Site of the Year 2010-North America Category Winners
Learn about Sitecore's Site of the Year category winners - websites that we recognize as best in industry web solutions leveraging Sitecore technology.
Best Consumer Goods Site: BARE Sports
Implementation Partner: E-Cubed Media
BARE is a progressive company with a rich history in manufacturing dive, watersports and fishing gear for recreational and professional markets. Over 38 years of experience in more than 54 countries, has given them the confidence to design and build products that are consistent with one goal - to deliver a better dive.
The purpose of the BARE site is to support the retail channels by providing a captivating site that showcases BARE’s innovative products, and allows products to be filtered and easily compared.
Previously, content management was cumbersome and not scalable. The prior CMS system did not handle multi-language content very well nor did it have the ability to present a specific bundle of products particular to certain geographic regions. Finally, it lacked an intuitive way to search and filter products and couldn't facilitate any comparison.
For the new site, BARE wanted to enhance the overall user experience. Working with Sitecore partner, E-Cubed, they chose Sitecore for their platform. According to Steve Widen, Cofounder and Vice President with E-Cubed, "Sitecore’s robust framework doesn't constrain the development of unique architecture and allows us to easily customize and deliver on the customer experience.”
E-Cubed extended the solution with:
- BAREFinder – a custom search utility
- Product Comparisons
- Regional sites with their own multilingual content, with regions including US, Canada, Europe and Asia, and content in English, French and German (Coming soon Spanish and Russian
- Custom shopping cart development
- Custom inheritance rules
- Product magnifier
- Google maps and proximity search for dealer locator
The new site has allowed BARE to meet all of their goals. The page views on the site increased by 82% the first month and have averaged a 68% increase.
According to Peter Falk, VP Marketing, BARE, “The new site is a platform for communicating BARE’s brand’s attributes and differentiating BARE from industry competitors. In terms of design and function, it successfully achieves how we want to communicate the brand. It has finally become a usable platform to communicate with our consumers directly and have them interact with us.”
Best Mobile Site: Brookings Institution
Implementation Partner: Velir
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC, which conducts high-quality, independent research and provides innovative, practical public policy recommendations.
Its website, brookings.edu has been on the Sitecore platform since 2007 when Velir teamed with Washington, DC based, Threespot, to build a new website for Brookings. Since then, Brookings has continuously engaged the team to enhance its website scope and functionality. The goals of the most recent Brookings web initiatives have been to broaden its reach across both digital and physical space. Brookings web content is now available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic, while users have a wide choice of access methods including native mobile applications, RSS, social media, and email.
Rather than add new systems to manage, Velir extended Sitecore to deliver mobile and cross-channel publishing to all of Brookings’ digital properties, leveraging the existing Sitecore content library.
Velir extended Sitecore in several notable ways: They used a custom-built API on top of Sitecore to send the content to the mobile optimized sites and native applications for the iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, and Android. This allows users to access, via their phones, thousands of articles available on the main site. Velir also integrated social media into the Sitecore solution. Content authors simply check a box to publish out to Facebook and/or several different Brookings Twitter accounts. Twitter publishing also includes a custom URL shortener, brookin.gs, and the option to schedule the posting time of Tweets. All of these efforts further the Brookings brand and its reputation as a leader.
The enhanced site is terrific for content creators and editors as it allows content to be created, edited, and stored in a single location, while published out to every digital channel. In most organizations each medium, be it email, mobile, or social, is managed separately, creating headaches in keeping its communications standardized. This solution solves the problem in an elegant and scalable way.
The mobile application has several integration points which Velir planned and executed: integration with the YouTube API to display videos using the standard video player; integration with the standard "share" function on Android; and integration with the devices’ built in maps, phone and email functionality.
According to Mark Gregor, Velir, “The Brookings digital strategy is supported greatly by the development of the mobile site, mobile applications, social media integration, and multilingual content. These applications would not be possible without Sitecore, which is the connective tissue for delivering all Brookings web content. Users can now easily access Brookings research on the go, which is vital for policy makers and researchers in our nation's capital who are constantly on the move.”
Best Education Site: Brooklyn Law School
Implementation Partner: Weymouth Design
Brooklyn Law School was seeking to improve its online presence to better represent itself, while integrating with diverse back-end technologies, including Microsoft Sharepoint. Working with Sitecore partner Weymouth Design, they chose Sitecore to rebuild their site from the ground up.
See the full case study here.
Best Performance and Entertainment Site: Cirque du Soleil
Implementation Partner: Ergonet and CGI
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees from over 50 different countries, including more than 1,200 performing artists. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonders and delights to more than 100 million spectators in near 300 cities on five continents. In 2011, Cirque will present 22 shows simultaneously throughout the world.
Cirque du Soleil officially launched its new website in 2010 in a desire to reposition the company online. A true international showcase, this new site presents not only all Cirque du Soleil shows but also the company’s various parallel achievements. “This revamp is in line with Cirque’s desire to extend its presence in the world of entertainment and new media on a global scale,” explains Annie Derome, Director of Internet and Interactive Media.
While maintaining stringent standards of artistic quality and originality, Cirque du Soleil brings to innovative projects the same energy and spirit that characterize each of its shows. Working with Ergonet and CGI, Cirque du Soleil chose Sitecore as the platform for their site.
“Our web platform needed to be flexible enough to support the implementation of creative and sometimes complex web design interfaces, while still being simple to maintain. It also had to be fully multilingual, multichannel, well supported and scalable enough to sustain the organization’s growth around the world.“ explains Maxime Gaudreau, Director of Web Development & Operations.
Cirque du Soleil web ecosystem now hosts around 10,000 pages on 40 microsites and offers content in more than 15 languages. The whole cirquedusoleil.com is visited by more than 20 million people around the world every year.
Best Museum/Fine Arts Site: Cleveland Museum of Art
Implementation Partner: LUCRUM Incorporated
The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 40,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing a multi-phase renovation and expansion project, it is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. Admission to the museum's collection is free. The Cleveland Museum of Art has a membership of more than 21,500 households and is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
Previously, the site had difficult-to-use navigation, a design that did not reflect the unique character of the museum, and outdated content.
Sitecore was chosen based on its functionality combined with price. This website was developed by LUCRUM Incorporated, in partnership with Pentagram Design, New York, which provided the user interface design. The primary objective of the site is "To support the Museum's mission in bringing the pleasure and meaning of art to the broadest possible audience."
The core website was extended through integration with Piction, the museum's digital asset management system, and with the museum's membership database which is linked to each user's online account; in combination with user-provided interests and preferences, this information can be used to customize and share content that will be of interest to each user. The site's search function was also enhanced to query multiple museum data sets to provide a truly universal search.
The new site is a work of art. According to Cindy Fink, Director of Marketing and Communications at the museum, "We have received many positive comments from visitors, and also from museum professionals that have held this site up as a model for how museums can connect with their audiences online. We are proud of this new platform which supports both the museum's mission and our digital engagement strategy."
Best Utilities Site: Cobb EMC
Implementation Partner: Arke Systems
Cobb Electric Membership Corporation is a not-for-profit electric membership cooperative providing reliable electric energy to five north metro Atlanta, GA counties and four counties in southwest Georgia. Formed in 1938, Cobb EMC started as an electric utility with 489 residential members and 14 commercial accounts. Serving approximately 196,000 residential and commercial customers, Cobb EMC is now one of the largest of Georgia's 42 EMCs, and is among the largest of the nation's approximately 900 EMCs.
Arke Systems, a Sitecore partner, was introduced to Cobb EMC’s website development project by Blue Sky Agency and was able to help Cobb EMC get their site up in 120 days from strategy to launch.
Goals for the new site were to improve user experience, drive more online servicing of energy clients, and reduce the amount of time Cobb EMC spends making updates. Arke Systems worked closely with Cobb EMC’s IT department to identify the best Content Management System. Once the Sitecore CMS platform was chosen, Arke Systems, Blue Sky Agency, and Cobb EMC’s public relations and marketing departments, worked very closely to implement Blue Sky Agency’s impeccable information architecture and website design.
Following Arke Systems’ implementation methodology, specifically designed for Content Management System implementations, Cobb EMC was able to go from creative design to go live in under 120 days.
In addition to the Sitecore platform, Arke Systems executed Blue Sky Agency’s user interface to integrate Cobb EMC’s account management portal, which allows their customers to pay bills, manage their energy usage, and communicate with customer support.
With the Sitecore platform deployed, Cobb EMC has been able to make content changes to the website quickly and without technical staff assistance, making it possible to keep the site content fresh and relevant.
Today the Cobb EMC site is live, and feedback has been extremely positive – from both content editors and site visitors.
Arke Systems is a technology-consulting firm assisting businesses in the Atlanta area who realize information technology is a catalyst to their long-term success. Recognized as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Arke Systems is one of the leading technology-consulting firms in the Atlanta area working with businesses to provide innovative and flexible solutions. Arke specializes in custom web application and software development, database development, business intelligence, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint solutions.
Blue Sky Agency is one of Atlanta’s leading independent, full-service advertising agencies. With a staff of 30+, the agency’s specialties include strategic planning, advertising, branding, identity & design, interactive marketing, direct marketing and media planning and buying. Blue Sky, founded in 1994, has a client roster that includes the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers, Berry College, FleetCards USA, Gas South, Gospel Music Channel, Reader’s Digest, Turner Broadcasting and Lifetime Networks.
Best Association/Non-Profit Site: Entrepreneurship
Implementation Partner: Optiem
Entrepreneurship.org is an online international resource designed to help build entrepreneurial economies. It includes an extensive Resource Center, a Sandbox section that allows users to test and share their opinions on tools, content, and sites. It also features a video and audio resource section full of content focused on important information impacting the world of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship.org evolved from a simple Resource Center to a complex storehouse of information categorized by resource type, verticals, and community. The CMS that Entrepreneurship.org had been using was not able to provide the flexibility and scalability needed for future growth. As such Entrepreneurship.org, working with Sitecore partner, Optiem, decided to rebuild upon the Sitecore platform.
Optiem extended the solution with the site’s Resource Center and resource repositories. Wildcard items were used to translate category selections in Sitecore to kick off a Lucene search based on the URL. The requested URL is then matched to the actual Sitecore item. After loading the requested page, a conditional rendering, as configured by Sitecore’s rules engine, was used to match the look of the current community or website.
According to Joshua Jenkins, Optiem, “We are huge fans of Sitecore’s flexibility, and we were able to provide content in multiple ways in multiple places with relative ease.”
Best Legal Goods Site: Goodwin Procter LLP
Implementation Partner: Verndale
Goodwin Procter LLP is one of the nation’s leading law firms with offices in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C. The firm provides corporate law and litigation services to clients ranging from start-up companies to Fortune 500 multinationals, with a focus on matters involving financial services; private equity; technology; real estate, REITs and real estate capital markets; intellectual property;, products liability and mass torts; and securities litigation and white collar defense.
Working with Sitecore partner Verndale Goodwin Procter utilized Sitecore to reengineer its site, incorporating a more versatile and flexible architecture that allows it to continue to build functionality with relative ease. The new site also provides the firm with the ability to reach a wider audience through a variety of channels and enables the team to create branded web properties quickly. The site enjoys high search rankings and consistently lands in the top spots for targeted keywords.
Best Healthcare Site: HealthSouth
Implementation Partner: MedTouch
HealthSouth is the nation's largest provider of inpatient rehabilitative healthcare services. Operating in 26 states across the country and in Puerto Rico, HealthSouth serves patients through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation satellite clinics and home health agencies. HealthSouth's hospitals provide a higher level of rehabilitative care to patients who are recovering from conditions such as stroke and other neurological disorders, orthopedic, cardiac and pulmonary conditions, brain and spinal cord injury, and amputations. HealthSouth can be found on the Web atwww.healthsouth.com.
The purpose of HealthSouth.com is to help HealthSouth educate the public about Rehabilitation and drive patients to their network of 200 hospitals.
Previously, it was nearly impossible to update the site. It also had a very rigid architecture which kept search engines from effectively indexing the site. The design was also hard to update because it was such a poorly-built CMS.
Working with Sitecore partner, MedTouch, HealthSouth chose Sitecore as their CMS. Their main goals for the newly designed site were to improve patient education and increase patient volume.
Best Sports Site: LeBron James.com
Implementation Partner: Optiem, LLC
The purpose of LeBronJames.com is to extend LeBron James' personal brand and grow the relationship between LeBron and his fans by providing exclusive content of his life both on and off the court.
Goals for the site included:
- Create a unique, immersive experience for the end user
- Make content entry and administration easy and effective
- Develop a platform for collective voice across all of LeBron's marketing team at LRMR
- Support as wide a range of platforms as possible
- Build an architecture that would grow with LeBron's career
Optiem, a Sitecore partner, was selected to build the LeBron James site. According to Benjamin Bykowski, Optiem, “We knew that we had to create a very flexible architecture for this high concept site. We chose Sitecore because no other CMS would have provided the flexibility we needed. Also, with LeBron's new home in Miami, we had future plans to provide a Spanish version of the site and no other CMS we have worked with supports multilingual content as well as Sitecore.”
Optiem extended the solution in several ways, including developing a tool that eases the import and export of content to a manageable Excel format that can be used by translation companies.
Says Bykowski, “We love that we are able to have a high concept site for a very powerful consumer brand that is manageable via a CMS. The rich media experience does not sacrifice SEO or accessibility since all content is reachable by distinct unique URLs, fully crawlable and readable by screen readers and robots.”
Since the site was launched there has been a huge spike in traffic, and visitation by HTML5 browsers and mobile devices are well above the global statistical average.
Says Bykowski, “Given the nature of this client, the design and the ultimate goals of the site, there is little doubt that much of what we accomplished would not have been possible, given the time frame, on many other CMS systems including many of Sitecore's industry peers.”
Best Government Site: Office of Naval Research
Implementation Partner: NavigationArts
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsors advanced science and technology research to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with every technological advantage. Though headquartered in the Washington, D.C.-Metropolitan area, ONR engages with affiliates across all 50 states and in 70 countries. The command employs approximately 1,400 people, including uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
ONR’s revamped public Web site represents part of the defense agency's multipronged approach to communicate more directly and quickly with partners across government, academia and private industry. Its reorganized content is designed to effectively and efficiently articulate the Navy's portfolio of science and technology investments, research and funding opportunities, domestic and international collaborations, and education and outreach initiatives.
“The power and reach of digital media cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Walter F. Jones, ONR’s executive director. “This is a medium that has transformed how we communicate across cultural, geographic and demographic boundaries in an ‘always on’ environment. By investing in our Web site, we’re investing in our ability to expand the scientific dialogue that supports future naval capabilities.”
ONR’s Web site reaches a broad and diverse audience, including 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. With the slick digital backdrop in place, the command subsequently launched social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, driving followers back to the robust content hub for more information.
Working with Sitecore partner NavigationArts, the naval command selected Sitecore as the platform for its updated Web design and content management system. The site’s enhanced modularity offers ease in announcing funding opportunities, point of contact information, and news and events across multiple areas with a simple keystroke. Sitecore’s search engine optimization features have afforded ONR with enhanced tools for increasing awareness in browser searches—as demonstrated by increased traffic to the site—while providing electronic workflows to automate content approvals.
Best Careers and Recruitment Site: SAP Careers
Implementation Partner: Ogilvy & Mather
SAP is the world’s leading provider of enterprise application software, offering solutions that enable companies of all sizes from more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 105,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP.”
Careers at SAP is SAP’s new recruiting and careers website. SAP wanted to create a rich experience that invited prospective employees to learn more about the culture and company. An employee driven Twitter feed helped address this, showcasing tweets from SAP employees and giving prospects insight into the work currently underway across SAP. The result is a site that allows SAP to share its culture and offerings with prospective employees around the globe.
Careers at SAP chose Ogilvy & Mather to build their new site. Ogilvy & Mather is a Sitecore partner with successful experience building Sitecore sites. They specifically like Sitecore for its ability to create modular templates and easily reuse content throughout the site.
Best Biotechnology Site: STEMCELL Technologies Inc.
Implementation Partner: The Revere Group
STEMCELL Technologies Inc (STEMCELL) is a privately-owned biotechnology company that develops specialty cell culture media, cell isolation products and ancillary reagents for life science research. Driven by science and a passion for quality, STEMCELL delivers over 1,000 products to more than 70 countries worldwide.
STEMCELL’s website is a critical contributor to the business and customer experience. Today, website visits are up 27% from the same period last year. Ecommerce revenues are also up 27%, growing faster than sales in traditional channels. On average, STEMCELL is now passing twice as many leads/month directly to their CRM for quick sales management, saving sales rep time and shortening follow-up time, making it more likely that each sale will close. The response from customers has been very positive. Based on website survey data aggregated across thousands of websites, STEMCELL’s website exceeds the benchmark by 10% on the ability for a website visitor to complete the task they intended to complete and matches benchmark for satisfaction.
The new website enables STEMCELL to generate sales-ready leads for their sales team and direct, ecommerce revenue. It has also streamlined the lead management process by integrating directly with STEMCELL’s CRM. The website also serves as an educational resource to reinforce STEMCELL’s brand message of "scientists helping scientists” by providing portal sections for each area of interest and cell type. These portals highlight products and technical resources including videos, webinars, brochures and wallcharts. Finally, the website highlights STEMCELL’s world class technical support, providing scientists with easy access to experts who can help them progress their research.
Previously, STEMCELL’s CRM was isolated from their website, and leads had to be manually entered. There was also no effective way to classify products, with products only found in one category, making it more difficult for customers to access. Technical resources were not readily associated with products or research areas, making it difficult to find these valuable resources as well.
Working with Sitecore partner, The Revere Group, STEMCELL chose Sitecore as the platform for their site. According to Ashley Ringrose, Online Marketing Manager for STEMCELL, “We chose Sitecore because of its ability to allow us to classify our products & technical resources in multiple ways and associate technical resources with products and portal pages. We also selected Sitecore because we were confident in the ability of The Revere Group to deliver on our requirements.”
The Revere Group built the new site, designed internally by STEMCELL, and the new design is fresh, clean, and simple. But the strongest feature of the website is the classification and organization of products and technical resources. STEMCELL has provided their customers with a simple, easy-to-navigate website that enables customers to filter and browse through more than 1,000 products.
Best Food Site: Tyson Foods Inc.
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 90 countries. The company has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.
The mission for Tyson’s site, www.tysonfoodservice.com, is to help in the dissemination of product information to their sales force, brokers, current customers and future customers. Key contributors to the successful implementation of the site include a strong technology foundation, a disciplined project methodology and a collaborative working relationship between the Information Systems department and the Food Service business unit.
In addition to Sitecore CMS, Tyson has also integrated the Active Directory module and used the Sitecore Lucene search technologies to create a taxonomy based drill down for their products and recipes.