Helping customers select the right ball

Ball Selector Wizard

The Client

Mitre Sports International is the world’s oldest sports manufacturer and a leading sports brand. Mitre specialises in the design and production of footballs and football equipment. Mitre’s footballs are used in several football leagues such as: The Football League Cup, The Football League, Scottish Premiership, Welsh Premier Division and the Football League Trophy.

Mitre is a a giant in sports brands and it was exciting to work with them on a new and interesting app for their website.

The Brief

Mitre approached BuildEmpire with an idea which would help them drive engagement, increase sales and deliver a personalised user experience.

Mitre’s concept was an interactive web app which would allow customers to input their various needs and be presented with the ideal ball for them. Mitre also needed this function to be available on all partner sites to drive interaction and deliver happy customers. Needless to say, BuildEmpire turned their concept into a reality.

The Challenges

  • The app had to be on the client-side only, so there was no server interaction for the data
  • It had to be small in file size so it could be packaged and distributed
  • A complex ranking algorithm had to be developed to ensure the balls provided met the user’s needs
  • The app needed to fully integrate with Google Analytics to record important data and user behaviour
  • And finally, of course the app needed to be mobile & tablet friendly

Our Solution


The solution was a web app which could be installed on any of the Mitre retailer sites and accessed by one click by the user. The app was styled like a pop-up which could be closed at any time, but allowed the user to input their requirements in return for a ball recommendation. Some of the questions the users were asked included:

  • Player age
  • Intended ball use (e.g. match, training…)
  • Playing surface

The app then presented the user with a recommended ball for their needs, including a shortcut to view the ball in the shop and links to the ball’s features and benefits.

The user was also able to navigate through the app, meaning they could go back and change their mind or correct any details. The user interface was designed to be inviting and user friendly.

The app was a success because it emphasises Mitre’s position in the market and presents them as the experts in their field. It also suggests that Mitre want to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. From a user point of view the ball selector is handy, especially if the ball is a present or you are new to buying football kit.

The Tech

Our first instinct was to look at multiple JavaScript libraries, but it became clear that none of them would be able to fit into a small deployable package. So, we decided to write solely in vanilla JavaScript using a modular approach that would include a module for each style of questions, whether this be drag and drop, full width questions, or half width questions with images.

An exciting part of this project was investigating and testing the algorithm which ranks the balls according to the user’s needs.

For the storage of data we chose a simple JSON structure, with a file per retailer. When being built this was compiled alongside the main application code, generating a zip for each retailer.

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