Derby County Football Club has big ambitions.
On the field, manager Gary Rowett and his team harbour dreams to reach the promised land of the Premier League.
Away from the pitch, the club wanted to create the best football website in the country – and appointed Purpose Media to build it.
It’s been 16 years since supporters have been able to enjoy an original website dedicated to the fans, with the club being previously tied into the EFL Digital agreement.
Last year, it took the decision to create its own exclusive digital platform to give it the flexibility to engage its supporters in a more bespoke and comprehensive manner and create a fully-immersive fan experience.
Our aim was to create a market-leading online football platform that redefines football websites by placing fans at its very core, while generating significant new commercial opportunities for the club.
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A project with Purpose
Purpose Media is a long-standing supporter and partner of Derby County Football Club.
The success of its www.wearederby.co.uk online ticketing portal, which we built for the club, laid the foundations for taking our partnership forward on the new website project.
Launched in 2014, WeAreDerby increased online ticket sales from 11% to 64%.
On the back of its success, we were approached by the club to create its new official website and make it a market-leading platform.
The new site offers greater scope to deliver more engaging content directly to the people that matter most to the club – its fans.
It makes www.dcfc.co.uk the first place for Rams fans to go to for everything Derby County related, including news, features, interviews, videos, tickets, fixtures and merchandise, ensuring they will not miss a moment of the action!
A fans-first approach
The club was keen to put its fans at the very heart of this project, to create a digital platform that is engaging, immersive and totally transforms the way supporters interact with the club.
Establishing a Fans’ Forum, which gave supporters the opportunity to contribute ideas on how the platform should look and function, and what content they would like to see, gave us valuable insight into how to deliver the best digital experience for fans.
In response, we’ve created a site that can be viewed at home or on the go, providing a fluid service that is just as responsive on mobile or tablet as it is on desktop.
Enhanced match day experience
It delivers an enhanced online matchday experience, with the introduction of a new Match Centre which will allow fans to follow the action in every game from the club’s pre-season friendlies to the end of season deciders and beyond.
Official EFL stats
Partnering with Opta, it will be driven by official statistics, providing fans with insightful statistical analysis of each Derby player throughout the 2017/18 campaign.
A single shopfront
Unified from top to bottom, supporters will be able to find whatever they desire all in one place, and with a single user account and login, making it easier to buy tickets, merchandise and hospitality packages than ever before.
A bespoke framework
The new platform was built on a unique, bespoke framework created by our in-house experts and developed over the 18-month project lifespan. It delivers on the club’s vision of providing fans with the best cross-channel experience possible.
Single shop and checkout
Our solution supports a personalised single customer view which allows seamless access between the main site, store and ticketing platform. It also allows to the club to personalise content, advertising and promotions based on stored user data and preferences.
The club’s video news channel, RamsTV, is fully-integrated into the new platform, and will feature player and manager interviews, extended highlights and the full 90 minutes of every fixture, and pre- and post-match news, features and studio chat.
Live match streams
Following several trials over the course of the 2016/17 season, the club will also be streaming first team league matches live to supporters based overseas. The pre-match and post-match shows will be available free of charge, but the match action will be subscription only.
A platform for the future
The launch of the new website represents only the end of the project’s first phase and the platform will continue to evolve and improve over the course of the next football season and beyond.
The response to the new has been overwhelmingly positive. Here is a just a selection of messages on social media.
“Our website has been outside the club’s control for over 16 years, in which time digital technologies have transformed the way we all live our lives.
“Our brand new digital platform will not only allow us to take advantage of some of these technologies, but also enable us to provide our supporters with a much-improved online experience.
“This project was all about creating the number one place that all supporters go to find out what they want across all areas of Derby County.
“It is also a clear representation of who Derby County are, what the club is trying to achieve and what is happening across all levels of the club to reach that goal.”
Brandon Furse, Director of Stadium Operations