Lithys 2014: Fox Sports Australia - Best Community Design

Lithys 2014: Fox Sports Australia - Best Community Design

Company: Fox Sports Australia Fox Sports logo.png

Entry submitted by: Shae Marlow (ShaeM) Community Manager

Community: The Crowd (

Lithy category: Best Community Design



FOX SPORTS is Australia’s leading producer of sports television coverage and is home to Australia's favourite subscription TV sports channels, as well as Australia's number one general sports website –


FOX SPORTS’ mission is to take fans closer to their favourite sports than ever before. We feed the passion of fans and give them access to sports, players and insights like they’ve never had - offering them an entertainment experience like no other, every day of the week.


Sport is incredibly tribal and controversial topics arise every day that people want to talk about. Our vision was to offer the more passionate sports fans a seat at the table to discuss the hottest topics with the best sports talent in the country.


The Crowd is a new FOX SPORTS community forum which offers fans and readers a place to offer their comments, thoughts and opinions on what is happening in sport at any time – the ultimate home of sports conversation in Australia.


The Crowd key outcomes:

-       Own share of voice of sports conversation in Australia

-       Build fan engagement by providing a platform for fans to interact with the best sports talent and key influencers in Australia

-       Monetise through third party advertising


FOX SPORTS Australia is the leader in delivering sports entertainment and so in order to bring a new and innovative digital product to life in a competitive market, it was important to align with Lithium.


Lithium provided a market-leading platform for FOX SPORTS to launch The Crowd with immediate community vibrancy and the most innovative user experience – a forum at the forefront of sports communities in Australia. The Crowd has been the most important digital product to come out of FOX SPORTS Australia in five years.


Lithum has enabled The Crowd to integrate existing FOX SPORTS digital and social strategies as a way to drive deeper engagement with fans, with immediate success.

The key differentiators of the FOX SPORTS community include:

  •          FOX SPORTS designed and developed the community in a short six-week period and within a limited $30,000 budget.
  •          It differs from most forums in that the platform is for enthusiast conversation and not necessarily customer service and product support.  
  •          A new approach was needed in building a less traditional community to create revenue through third party advertising.
  •          FOX SPORTS adopted a new and innovative style to the standard Lithium forum homepage. Two bold design customisations included, making latest content the key feature and demoting the search toolbar.
  •          To ignite and excite existing FOX SPORTS users and attract Australian sports fans in an established market, it was critical the Lithium based community was developed with the FOX SPORTS brand and personality at the forefront.


Customised features of The Crowd community include:

  • Designed the homepage with a dynamic latest content feature for all sports as the centre of the community
  • Repositioned the search toolbar to the middle of the homepage so users levitate to latest user discussions instead
  • Branded and surfaced ‘Loudest crowd posts’ on the homepage and board pages

Fox 1.jpg


  • Integration of FOX SPORTS talent. Specific ranking icons, names and professional avatars were created, ensuring FOX SPORTS Presenters and Journalists etc are clearly identifiable 

Fox Lithys talent image.png


  • Easy navigation for fans across FOX SPORTS digital platforms. For example, from the FOX Football website when a user clicks The Crowd in the main navigation bar, they’re taken directly to Football community board (and not The Crowd homepage) 

Fox Lithys nav image.png


  • A targeted and alternating brand image on the homepage, where a logged in user is excited by   ‘ALWAYS TALKING SPORT’ but a logged out user is enticed with ‘JOIN THE CROWD’ 

Fox Lithys hpage.png


  • Integration of ‘Latest sports stories’ feed from FOX SPORTS, to bring users closer to the latest sports news and ignite discussions
  • A sports ‘scoreboard’ featuring stats of The Crowd’s current activity
  • Kudos renamed as 'points' to keep track of who’s scoring the highest 

Fox scores.png


  • Moderators renamed as Referees, to reiterate who’s responsible for presiding over the community 

Fox image2.png


  • Avatars designed with FOX SPORTS brand and theme in mind, where users can select either their own favourite guernsey number or their favourite sports star’s 

Fox avatar.png


Early and direct feedback from key influencers has been extremely positive:


“Thank you, I think this would be a great tool for sport chatter... was unique to see Paul [Kent] replying.”


“Having a recognized sports brand such as FOX SPORTS in Australia to be able to express an opinion, participate in a debate or observe an alternative perspective will be great in the long run.”


The immediate community vibrancy has exceeded all KPIs, including traffic and growth metrics as well as over 2000 posts in the first six weeks. 



Lithium Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: 2014 Lithy Submission

The most recent conversaitons custom piece on the homepage is really cool. Nice work.