The relaunch of SI.com was more than just a redesign, it was a pivotal step in the complete transformation and revitalization of SI Digital. To take this step and engage the future cord-cutting, mobile-consuming, non-traditional sports fan, we redefined how digital content is envisioned and presented on SI.com. Together with the SI Digital team, we embraced the changing landscape of sports fan interest and media dynamics. In the end, we laid the foundation for a new digital future, one where sports fans once again see Sports Illustrated as a sophisticated destination.
Sports Illustrated has a longstanding reputation as a premier American sports brand. While sports fans respected the SI brand, many didn’t see it as a digital destination for daily coverage of the sports they follow. Moment was brought on as a partner by SI Digital to design a fresh, responsive site with the goal of addressing the audience and engagement issues. Moment’s previous experience designing for sports fans (including for ESPN, NFL, and SI Kids) was key to our selection as the partner for this engagement. The key to the success of the project was our ability to help the entire team move beyond their historical issues and design for the future of SI.com.
“We can’t begin to tell a new story without fixing our product.”
— Chris Stone, Editorial Director, Sports Illustrated
As with many of our evolution engagements, we kicked off the process with a discovery phase that included an audit of SI.com’s current sites and gathered input from stakeholders and research with sports fans. As a team we quickly focused on the current direction sports fandom is taking: shifting sands of both what fans are interested in and how they are consuming content related to those interests. We developed a value proposition statement that established a shared vision of the value the future SI.com would provide and then created personas that helped visualize a young, diverse, active audience.
Through full-team, low-fidelity concepting sessions, we generated a variety of new ideas for content and presentation. These exercises enabled us to re-envision mobile content discovery flows through Twitter and Facebook—which we then extended to multiple article templates, a sub-brand system, and cross-platform functionality—all culminating in the new mobile, social-first vision.
We capitalized on several key ideas to elevate the brand and put fresh content forward, resulting in a new site with a clean, modern look. The product strategy and concept we developed for the new SI.com included a pillar components that will keep the brand innovating for years to come.
With a broadening attention among sports fans beyond traditional team sports, increasing an emphasis on more diverse sports interests was essential.
Envisioning a fresh video content presentation gave SI.com the ability and authority to more creatively explore video content and properties.
Designing a consistent brand to sub-brand system—while creating more flexibility for editorial presentation—reduced reader confusion and unified content presentation across the site.
To serve content interests among visitors beyond sports, we created an extendable, syndication approach that unlocks native advertising opportunities.
Our redesign elevated Sports Illustrated content, providing multiple tiers of content and article templates; a clearer, richer emphasis on video content; a framework for native and syndicated content; and content personalization. The redesign increased traffic, improved engagement, and improved revenue conversion.
“Having worked with Moment on multiple initiatives in the past, I was confident in the capabilities and experience brought to bear and yet even those lofty expectations were exceeded in the course of the work done for Sports Illustrated. Within an incredibly short amount of time we not only met our immediate goals and timelines but also managed to create a path forward that continues to pay dividends from a process and architecture standpoint.” — Krys Krycinski, Head of Product, SI Digital Group