England & Great Britain Hockey
Helping one of the UK's largest NGBs launch two platforms with one goal Digital Services / Brand Identity
England Hockey (EH) is one of the UK’s largest national governing bodies (NGB), responsible for the management and development of the sport from grassroots to elite levels. England Hockey also works hand-in-hand with Great Britain Hockey (GBH), preparing national squads to qualify for and participate in the Olympic Games.
EH, and GBH wanted to completely overhaul their respective sites, taking a mobile-first approach, with a considered user experience (UX) that spoke to a broad range of stakeholders. They needed to develop new journeys and cross-fertilise content, build complex integrations with external platforms, and better support each of their audience segments – meeting the needs of local clubs through to the general public. Overall, they each needed a site that was fit for purpose, and that would act as a platform to support the sport’s long-term ambitions.
After a competitive process, MTM was chosen for its enthusiasm and experience with similar-sized builds, and tasked with delivering both organisations’ digital requirements, developing two distinct sites that would see them through the next Olympic Games and beyond.
1. Improved experience for each user group across digital channels.
2. Drive increased levels of traffic and engagement across both new and returning visitors.
3. Increase revenue delivered via the site shop and through increased ticket sales for games.
4. Increase in awareness of hockey as a sport and the ease of participation.
5. Drive increased awareness of professional players.
6. Streamline internal tasking with simplified platform management across different teams, with SharePoint integration for document management.
7. Drive the relationship between GB and EH NGBs and the clubs, coaches and officials it supports.
8. The Streamline user data for simplified internal management and an improved user experience.
9. Mobile-first responsive design.
10. Best-in-class page load speed and site performance.
MTM was also commissioned to develop a new brand identity for England Hockey that would maximise the value of its digital investment. EH wanted a brand that felt fresh and modern but retained key characteristics of the existing look and feel. It needed to convey inclusion, encourage participation and demonstrate the values that sit at the organisation’s heart.
With round-table discussions around messaging, functionality, site structure, and design providing a wealth of insight to inform the final approach.
With a fixed budget, it was also essential to identify and leverage available efficiencies, ensuring the recommended platform and development methodology would meet all the requirements cost-effectively, whilst maintaining a truly immersive experience across both sites. Where appropriate, MTM identified third parties, such as SeeTickets, which were able to offer specific functionality that could be branded to provide an end-to-end experience across all touchpoints without costly development.
Following a review of suitable platforms, the Kentico Kontent CMS framework was chosen as the preferred option. Kontent offered excellent value and an easy route to building out the EH and GB sites from a single account and licence, as well as the ability to provide user accounts (using Azure B2C Authentication), and intuitive e-commerce opportunities backed with detailed analytics to drive ongoing revenue growth.
Its headless nature presented immediate security and performance advantages and opportunities to extend EH and GBH’s digital portfolio cost-effectively in the future, with dedicated mobile apps and internal communication tools discussed as potential objectives.
Following UX and SEO best-practice, the sites were designed to make it easy for all users to quickly navigate to relevant sections, with each user group supported with dedicated landing areas, well-structured content, clear sign-posting and compelling CTAs. ‘Rich snippets’ and other search-friendly content areas were added or expanded, with page titles, introductions and FAQs updated to reflect common search queries and make both EH and GBH the go-to destinations for anyone looking to learn about the sport and the organisations’ activities. The on-site search was delivered via the best-in-class Azure Search to ensure content could be found quickly and easily.
Integrations with external sources of data and content were also critical, pulling in players stats, results and upcoming schedules from the International Hockey Federation and dedicated data providers like Sportlomo.
England Hockey now has a refined and modern brand that is fit for purpose and effectively positions the organisation against all UK sport NGBs.
MTM is now looking to the future, working with the relevant teams to identify the next phase in each site’s development journey, with a number of iterative improvements and updates planned, using the sites’ analytics to guide its decisions. One key area for expansion is driving increased collaboration with hockey clubs across the country and a range of enhancements to support ‘live’ match updates and commentary…watch this space!
“Highly recommended, top class from start to finish! In a tricky landscape they quickly understood our requirements and were flexible and amenable throughout.”England Hockey Communications Manager