Southampton FC reveals new site intended to redefine how football clubs engage with fans

Southampton FC have unveiled their new website as part of an effort to re-think how to engages with fans on digital platforms and establish a presence more comparable to the leading consumer brands, rather than football clubs.

The new site promises to offer fans a single coherent experience which has been developed to better facilitate mobile engagement given that more than 60% of users now access the platform on wireless devices.

The Saints’ previous site was built on the Football League’s third-party digital platform which provided a generic set of controlled functionality with limitations around promotion, advertising, customer data, all of which the club felt prevented it from offering their fans a tailored brand experience.

Created by digital agency, Delete, the new site was built using insights from extensive research into football fan digital behavior, content consumption patterns and the wide range of channels in the market offering football based content.

It adopts more of a broadcast hub approach capable of live streaming across all devices and features a new Match Day Live mobile experience that allows fans to better follow fixtures on the move, in-stadium or on a second screen.

The site has a more simplified navigation and a fluid user experience that encourages continuous content discovery through a dynamic news hub that’s brings together a mix of editorial, social and video content in a single news stream.

James Kennedy, head of marketing at Southampton FC said: “Our partnership with Delete has enabled us to realise our ambitions for offering a best in class digital experience to our fans. Our belief is that we should be measuring ourselves against, not just competing Premier League clubs, but with the world’s leading consumer brands’ and their digital presence.

“Delete’s passion for understanding both our brand and business objectives at a commercial level made them the perfect partner for this project. As online and multi-device experiences become increasingly important to our fans, it was important that we adapted to suit and provided a future proofed platform that can develop with us over time. We are looking forward to unveiling more things over the coming months.”

Kennedy's efforts to have the Premier League club operate a more consumer-led digital platform is part of Southampton's strategy to engage with fans like a brand rather than a football club.

Tom Dougherty, user experience director at Delete, added: “The new Saints site was created with a ‘fan first’ philosophy and designed to build a closer relationship between the club and fans, by providing an unparalleled experience of their club.”

The new site is part of a wider digital overhaul program being carried out by Delete with new Retail and Ticketing platforms planned to follow in the near future.