iCat Corporation, announced that HybridMedia an iCat Commerce Partner, used iCat's flexible electronic commerce software as the sole Web development tool for a multimedia Web site for the American Basketball League (ABL), the first professional women's basketball league.
ABL fans can now hear live broadcasts of the games via AudioNet, get up-to-the-minute scores and facts about the players, teams, schedules and tickets, join the ABL fan club, chat with fellow fans, and buy official ABL merchandise in the online store. The site can be found at www.ableague.com. "We were facing an almost impossible task," comments Carina Rotsztain, president of HybridMedia.
"We had only six weeks prior to the opening game to develop a world-class Web site, and we were starting from ground zero. We originally purchased the iCat Electronic Commerce Suite for the online store capabilities, but then discovered that it could really save us development time and engineering resources with the rest of the site as well."
The flexibility of the iCat solution was the turning point in helping the ABL achieve their goals according to Rotsztain. "There are thousands of content items and graphics on our site, and we discovered that areas such as "Teams and Players" or "Hoop News" were really just informational catalogs," she added.
"The complete freedom of page layout that the iCat system provides, along with its ability to delivery database generated web pages, is a perfect solution. We're updating information and graphics daily, and iCat's publishing capabilities are the most comprehensive and easiest to use."
"We're constantly being amazed and impressed by the great sites our customers and partners are creating with the iCat Electronic Commerce Suite," said Craig Danuloff, iCat's president and CEO.
"The ABL is a sophisticated site driven by constantly changing information-and that requires dynamic pages driven by a database. iCat technology makes that possible, and of course our online shopping capabilities and varied payment processing options allow the ABL to have a great catalog of merchandise too.
"Leading Web development firms like Hybrid Media are setting the pace in the industry by delivering cutting-edge Web sites that are completely flexible, affordable, and order-enabled -- in just a matter of weeks with the iCat software."
This Web site represents a powerful, new media channel for the ABL, creating an instant community of women's basketball fans. Fans now have around-the-clock access to detailed game information, news reports, statistics, interviews with players and coaches and audio broadcasts of the games not shown on television.
The site also serves as a retail outlet for ABL merchandise, allowing shoppers to add items to a shopping cart and order securely via credit card and purchase ABL's official merchandise online.
"The site has been a huge success," said Sylvia Acevedo, manager of ABL's Interactive Technology Division. "More than one thousand fans have registered with a large number of return visitors, and we've sold a thousand of dollars of team merchandise already. The ABL received an attractive, professional, and comprehensive site even though we had an incredibly tight deadline of just six weeks."
"The Web developer community has been looking for a way to participate in electronic commerce," added Danuloff. "By combining their development expertise and the iCat software, Web developers can now give their business customers the most complete and flexible solution available and increase their profitability at the same time."
More than 80 Web development firms like HybridMedia, and hosting companies nationwide have joined iCat's partner programs by selecting iCat as the electronic commerce solution for their business customers.
iCat software has been used by a wide range of leading Internet marketers, including other sports organizations such as the World Wrestling Federation and GolfWeb. It has also been used by retailers such as Office Depot and the Edutainment Company. In addition, Apple Computer recently launched a secure intranet application designed exclusively for their employees, using iCat technology.
The iCat Electronic Commerce Suite was recently awarded a "Four Star" rating and given Macworld's "Editors' Choice Award" for the best software for building a dynamic Web site. The Suite was named the "Software of Choice" by The Catalog Site, home to more than 170 retail and business-to-business catalogs on the Web. The Catalog Site can be found at www.catalogsite.com.
The iCat software supports Macintosh, Windows 95, Windows NT, Sun Solaris, Sun-OS, Digital Alpha, SGI, AIX and other popular UNIX platforms. The iCat Electronic Commerce Suite is available at an introductory price of $1,495 for a single user version. A free trial version of the iCat Electronic Commerce Suite can be downloaded immediately or requested on CD-ROM from the iCat Web site.
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