ISMA Supermodifieds Website Review
The internet is a real asset to the sanctioning bodies presenting racing series. Series websites serve as not only an advertising tool but as a tool for communication with fans and competitors and as a repository for racing results and track history. ARA has noted a wide variation in presentation quality, utility, and historical value among sanction/series websites and our reviews will focus on these subjects.
The subject of ARA’s first sanction/series website review is ismasupers.com, the website for the International Super Modified Association and its ISMA Supermodified series. The website review was conducted Tuesday evening, January 26, 2010.
ISMA races supermodifieds in the Northeast and Midwest. The 2010 schedule encompasses races in New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Ohio, Ontario (Canada), and Michigan.
The ISMA website homepage features a “slider” presentation of colorful photography from the series framing the ISMA “36 Years” logo. Navigational bar tabs direct the user to Schedule, Results, Points, Rules, Roster, History, Go-ISMA, Photos, Media, and Marketing. ISMA is on Facebook and You Tube and the links are provided. A link to official merchandise is prominently displayed mid-page, as are links to the 2010 schedule, the 2010 season’s first race, 2009 DVDs, and ISMA News. The Rules and Marketing sections present their information in a user-friendly PDF format. The Roster section makes an attractive presentation of the competition roster with links to excellent photos of the racecars. Go-ISMA addresses the issues of becoming a competitor, marketing partner, or fan. In addition to the YouTube link, the Media section provides media and article links.
Fans and historians alike will be pleased with the Results section as it provides results and photos from 2002 through 2009 and the Points section provides a 2002-2009 point archive. However, results prior to 2002 are not posted on the website. The History section contains a brief entry on the history of ISMA and links to two private history sites. The Honors section contains the listing of champions and runnersup plus such titles as Rookie of the Year. Presenting complete, attractively presented race results in a readily accessible format is essential for any series website and very important to fans and historians. The ISMA site’s presentation of its 2002-2009 results addresses these needs but the lack of results prior to 2002 points up the lack of historical continuity many series websites present. ARA understands the reasons for these deficiencies: the relatively primitive nature of recordkeeping and its cost in time and money in the pre-PC, pre-internet era and the lack of continuity and limitation of personnel in management and staff of sanctioning bodies. Consequently, historical material is not necessarily easy to obtain, format, and present and efforts such as ISMA’s are laudable but highlight the need for results reconstruction and posting efforts although it is sad that such reconstruction efforts are necessary. The lesson for today’s series operators is that it is imperative to maintain results records in a secure and transferable database and ideally to present as much of the information as possible on the series website.
The ISMA website is a modern, informative, attractively designed and easy-to-use resource for fans and competitors. At this point the main improvement possible would be the inclusion of pre-2002 results, winners listing, and point standings material.