A couple of months ago when we talked about STX’s new K18 microsite, we introduced you to the real Kyle Harrison. Or did we? K18 has something else up his internet-sleeve, and it’s his own, non-STX sponsored, professional website. Get ready to know Kyle Harrison on a whole ‘nother level.
First thing’s first: Make sure your volume is up when you visit the site. The opening video, which portrays Kyle playing wall ball while listening to headphones, is overlaid by audio of announcers praising K18. This is something special because put together, the video reminds us that even when you’re “the best midfielder in the sport,” doing the little things like wall ball on a consistent basis are incredibly important.
It’s also a reminder of how Kyle is, just like the rest of us, a guy who loves lacrosse. Going out to hit the wall is something we all have done and continue to do, whether for training or just to blow off some steam. The praising audio also gives insight to what fuels him, showing that for K18, being one of the best isn’t enough.
This video is one of 10 media backgrounds to the site. That’s right, there are photos and videos in the background of the site as you peruse the side tabs. It’s a pretty cool feature, but if you want to look at the backgrounds by themselves, or simply want to pause the slideshow to focus on the information in the tabs, you can easily do so with the background controls at the top right of the screen.
It must be noted, however, that when you pause a video in the main site, the play button that appears in the middle of the screen doesn’t have functionality. It does when you are in the background media-only mode, but it is deceptive and a bit annoying in the normal site.
The other background media tabs include photos and graphics from Kyle’s collegiate, LXM, and MLL career, as well as posters from STX and Nike ad campaigns. Many of the video highlights originally came from The Lacrosse Network, but are now featured on Kyle’s own YouTube channel too.
The best one is at the very end of the slideshow, which opens with the wall ball video that plays when you open the site. I love that it includes highlights from the MLL as well as LXM, again showing how important lacrosse is to Kyle, not just a brand. The site also has other photos and videos, ranging from face-off instruction (who knew?), to highlights from college through professional, to an ESPN video about Morgan State lacrosse, his father’s college team.
Speaking of Kyle’s YouTube channel, there are social media links at bottom left of the site for Kyle’s YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. As the K18 STX microsite only had links to STX social media, I see this as an immediate upgrade.
There are also social media links in the menu on the side of the page, but I have an issue with how they appear. The menu only lists Twitter, but as you hover over it, Facebook and Instagram appear. The menu should say “Social Media,” with all of Kyle’s accounts appearing when you hover over it. It’s also curious why YouTube isn’t included here, although it is at the bottom of the page.
I do have a few other small knocks against the site. Unless you’re visiting the site with your browser in full screen, the titles get cut off when you open the side tabs. The “X” to close each tab was also blocked by the background media controls in the top right when I wasn’t viewing in full screen, and I wish I were able to simply hit the escape key to exit a tab. You can also exit the tabs by hitting the Home tab again, but it was a little annoying to keep doing so.
Kyle’s new website also has the obligatory links to his equipment line, sponsors, and the LXM PRO tour, but also includes his camp company, Playmaker Lacrosse. Kyle does a lot instructional work at LXM events, but his camps with Playmaker are rarely ever talked about – its inclusion here is another reason why this site provides a better look at the real Kyle Harrison.
While the STX microsite provided a more realistic perspective of their player than other company-sponsored player sites, K18’s own iamkyleharrison.com delves even deeper into the man that is Kyle Harrison because it is designed not by a sponsor, but by Kyle Harrison himself.