The Atlanta Falcons have a tremendous and devoted fan following. The Falcons wanted to connect and reward its fans for their loyalty beyond the football season, but its website lacked the Web 2.0 social networking capabilities that would allow fans to connect with each other and with the team on a daily basis. The Falcons wanted to provide the media plug-ins to provide fans with a window into the Falcons’ daily activities.
So the Falcons re-designed their outdated website and now offer fans a next-generation website with the inside
scoop on all things Falcons – from daily videos and interviews to constantly updated stories and team and player information. This has resulted in a recording-breaking traffic for the new website, with more than 30,000 online community members.
“ Throughout my career of managing enterprise level NFL websites, I’ve utilized at least a half dozen third-party and private-label content management solutions. No system I’ve used in the past even approaches the flexibility, scalability and sheer power of our current Sitecore solution. „
- Dan Levak, Director of New Media, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons wanted to implement a solution that provides the most advanced website to give fans a compelling web experience, without requiring an inordinate amount of time and manpower to maintain and update. The Falcons had limited IT staff and could not afford to hire additional staff to maintain an updated website.
Sitecore and partner Digitaria
To overcome this challenge, the Falcons turned to Sitecore, the leading provider of .NET Web Content Management (WCM) and portal software, and Digitaria, a full-service digital marketing and technology firm. The Atlanta Falcons chose Digitaria because the company was committed to delivering technologies that were compatible with the Falcon’s preferred operating environments, complimented by a true passion for professional sports. Digitaria partnered with Sitecore because it recognized Sitecore’s leadership in the Web Content Management space. Sitecore’s .NET framework provided Digitaria with unlimited flexibility and scalability, and could provide the Atlanta Falcons with high performance for many years to come.
The scope of the AtlantaFalcons.com initiative was to bring a compelling fan experience to millions of Atlanta Falcons fans worldwide. The project utilized technology that enabled a small group within the Atlanta Falcons organization to deliver visually stunning content to fans, and empower millions of visitors to engage each other in the shared fan experience. A key requirement for the site was the ability to blend rich multimedia and social computing content seamlessly into the web experience. Achieving this was simple to do using Sitecore CMS, which offers some of the most robust integration capabilities in the industry.
Sitecore supports broad integration
The project included integration of Sitecore CMS with Castfire to manage and distribute rich media assets including video, sound and text, and The Port Network to weave social computing into every aspect of the AtlantaFalcons.com experience. ”Sitecore was the technology of choice for us on this project, due to its world-class integration capabilities, and unlimited extensibility. There wasn’t a thing that we wanted to do that Sitecore couldn’t accommodate” John Van Spyk, Digitaria project leader for the Falcons project.
Fans played a big part
The Falcons worked with its Fan Advisory Panel to collect input directly from regular site visitors, and Digitaria ensured that all components of the website design, technology, and content, directly reflected fan feedback.
Web 2.0 functionality, rich flash video, easy to manage
Sitecore’s CMS provided the software tools needed in order to craft an entirely new, next-generation website that takes significantly less effort for the Falcons to run, while providing a platform to quickly deliver compelling web experiences. It leverages design and functionality concepts from the Microsoft Office user interface, enabling the Falcons to manipulate website content with minimal user training. Now, the Atlanta Falcons are equipped with Web 2.0 functionality such as content tagging, advanced multimedia delivery and integrated social networking features. Sitecore’s solution makes the website so powerful yet easy to manage that it allows the Falcons to concentrate on what’s important, connecting with fans on a more personal level. This enables the Falcons to have huge market impact through lively web experiences, and leverage their website in order to further extend their business.
Together, Sitecore and Digitaria built one of the most advanced and interactive website in sports, which allows Falcons fans to experience the industry’s best website navigation, multimedia technologies and social networking capabilities.
Since utilizing Sitecore’s CMS and Digitaria’s design expertise, the Atlanta Falcons’ website is experiencing record-breaking traffic.
Fans can now customize everything from personal profiles to their favorite Falcons photos and videos, making their experience even more rewarding. Fan social interaction, passion and loyalty is even higher with the active support of the new design.
For the Falcons, changes that once required hours of development time and the associated costs, are now accomplished in-house with a few clicks of the mouse.
Plans are already underway to add additional exciting capabilities, knowing that Sitecore’s flexibility can accommodate their boundless imagination.
Solution Special Ingredients:
Castfire to manage an ongoing sequence of video content, delivered as a single flash video file, integrated between images, text and video.
ThePort, Social Network Product, which allows Members to Create a Circle of Friends/Members, post experiences with Friends and Members, participate in a Virtual Community Center, and Share photos, videos and audio via Rich Media Galleries.
DoubleClick for ad serving
Akamai for CDN site caching delivery
Emarketing tools for list management, fan communication and site surveys
Extensive Flash for image and video presentation