- SOLUTION : Microsoft SharePoint Portal

- SECTOR : Public

We define the Sportal Project as a revolutionary process. There will be many innovations that we can create and apply as an institution.”

Mehmet Celil Özdoğan
General Directorate of Sports
Data Processing Manager

General Directorate of Sports Sportal Project

With Sportal, all sports branches are gaining importance and more opportunities are provided for successful athletes to grow.

With the establishment of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2011, the General Directorate of Sports (GDS) that has been founded in 1922, launched a rapid technological breakthrough. The primary target of the institutions hosting more than 3.2 million athletes is to spread sports to the foundation of society and to ensure successful raising of amateur and professional Turkish athletes in all sport branches.


The aim of the project is to establish a portal structure to reach and link GDS directorates with all provinces and districts in Turkey. This portal structure aimed to provide the end-to-center information and data flow.

While this structure was expected to transfer information to the headquarters on the basis of news and content, it is also aimed to improve with innovative applications such as live competition broadcast and online booking to be added to the project.


General Directorate of Sports Sportal Project

65 sports branches come alive

In line with this goal, the Sportal Project is being implemented with Innova in order to provide the necessary attention and financial value not only in the known sports branches, but to more than 65 sports branches under the General Directorate of Sports.

Sportal Project, reflects the information and news received through Provincial Directorates in 81 cities on the Sportal via intelligent management module and shares the current data in the General Directorate of Sports instantly with the visitors of Sportal. Sportal Project aims to bring together all sports branches in Turkey. Data Processing Manager at General Directorate of Sports Mr. Mehmet Celil Özdoğan and İnnova Business Development Expert Taylan Tunaşar answered our questions about Sportal.


Designed towards the future

At GDS, we used the Corporate Communications Portals Solution designed by Innova on SharePoint. GDS also manages software, archive digitization and document management system projects. Sportal has been designed as system transformable into a commercial model with applications such as sponsorship, ticket sales and online booking with new modules that can be added to the structure customizable according to sports branches and provinces. Mehmet Celil Özdoğan explained the aims of the project as follows: “With the Sportal Project of the General Directorate of Sports, we aimed to bring the athletes who compete in many different branches whether they are professional or amateur, together with the sports fans. If we evaluate this project in terms of informatics, we see it as a step taken by the General Directorate of Sports in the digitization work carried out with Innova. We aimed to bring together all the Provincial Directorates connected to our General Directorate, with facilities, coaches, referees and athletes in a single portal and to gather all of the data obtained here at the GDS Headquarters. Sportal will be one of the rare examples in the world.”


70 news entries a day

Although the project is still in the testing phase, the flow of news from the provinces to the center has been completed. 70 news entries are made daily. Social sharing, video, photos and current GDS information pages are active on the portal. Province-based search, province-based data display is available. The system controls are centralized. In this way, units will not need to spend additional budget for their web pages.


We aim to make information valuable

DGS Data Processing Manager Mehmet Celil Özdoğan, stating that Sportal Project aims at evaluating the information and materials in all provinces and units and making the valuable, noted the following: “Our information and data have become valuable in our times. These data can now be sold, turned into asset and provide resource. We live in a time when it's valuable to know people’s preferences, to learn what they do. Sportal page contains up-to-date information on DGS facilities in Turkey, as well as current athlete license information. Photos and videos taken at the events in the provinces are also gathered on the portal. In time, we will have such segments as “the athlete of the month”, interviews and articles from a particular province.”

Özdoğan added: “I believe that a structure where general information and materials are gathered in a single point will give us a vision”, pointing out that the information that becomes valuable with Sportal is now gathered in a single center. He continues his words as follows: The sports news from all provinces appear on Sportal through our software working in the background. We know where the news come from, which province, on which date, at what time. We ask our provincial directorates in 81 provinces to select the relevant sports branches and load the content. In this way, we can see what is done for each sports branch, and we can see this in a single point.”


Providing services to 3.2 million athletes

Özdoğan, indicating that they want to use the increasing power of digital media on Sportal, said the following: “Many of the sports branches are not covered by the media. Athletes showcased on the Sportal will also gain spiritual satisfaction. We are also connecting to social networks via Sportal. In this way, we aim to increase the interest in sports. Today we have over 3.2 million athletes in Turkey. If we evaluate this number together with family members of 4 people, we are talking about an enormous target audience of about 12 million people. We also aim to increase the interest of this audience with Sportal and engage their participation. On the other side, there will be sponsors who would want to address this target audience. This will provide a separate opportunity for the DGS. With statistics, contents and potentials, we aim to convert information, which is the most valuable power of our time, into a material value.”


“Sportal is a starting point of a revolutionary process”

Özdoğan noted that the studies related to Sportal have been going on for 2 years since the idea stage and that the information coming from the outer units is organized in a single portal in the center. Defining Sportal as a starting point of a revolutionary process, Özdoğan continued: “We define the Sportal Project as a revolutionary process. There will be many innovations that we can create and apply as an institution. In time, new modules will be added to Sportal. We have designed our system to allow for many innovations.”


Sportal SharePoint 2010

Özdoğan explains that they established Sportal on SharePoint 2010 and that they use the modules installed on SharePoint and integrate the software into this structure. Özdoğan continued: “Both the modules available on SharePoint and the software modules created with the experience of Innova, can be integrated into the Sportal. For the system of this size and capacity to collect this much information, we have created an exemplary use of SharePoint. There are many organizations that use SharePoint for websites installations, but it is very hard to find examples in Turkey where the system collects information and methodically regulates it in the background.”


Will be opened to anyone interested in sports

Expressing that Sportal was designed to attract not only athletes but the sports fans as well, Özdoğan shared the following information about the modules on Sportal and the innovations targeted to be added: “From the point of view of the sports fans, the available information includes the activities in the selected province, the information of the facility in that province, the athlete license information, etc.. We will also integrate our online reservation module on the Sportal to enable citizens to see the availability of facilities in their respective provinces, to see the facilities available for training and sports, and to make reservations online any time they wish.”


Özdoğan stated that those who want to do sports will not be limited to only making a reservation but said that they want to show people that there are many other sports branches besides the popular sports branches: “We want people who are active in these branches to know about each other, too. We want to convert the invested labor into value. That is why Sportal will be a portal where you will be able find every sports branch and everything about sports. For example, you want to learn about a sport. To be able to provide you that information, we plan to implement a promotional module in a short period of time, where detailed information about sports halls, coaches and tools related to that sport branch would be available. In this way, people will be able to obtain information about sports branches and will be able to see the opportunities related to the sports they are interested in. At this point, families will be able to direct their children more consciously.”


Özdoğan emphasized that Sportal is not just a project, but it also brings a vision to the institution: “We made a short notice to all of our outer units about Sportal and today there are over 70 daily news and content entries. This figure is higher than the number of daily average news entries of a sports agency. We believe that this figure will increase with the spread of our infrastructure to the base. With Sportal, all of our units have avoided allocating a budget for making web pages.”



Integration with document management

Özdoğan reminded that with portal solution, they can manage web pages from Ankara: “This way, while our units can save their budgets, our general directorate saves on separate budgeting. With the technical personnel to be employed in our outer units, all information will be flowing from the outer units to the center, and this solution will automatically index the data entry without need for personnel to enter any details. With sportsman, referee and coach modules that we plan to implement in the future, all the personal information will be archived and shared with authorized persons with the document management project we are conducting with Innova.”

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