What: Portada spoke to JP Carter, CMO at SOCCER.COM, about the soccer-ecommerce site’s new image and why now was the right moment to renew its look, before the 2018 World Cup marketing strategies start.
Why it matters: Las week SOCCER.COM launched its newly revamped website, a platform that highlight’s the company’s core values to inform, inspire and innovate in the sports industry. The new offering intends to capitalize on soccer’s increasing popularity in the U.S.
Portada: Why was now a good moment to redesign your site?
JP Carter, CMO at SOCCER.COM: “Our customers deserved a better digital experience. We are committing to always continue to improve that experience and this was a perfect time and opportunity to prioritize that before the 2018 World Cup.”
Portada: What is the market environment that made you renew your image?
JP Carter: “The primary driver for us is the fact that this is a mobile world. We wanted to enhance our entire presentation, but the driving force was that we wanted to give that same high-level experience, regardless of device. Our mobile engagement figures since we flipped the switch are showing us that this is a move that is very well received by the core customers of our brand.”
Portada: What challenges do you face?
JP Carter: “With every new site, there are technical hardships, but nothing that we were not prepared for, challenges such as coordination with all of our vendors and digital marketing partners was a task our team was thrilled to take on. However, every transition presents challenges. Something as simple as a new site layout can be a challenge for customers to get acclimated towards, but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we are thrilled to have shared this with ours.”
Portada: Do you promote via social? How?
JP Carter: Social media is one of our strongest marketing channels. We are rapidly approaching 4 million followers on Instagram and our other channels have great interactions as well. This is a channel that we focus not only on the e-commerce side of the business, but also where we spend a great amount of effort to reinforce who we are as a brand, and how much soccer really means to us.
Portada: Do you sell third party advertising on the site?
JP Carter: “This is something that we are very protective of. We do sell advertising space in many of our primary marketing channels; including our catalog, emails, social media, as well as on our site. As an industry leader in the soccer specialty industry, we are very picky with who we sell that digital real estate too. It has to be based on the game of soccer and speak to our customers who live the game.”
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Portada: What trends do you see in sports e-commerce?
JP Carter: ‘Sports are life, and soccer, in particular, is not just a game to our consumers. As we speak with our customers, we understand how much this game consumes every bit of their day. From their home life to school, to obviously on the field, this game is everything to people around the world. With that being said, we need to treat it that way from a business perspective. We put the same passion into the e-commerce portion of this business as our fans do into the game so that we can provide a world-class experience with our new website.”
Portada: How are you getting ready for the 2018 World Cup opportunity?
JP Carter: “World Cup 2018 marketing starts for SOCCER.COM in June of 2017. This event requires an “all hands on deck” mentality for us and we are thrilled about it. From an editorial content perspective, we will be a leader in learning everything you need to know about the history of the tournament, the locations, the teams, the players, and of course, the equipment that will be used. We will carry every team’s jersey, the footwear that all the stars will be wearing and the balls that will be used in the tournament as well. We are very excited about next summer and what it will mean for the beautiful game.”
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