Everton

A FAN-FIRST DIGITAL OFFERING

We have been Everton Football Club’s digital partner since 2002, collaborating on groundbreaking digital firsts in football.

To build on those foundations and ensure the club continuing to be one of the most progressive clubs in digital communications, we were asked to create a brand new website that would break the mould of traditional and tired football platforms.

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Challenge

The existing Everton website had been a success, winning several awards and supporting the club’s off-the-field objectives, but online behaviour and fan expectation continue to evolve.

Our challenge was to build a modern, fan-first website that moved away from the standard and tired football club website approach yet continued to support essential revenue streams.

With almost 700,000 monthly visitors to its website, 50% from mobile and tablet devices, the site also needed to provide a great experience on any device.

Solution

We used a combination of transactional, attitudinal and behavioural data to build a precision-like understanding of Everton’s fans.

This helped us to identify the need to expose fans to more content than ever before, even if only at a glance, and provide it in a way that was aligned to the way they like to browse.

This led to a bold decision to introduce an independent scrolling interface with a horizontal slider that allows multiple content columns to be presented across a user’s screen. This meant that visitors using mobile, tablet and widescreen laptops could always see the club’s newest content.

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We balanced fan needs with the commercial objectives of the club.

We removed banners, and provided new ways for Everton to handle its content. The club can now implement smarter, more profitable ways of adding value to its advertising partners - such as sponsored content - without compromising the aesthetics or user experience of the website.

A big departure from traditional football club sites has been to keep buying choices - such as the latest ticket information - in clear view at all times, however far fans scroll.

The Sitecore Experience Platform was chosen based on its wide-ranging features, flexible API and personalisation capabilities.

This has given Everton the tools to reach, engage and understand fans in more ways than ever before; plus, an intuitive editing platform to create, publish and manage content more easily.

The fans needed a memorable matchday experience.

With online streaming making matches easier to watch and other football sites offering popular text coverage, the new match centre needed to offer a compelling second screen experience.

We focused heavily on social media interaction and streamed commentary, allowing fans to supplement their matchday rituals.

Outcome

39%

increase in unique visitors

26%

increase in traffic directed to its online store

58%

traffic now attributable to mobile and tablet devices

The new site was a big departure for the club and for football in general, yet feedback from fans and peers was positive.

Subsequently, the site earned recognition as Best in Class for Sport by the Interactive Media Awards; whilst a new mobile app, launched after the new site, received Best App at the Football Business Awards.

"Everton has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Rippleffect. During more than 10 years working together we have developed a collaborative and flexible approach that has ensured our website have remained at the vanguard of Premier League digital platforms. This has included a series of digital firsts and a commitment to excellence and innovation. Rippleffect have played a key role in driving that progress and nurturing an environment of shared responsibility and appreciation of the Club's goals and aims. The Club is proud of the successes and awards achieved during our relationship with Rippleffect and we are confident of future progress in the years to come."
Scott McLeod, Head of Content Everton Football Club