club, access essential information, and engage with the team in meaningful ways.

We had the pleasure of working with Brendan Brooks and the talented team at HyperWeb, and the experience has been nothing short of exceptional. As a football club, we were seeking a website that strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and modernity—a platform that would resonate with all our stakeholders.

Brendan and his team delivered precisely that. Our new website is an inviting digital space where players, fans, and supporters can easily access crucial information. Whether it’s match schedules, team updates, sponsor information, or events, everything is seamlessly organized and presented.

But it wasn’t just about aesthetics and functionality. Brendan’s commitment to customer service was remarkable. He and his staff went above and beyond, ensuring that every detail was addressed promptly and professionally. Their dedication to excellence truly sets them apart.

We’re thrilled with the final result—the website is a testament to HyperWeb’s expertise and passion. If you’re looking for a web development partner that combines creativity, reliability, and outstanding service, we wholeheartedly recommend HyperWeb.

Nathan Charles - Executive General Manager


For more info about Sydney Uni Football Club, check out their website.

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