Vitality Netball Superleague
Sotic began working with England Netball in late 2018 with the first order of work being to build a new digital platform for the Netball Superleague sponsored by Vitality.Launch Website
Helen Housby’s last second goal for England in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match against Australia in April 2018 catapulted the sport of netball into the media spotlight and public consciousness prompting thousands of women and girls to take up the sport.
“It was literally the most important thing that’s ever happened to netball in England – in one second our sport changed.” said then England Netball CEO Joanna Adams
Sotic began working with England Netball in late 2018 with the first order of work being to build a new digital platform for the Netball Superleague sponsored by Vitality.
As the elite domestic netball league the Superleague is a jewel in England Netball’s crown and plays an important part in promoting the game and its players in a season that runs from February to July each year and features ten teams from across England, Wales and Scotland.
With Netball very much in the public eye, the project brief placed a focus on a fast, easy to navigate website which would deliver favourably against commercial targets. It was important that the design seamlessly incorporated lead sponsor Vitality, and offered a look and feel that would appeal to their largely female users.
The site was launched in May 2019.
- Accessibility was an important focus for this site design and build. With pink being a key colour component of VNSL’s branding it was important to be careful in how we used it to ensure that all information on the screen was visible against light and dark backgrounds.
- Ticket sales and database signups are key commercial goals and so calls to action around ticket purchase and newsletter sign up are clearly and sympathetically blended in to the site design and layout.
- The `SportsPress` plugin was utilised to house the data for Fixtures, League Tables, Teams and Players. While `SportsPress` produces shortcodes which we could have used to showcase the information, we instead created API endpoints for all data and used VueJS to create bespoke layouts to ensure that the data was presented in a way that was in keeping with the aesthetics of the website. We were also able to gain huge performance benefits by using VueJS.
- Each club in the league has its own Club Page where all information is housed – players, staff, fixtures and club-specific news. This offers excellent UX as fans can see everything they need from one page.
- We introduced reading time on the site, to give users an indication (in minutes) of how long each news article or page takes to read.
Website performance across the board has significantly improved with the launch of the new site, on everything from render to page times to the lighthouse score. As just one example, time to interactive is 52% faster on mobile and 40% faster on desktop with Sotic’s version of the site.
There have also been improvements around SEO and England Netball have seen a 12% increase in traffic coming to the website from organic search when we compare the six months since launch to the same period the previous year.
With website traffic also up (52% increase in users, 42% increase in page views and 37% increase in sessions) we are looking forward to VNSL sharing their commercial figures with us with the expectation that targets will have been exceeded.