About our client
The FNB Wines2Whales is a mountain bike (MTB) stage race that attracts riders from around the world. Participants ride in teams, between 70-80km per stage, from the heights of the Helderberg Mountains on Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West down to the Onrus, near the whale-watching village of Hermanus.
As one of South Africa’s premier mountain biking events, FNB Wines2Whales combines challenging landscapes with remarkable scenery, leading riders along immaculately crafted MTB trails through fields of proteas in full bloom and even between the apple crates of the Kromco fruit packing facility.
The inaugural event of this now highly-sought-after MTB race took place in November 2009 and attracted 300 riders. Today, FNB Wines2Whales offers three event categories – Adventure, Ride and Race – to accommodate more riders.
there are now over 1000 riders per event and a long waiting list.
Given the growth in popularity of this MTB event and its international appeal, it became necessary for the event organisers – Stillwater Sports – to modernise the FNB Wines2Whales event website. The objective was to create a more informative and rewarding user experience which works seamlessly across all devices, including mobile.
As a longstanding client of ours, Stillwater Sports asked Kri8it to take on this project.
The website solution
The content breakdown and navigation of the original FNB Wines2Whales event website was no longer fit for purpose. Our team suggested a content and user experience (UX) audit; and we used the insights gained to develop a better UX design that makes finding information and navigating through the site much more logical for users. This is critical, as event websites are naturally content-heavy.
Kri8it used a modular approach and created a website that can scale to house as much content as is required – in a way that is easy to manage in the back-end and navigate in the front-end. Previously, there was one template for page content that had to be used across the board, which made content difficult to organise. Also, every page looked the same, which was not only difficult to navigate but also static.
Kri8it has taken an entirely different approach. We developed an admin page builder that provides a series of user interface components that can dynamically house different content items. Using these components, it is quick and easy to add information to pages and display this using different layouts. As a result, pages can be customised for different content types. With our new system, almost every page looks different and offers a more intuitive UX. Now, we can have a mix of banners, galleries, multi columned blocks, and sections for video, call-to-action messages and copy. This gives the site a more lively and engaging look and feel.
As part of the design concept, we also made provision for large images to properly showcase the beautiful scenery of the event, as well as clear call-to-action buttons to ensure users can quickly navigate to the information they need. The design works well on any device.
The marketing solution
To raise the profile of the event even further and reward loyal riders, Kri8it helped to bring a marketing campaign called the “2017 W2W Strava Winery Challenge” to life. During the months leading up to the event, riders were invited to join the Wine2Whales Club and take part in the challenge, which involved testing segments of the routes on the participating wine farms ahead of the event itself.
To facilitate the competition, we created a Strava API integration, where the riders could view information about the competition, see what other Wines2Whales club members were doing on their rides, and view leader board results from the various challenges and segments.
Kri8it used email and Facebook communication to create awareness and encourage riders to sign up. This campaign was only open to entrants; and because we were connecting with such a niche audience, we knew that a series of event- and competition-related email newsletters would be an engaging channel of communication. We segmented this niche audience and sent them targeted emailers, achieving a 59%-62% open rate, with a 11%-20% click through rate. These are great results by industry standards (where the average open rate is 19% and the average click through rate is 2.4%). With a few of our follow-up emailers, we achieved a click through rate of up to 25%, which is exceptional. These newsletters were supported by Facebook adverts targeted at race entrants only, to keep the event and competition top of mind.