Playmaker Case Studies

Delivering solutions for top football clients with our new Playmaker platform.

Reading Room has built a strong industry reputation as the trusted digital partner to a number of top football clubs, including Swansea City, Middlesbrough and Stoke City.

Along the way our service offering has grown massively, enabling clubs to engage with fans more effectively and providing best-practice functionality that will work for any club.



With a strong understanding of the challenges faced by football clubs on a daily basis, we wanted a solution that would provide clubs with a range of digital tools at their fingertips, simplifying various tasks such as managing and publishing content.

We also wanted to understand how digital could best serve fans, enhancing the club-fan relationship and bringing fans’ needs to the forefront of the experience.


We knew that keeping up with digital and meeting fan expectations can be an ongoing challenge for clubs.

We therefore realised the importance of providing the right digital tools at the right time, to encourage fan interaction and loyalty.


Enter: Playmaker.

Playmaker is a flexible, open-source Drupal 8 platform helping clubs achieve their commercial, marketing and fan engagement goals.

With a suite of reusable widgets, clubs can be sure their key needs are met while having the freedom to customise the platform and develop their own distinct online presence.

We worked with three clubs in particular - Stoke City, Middlesbrough and Swansea City - to determine their workflows and build back-end systems that suited their needs.

Through both club and fan research, we were able to define an ideal user experience for both camps. For clubs, this meant publishing content quickly, such as instantly updating the system when someone scores; adding in some commentary, or pulling in/embedding a tweet or Instagram post.

For fans, this meant showing social media content that younger fans would appreciate, and giving access to the right stats, at the right time.


Key elements of Playmaker include:

  • Easy usability, for both clubs and fans

  • Integration of Stream AMG for live and on-demand content

  • Integration with Opta for player and league stats

  • Streamlined user experience with single sign-on functionality across website; store and ticketing platform

  • Detailed statistics and insights into fan behaviour

  • A tried-and-tested design for presenting data such as league tables, rich stats and upcoming fixtures, and integration across all devices

  • Full social media integration and management

  • A mobile-first experience, with considerations for further enhancements on desktop and other devices.



Through use of Playmaker, we were able to successfully lead the launch of three Premier League football websites in just three consecutive days.

All websites conform to Level AA of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, with the flexibility to evolve further in line with fans’ needs. When a new site launches it can be a disconcerting experience for visually impaired users, so we worked closely with a blind fan of Middlesbrough FC to test all new features with a screen reader.

The platform has been used to create individual strategies for Stoke City, Middlesbrough, Swansea City and other FC clients, with complex tracking plans in place.

After just one month, there was already evidence to suggest significant improvements, such as:


increase in unique visitors to Swansea City


increase in page views to Stoke City


increase in visit duration to Middlesbrough

New enhancements for Playmaker remain in the pipeline, with the introduction of single sign-on functionality and integration with Alexa voice commands.

With strong implications for a range of other industries, this as just the beginning of the Playmaker journey.

See how we can help you on yours, by getting in touch today.

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