Everton

A FAN-FIRST DIGITAL OFFERING

Everton is one of football's most historic names, with a record 110 years in England's top flight and a reputation as The People's Club.

However, this isn't a club obsessed with the past. Since 2002, when our partnership began, we’ve collaborated on some of football’s most groundbreaking digital projects - including award-winning websites, apps and campaigns. To build on that foundation and guide the club towards an exciting digital future, we set about creating its new official website as part of a new long-term fan-first strategy.

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THE CHALLENGE

True engagement requires deeper connections between a club and its fans.

We used a combination of transactional, attitudinal and behavioural data to give us a precision-like understanding of Everton’s loyal legion of fans. We identified the levers the club could access to assist conversion - both commercial and otherwise - at every stage of the experience.

By involving the fans and other key stakeholders through focus groups, surveys and interviews at the beginning of the project, we ensured they had a big say in the club’s digital approach.

Catherine Rigby

“The transition of using that data as a principal way of driving decisions rather than a prop to support them was a key focus of Everton’s approach.”

Catherine Rigby Head of Planning
Audience on the move

35% of traffic is on mobile and 15% on tablet devices

Heavy traffic

5.7m average monthly page views, 682k monthly unique users

Engaged users

72% of Everton's audience are repeat visitors

THE WEBSITE

Everton wanted a fresh, data-driven approach that would set its site apart from those of other clubs.

That meant moving away from the traditional layout of football club websites. We introduced an independent scrolling interface and a horizontal slider that allows multiple content columns to be presented across a user’s screen.

With an ever-increasing number of users visiting via different screen types and sizes - including mobile, tablet and wider desktops - a core requirement was for a responsive solution that maximised the content users could see at-a-glance.

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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.

Ant Clark

“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.”

Ant Clark Head Designer
Ant Clark

To build deeper connections, Everton needed the tools to engage fans as people rather than just users.

The Sitecore Experience Platform was chosen and implemented for the site. The wide-ranging features and personalisation capabilities it offers means the club has the tools to reach, engage and understand fans in more ways than ever before.

Not only that, but the intuitive content editing experience and flexible API for integrations were a perfect match for Everton’s brief.

 

Paul Murphy

“For a club like Everton that needs to get news and information out quickly and efficiently, Sitecore has streamlined the process of creating, editing and publishing content.”

Paul Murphy Technical Team Lead

The fans needed a memorable matchday experience.

We spent time understanding the ways in which they interact with the club on a matchday. 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. Social media interaction along with streamed commentary means fans can supplement their matchday rituals. Exciting enhancements are on the way in 2015 too.

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We turned to a trusted partner to make EvertonTV the best in the game.

StreamUK’s award-winning Media Platform product with its Sitecore CMS plug-in was utilised to help the club offer its brilliant HD video content - including player and manager interviews, highlights, match previews, live audio commentary, live pre-season matches and more.

As part of the next phase, Sitecore’s personalisation tools will allow us to capitalise on user profiling and onsite behaviour to offer fans a more targeted and relevant experience. Among the key advantages will be the ability to cross-promote content based on what we know and understand about each individual user.

Alec Woolford

“The match centre and media platform ensure Everton has the tools to provide the best second screen experience of any football club in the Premier League.”

Alec Woolford Operations Director

THE APP

The new site sits alongside Everton’s popular apps for mobile and iPad.

Everton’s iPad app - the first in the Premier League - and mobile apps for Apple and Android are important digital assets for the club. Providing fans with real-time news, media, match results, stats, ticket information and exclusive content, they were named Best Football App at 2014’s Football Business Awards 2014.

"Everton is clearly pushing boundaries within the digital world and has incorporated the app into this. Bringing together written and video content, alongside commercial and ticketing capabilities across multiple platforms was ambitious but the results tell their own story."
Football Business Awards 2014 Judging Panel

CAMPAIGNS

Like any club, Everton has commercial objectives that need to be met.

Each year, we have helped the club achieve its targets with dedicated digital campaigns. Our award-winning Stand Together and Blue Crimbo campaigns generated huge uplifts in sales for matchday tickets, full and half season tickets and official merchandise. Both have helped bring the club and its fans together both online and in person.

Our ongoing social media activity has helped Everton to increase online engagement between the club and its fans by 20%, whilst driving a 37% growth in traffic the website. In addition, our use of social media analytics tool Locowise allowed us to advise the club on resourcing to maximise efficiency and effectiveness of its digital communications.

THE OUTCOMES

39% visitor increase

Since launch, unique visitors and new user visits (32%) have increased.

Mobile visit share up 34%

Mobile and tablet visits' share has risen by 34% and 24%, respectively

26% increase in retail visits

Everton's retail site has seen a 26% increase in visits from evertonfc.com

"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
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