The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx organization is a widely known professional sports institution that supports Minnesota's NBA and WNBA teams. The group has experienced heightened success in recent years through the women's Lynx team—which has secured four league championships in the past seven years (2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017).
Kelly Pedersen is an interactive designer and developer for the Timberwolves and Lynx. She handles much of the digital advertising and web development for the organization, with a focus on providing various opportunities for fan engagement and ticket sales.
When the WNBA overhauled all of its websites to accommodate responsive design before the 2015 season, Pedersen found herself in need of an online form solution for the Lynx basketball site. Because the Lynx organization uses online forms to support corporate sponsorships and contests, the solution needed to allow for custom branding. Using Formstack's Theme Editor and customizable form themes, the Minnesota Lynx saved hours of development time and established a seamless process for branded form creation.
In 2015, the WNBA updated its family of websites to allow for responsive design and more interactivity. While this was a good move forward for the league, it left the Minnesota Lynx web developers with fewer capabilities for creating forms and managing a submission process.
Sponsorships and contest opportunities are a big part of the Lynx organization, so access to a robust data collection tool was crucial. Following the WNBA's website overhaul, Pedersen knew she needed to find a new way to manage contest entries on the Lynx site.
Luckily, Pedersen didn't have to look far. The WNBA recommended she consider Formstack since a Formstack plugin had already been installed in WordPress. Pedersen accepted the recommendation and discovered that Formstack was a perfect fit for the Lynx site.
"After doing some research on Formstack, I realized that its accommodations matched really well with our league and with the Lynx organization," Pedersen said. "It had the nice data collection capabilities, it was responsive with our site, and it had easy customization, which is important for us to stay on brand."
The Lynx organization uses Formstack in large part to create and manage forms for community relations requests, enter-to-win contests, and social media sweepstakes. They frequently partner with corporate sponsors to host contests and drive fan engagement, which means the ability to quickly create on-brand forms is essential.
Formstack's Theme Editor gave Pedersen this ability through easy styling tools, a CSS code editor, and custom form themes. The Lynx organization has saved hours of development time by using the Theme Editor to save custom theme templates that can be applied to multiple forms.
"It's nice to be able to create a single theme and implement it across the board. It makes the process seamless for us," Pedersen said. "We often have requests come up last minute, and with the theme templates already saved, it only takes us five or ten minutes to throw together a contest form. That's a huge help for us and the client because we can have a mock-up for the client pretty much on the spot."
Formstack's WordPress embed feature has also been a big time saver for the Minnesota Lynx. Embedding an online data collection form on the Lynx site is simply a matter of selecting which form to embed from a dropdown menu.
Since implementing Formstack, the Minnesota Lynx organization has stumbled on a couple additional key players in the form builder: data sharing and in-app analytics.
Formstack gives Pedersen the option to export submissions to an Excel spreadsheet, which she can easily share with the various sponsors to show them how well a contest or campaign is doing.
Additionally, Formstack's in-app Analytics allow Pedersen to dig deeper into each contest to see information such as top referrals—or which promotion is bringing in the most contest participants. She can then share this information with the associated sponsor or group, and it can help them plan for future contests.
"Having the ability to really show clients and corporate partners the data breakdown is extremely helpful," Pedersen said. "We can have it sent over to them within minutes."