The AIG Women’s Open needed a facelift in its online presence. The online ecosystem of the client had to face a double, yet not simultaneous challenge – that of sustaining the impressive traffic generated by The Open Championship in July, and that of doing the same thing for the AIG Women’s Open, in August. We chose to implement a Multisite in Sitecore, which allowed us to manage content delivery, content management, and many other features in both of our sites from the same CMS.
During the week of the AIG Women's Open, the expected audience is estimated to grow exponentially, thus receiving millions of unique users and billions in server requests. By using individual machines powered by Amazon Web Services, the process allowed us to separate the content management from content delivery. To serve the wide selection of services required to maintain the platform we are using a serverless technology powered by Microsoft Azure Functions.
Nevertheless, some new features were to be implemented. The design and the overall experience had a brand update to give the championship its own unique identity. Being a women’s sport platform, gradients and lighter touches were the choices when it comes to design, to correctly and adequately represent the championship. A brand-new, vibrant identity was given to this project. The logo follows and continues this facelift, as its energy and power are easy to identify throughout the website. A strong, well-established, yet feminine touch is a constant visual encounter, and its story is being told on every page and in every interaction with the AIG Women’s Open website.
The AIG Women’s Open (AIGWO) is one of women golf’s major championships and underwent a brand redevelopment in 2020. TEC were appointed to build the new online presence. The AIGWO is run by The R&A along with The Open Championship and the R&A wanted both sites to retain some consistency. TEC’s brief was to implement the same layout, so we were challenged to implement a Multisite in Sitecore having the codebase designed to simultaneously sustain the two websites. Some of the components were duplicated and adapted because not all the functionality from The Open were needed in the AIG Women’s Open.
We chose Sitecore for its impressive flexibility when it comes to all business requirements. It allowed us a wide range of choices when it comes to putting together the content and information architecture, to best suit the AIG Women’s Open Championship. This allowed us to sustain a solid structure and the main functionalities, with no interruptions or errors.
The scoring engine can integrate 3 new different scoring providers for The AIG Women’s Open. We rewrote the code and we adapted part of the integration done for The Open.
We created a more visual and interactive communication with the fans and with the website’s visitors. A communication channel built using video content was implemented, with features like auto-play being a highlight. Videos were an essential tool for the website, not only due to their impact on customer engagement, but also due to their specific relevance in SEO. Video content attracts a substantial number of inbound links and social shares, boosting the SEO campaigns for the website.
We use Azure Functions, more specifically a .NET backend code, unrelated to all our Sitecore structure. One of the functions allows us to identify a user without an IP or other relevant data, by randomly generating an ID for each user that accesses the website.
The ID is then saved in a local temporary storage – powered by Redis, and it contains relevant information such as time and date, accessed website pages and the length of online sessions.
Another Azure function processes temporary data into relevant historical data that is stored in Azure tables for later consumption with minimum space for data utilized. The last piece of the puzzle is another function set in place to provide both temporary and historical data to a customizable Sitecore page with user-friendly custom reports.
Though the main structure and the functionalities for The Open were preserved for the AIG Women’s Open website, the layout and design were customized, and a vibrant feminine touch was implemented. Also, some new elements were added, not pre-existent on the Open’s website, turning it into an eclectic visual experience. Every step of the process, we chose to understand and relate to our target, both in terms of features and design.
The new, customized layout includes visual effects and elements. Fades, waves effect, gradient backgrounds are now part of the website’s overall visual identity.
The AIG Women’s Open website is defined by a visual journey, defined by beautiful and discreet accents that enhance the overall interaction with the website. Content editing was reinforced with multiple options when uploading new content – a dropdown menu now allows editors to choose from multiple themes, colours and backgrounds. This is a new visual dynamic, yet combined with common elements from The Open’s website – the same font was being used, in order to bring the championship in line with The R&A. The font comes in three weights: light, medium and bold. Contextual panels, powered by newly developed components, allow different and alternate content to this website, turning it into a dynamic experience for its visitors. The leaderboard is overload-free, with a clean, easy-to-follow structure and design.
This year’s AIG Women’s Open will be held between 20-23 August at Royal Troon. This will happen for the first time in all 44 playings of the tournament. This edition will mark the 20th playing of the event as a major on the women’s circuit.
All golf fans will be able to enjoy a live, full experience of the championship, by accessing AIG Women’s Open website. Scores, updates, impressions will be delivered live, via the platform.
TEC is an extension of our team; we work so closely with TEC that they feel like part of the team. We speak constantly through different messages tools and I guess we just have so much trust and faith in TEC, and their experience, what they bring to our team at the R&A.