Cricket Australia (CA) is the custodian of cricket in Australia with a vision to be this country's favourite sport.
Cricket Australia (CA) is the custodian of cricket in Australia with a vision to be this country’s favorite sport. Cricket Australia appointed digital agency, Reactive to plan, design and develop the digital assets for the launch of the new T20 league; the KFC T20 Big Bash League (BBL). The initial project included the creation of nine websites and Facebook pages, all on an existing single Sitecore CMS implementation, with future projects expanding the mobile and social media presence.
The challenges facing Reactive and the KFC T20 Big Bash League project included:
- Launching the digital presence for a new cricket league and eight new teams by providing the digital interpretation of the brands initially developed by FutureBrand.
- Introducing and increasing fan engagement with the Big Bash League, its teams and players, six months prior to a ball being bowled.
- Creating rivalry between the teams; to have fans declaring their allegiances and joining in the rivalry.
- Working in a multi-vendor environment with concurrent delivery on the same Sitecore platform.
- Cricket Australia was also in the process of concurrently delivering cricket.com.au and state websites onto the Sitecore platform.
Cricket Australia selected Sitecore for the following reasons:
- Focus on usability allows even casual users to easily manage Web site without complicated coding.
- Multi-site management provides support and content sharing across many sites across a single management platform.
- Sport and entertainment credentials - Sitecore is used by a number of high profile sports teams in the American NFL (Atlanta Falcons), English Premier League (Manchester City) and the NBA (LeBronJames.com).
- New features and updates constantly being rolled out in Sitecore’s product roadmap.
- To overcome low levels of initial familiarity, the idea was to create an energetic and cohesive program across all nine Web sites, leveraging opportunities afforded by digital media to reach the youth-oriented target market.
Following a stringent Information Architecture process that clearly defined the overall structure, content and hierarchy for each site, Reactive worked closely with Cricket Australia on the visuals for the sites, customizing each design according to the appropriate team/league branding produce by FutureBrand.
Building the BBL sites with Sitecore CMS, Reactive had to strike a balance between keeping all nine sites technically onsistent yet visually distinct. Templates were developed in HTML and CSS, and included flexibility for customization and future enhancements.
With fan engagement as a key objective, the KFC T20 Big Bash League site includes features such as a live countdown, hype videos to generate anticipation for the start of the competition, online membership and rich media content, encouraging fans to pick their teams. Extensive social integration such as the Facebook Like Ladder and Fan Voice page create a sense of tribalism as fans are urged to join in and declare their allegiances, making them part of this exciting milestone in Australian sporting history.
Reactive was able to tap into local and global Sitecore resources that provided them with both feedback and advice on best practice implementation of the solution. What resulted were nine visually distinctive websites that are all part of one cohesive platform.
The Sitecore platform allowed Reactive and Cricket Australia to rapidly build and launch a digital presence for the new KFC T20 Big Bash League and team pages inside of 10 months. Sitecore provides a centralized platform for eight team sites to work out of which allows for easier management of content and admin access.
The websites have clocked up jaw-dropping numbers, with site traffic exceeding expectations. Over 3 million page views were delivered during the season and fan engagement on the site over 3 ½ minutes. The newfound fans have continued pouring in, with an average 75-80 per cent of new visits recorded.
The KFC T20 Big Bash League mobile apps, which pull in news and data from Sitecore, are also recording impressive numbers. The iPhone app has over 84,000 downloads and during the cricket season was 4th in the App Store for free Sports apps. Cricket fans are clamoring to download the Android app as well with over 23,500 new users since launch. The Android version is rated 4.7 stars out of 5 on the Android Market and the iPhone version is rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Solution Special Ingredients:
- Sitecore CMS
- Cadability/InfoPlum – to show game scores and team statistics
- Brightcove video player – to provide fans with screenings of live matches and highlights
- Disqus – commenting
- Social API integration to Facebook and Twitter