Industry: Digital Agency
Challenge: Quickly launch a story-driven, scalable website, weeks ahead of the final match of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup to build awareness for the U.S. Women's National Team players’ relentless pursuits on and off the field.
Solution: Together with WP Engine, Springbox quickly launched a site that was ready for an influx of visitors—athletes and activists alike—while enabling a lean USWNT content team with a friendly interface for ongoing updates and a scalable foundation to integrate desirable functionality, like eCommerce for OOSA-branded products, in the future.
The website was crafted by Springbox and hosted by WP Engine, housing purpose-driven messaging that elevated the players’ progress-driven pursuits along with an anthemic video that captured the spirit of the new brand, bringing forward the inspiration for the brand itself—the legendary pre-game chant—“OOSA-OOSA-OOSA-AHH!”
Results: Rapid time-to-market with a world-class digital experience. With pages that load in milliseconds, the USWNTPA site continues to see a nearly 10% better bounce rate than benchmark against other sports websites in the United States.
Springbox is Prophet’s digitally powered, creatively inspired agency, based in Austin, Texas that helps marketers accelerate growth.
The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association serves as a leading advocate for women’s soccer players, pioneering a new era of women’s soccer as a pre-eminent sport.
OOSA is a collective, player-led effort that helps team supporters get involved with efforts to push for meaningful progress, on and off the field— including causes like equal pay and gender equality.
"The responsiveness of the WP Engine support team, working closely with our technology team allowed us to push the website live ahead of schedule, capitalizing on an early earned media hit in a major publication.”
—–Megan Coffey, Chief Creative Officer, Springbox
A Big Project With a Tight Deadline
About a month before the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup kicked off in soccer stadiums across France, Springbox, a Prophet company, was busy getting a brand off the ground that would ultimately intersect with the international soccer competition and the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) that won it all.
At that point, OOSA—a name that ties back to a USWNT pre-game chant—was in its early stages, but the idea was quickly coming alive: Create an association brand for the USWNT players outside of the official USSF digital presence, that would allow them to advance social causes, including equal pay and gender equality, with their own online space for content and conversation.
The USWNT Players Association officers Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O'Hara, and Sam Mewis were pivotal in crafting the content for the site based on Springbox’s content strategy and wireframe suggestions.
It was a hand-in-hand collaboration with the players and Executive Director, Becca Roux, to make their message and flow of information as authentic as possible with roughly four weeks of runway before the first game of the World Cup to push the website live.
“It definitely happened fast, but the vision was there, the momentum was there, and most importantly the passion was there. From the origination of the name to the moment of launch, we've been invested in this purpose-led brand and its mission to help change the game for the next generation of women,” said Megan Coffey, Chief Creative Officer at Springbox.
With a big project and a tight deadline at hand, Springbox leveraged their existing relationship with WP Engine to access expertise, advice, and support to host a WordPress website and get it launched as quickly as possible while ensuring the end-client was equipped for success.
Because Springbox is a WP Engine Agency Partner, their team benefitted from a dedicated agency account team at WP Engine, which worked through the project requirements to make sure the website had everything it needed at go-live.
“We knew we needed a partner who could host and support a scalable WordPress experience within the allotted time,“ said Stephen Brooks, Director of Technology at Springbox.
“And not only did we need to stand up and push the site live, we needed to create something the end-client could manage down the road. It needed to be seamless and easy for the USWNT Players Association and officers to use, which we knew we could commit to with WP Engine behind us.”
A Faster Build and Deploy Using WordPress
In addition to the timeline and end-user needs, the requirements for the site included two additional considerations.
The first was simply building a WordPress environment that could scale for high traffic, particularly if a viral event (like a World Cup Championship win) suddenly sent a spike to the site.
To accomplish this, the OOSA site was built on WordPress version 5.4, with PHP version 7.3 enabled, using an AWS C1 instance to manage any traffic spikes.
Additionally, the site needed to be built with flexibility so that an eCommerce solution could be integrated later on.
One of the long term goals of the OOSA brand is to sell merchandise to build revenue and funds to advance and safeguard the economic and social welfare of all USWNT players.
While the early focus was on generating brand awareness, the fast deploy still needed options when it came to additional functionality down the road.
From a design perspective, Springbox Art Director, Alex Galley worked closely with WP Engine to select a theme that we could easily customize, without having to build from scratch.
Using WP Engine’s Genesis brand, Springbox technically broke the templates with confidence, knowing they had on-call design and development support.
“Because of the time-crunch we were in, building a custom theme simply wasn’t possible. Nonetheless, WP Engine was helpful in identifying a few different themes that met our requirements and time to scale, but that also had the aesthetic we wanted.” Galley said.
From there it was a fast dash to launch day, sped up by an early piece of coverage in the New York Times, which ran two days before the first game of the World Cup.
“Everything was more or less ready to go, but a few days before the scheduled go-live date, we were notified that the Times would be running an article, and we had a chance to link out to the OOSA brand website!” Coffey said.
“The responsiveness of the WP Engine support team, working closely with our technology team allowed us to push the website live ahead of schedule, capitalizing on an early earned media hit in a major publication.”
A World Cup Win, a Happy End Client
In addition to the NYT coverage, the USWNT Players Association and the players themselves linked to the OOSA site via social media channels leading up to the team’s ultimate 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the World Cup Final.
While the initial website and launch activation of the OOSA brand are complete, Springbox is excited for what the future holds for the next generation of players, as the OOSA brand continues to drive momentum for the relentless pursuit of progress on and off the field.
In a testament to this, the OOSA brand and video content were recognized as Silver Award winners for “Best strategic and creative development of a new brand,” and “Best use of audio branding” at the 2019 U.S. Transform Awards.
From the first engagement to launch, it took Springbox and WP Engine approximately four weeks to design, build and test the site, add video and other dynamic content, and push everything live.
“Overall we were impressed with WP Engine’s ability to work on our tight deadline,“ Coffey said, “and the Players Association, as well as the players themselves, were thrilled with the end-product.”