In partnership with Golf Australia, innovation and design agency AKQA has launched a new digital experience for the governing body, beginning with its owned media platform, Golf.org.au. The new site enables golf enthusiasts to better connect to the sport and its community.
AKQA and Golf Australia have been in partnership since April 2019, and this marks an early milestone in the client agency relationship. In the space of six months the teams have completely redesigned the consumer interface, focused on engaging existing well as prospective golfers in Australia and those visiting from overseas.
With Australia playing host to one of golf’s largest events in December, The Presidents Cup, the new digital experience is ready for a massive spike in interest and engagement. The Presidents Cup, complete now with Tiger Woods as playing captain, is expected to reach 800 million viewers around the world via live broadcast as well as 180,000 spectators at the tournament itself. Many will be exploring Golf in Victoria and indeed more broadly around Australia.
Says Brian Vella, managing partner, Asia Pacific, AKQA: “As a passionate golfer myself, partnering with Golf Australia has been incredibly rewarding. Together, we’ve been able to look forward and plan the future of golf in the digital age. The web is such a powerful vehicle so it’s critical we offer a seamless experience to not only serve current players, but inspire new ones. We thank the executive team lead by Stephen Pitt (CEO) and John Sutherland (GM Marketing and Communications) and the Golf Australia Board for supporting the vision.”
Says John Sutherland, general manager, marketing and communications, Golf Australia: “We were very thorough in our search for a new digital partner and we spoke to a lot of agencies. We wanted to provide our customers with a modern user experience in the short-term, but we also wanted to find a partner and build foundations for growth into the future. We know we have found that with AKQA.”
In order to continue to grow the sport, Golf Australia recognised the need to design and build its assets in a way that moves the organisation to a future focussed, digital mindset. The experience is the first milestone, and is part of a broader digital transformation for the organisation, which will soon see Marketing Automation capability and Digital Asset Management tools added. User personalisation across the platforms will evolve constantly from here.
Says Sutherland: “It was important for Golf Australia to have people engaging with our site for longer. Bounce rates have typically been high following visits to our handicap look-up page. We know people love checking their handicaps online; and the new site better supports engagement with other content and offers, such as our junior programs. There is a big opportunity to inspire people through stories like Hannah Green winning a major, or members themselves sharing their latest round on social media.
“We hope golfers around Australia find the new site easier to navigate as a whole, easier to view on their mobile devices and that it showcases all the things we are doing at Golf Australia to improve the health of their game.”
This partnership is the latest in AKQA’s global sporting portfolio, having worked with large sporting giants such as Nike, the NBA and the US Masters.
AKQA partners with clients to create a better future for brands and their customers. In the last few months, ambitious companies ready to take the next step in innovative brand experience include; BMW, Bridgestone, Levis, Mirvac and Cirque du Soleil who have all joined the AKQA portfolio.
AKQA operates in 28 markets globally, with over 2100 people worldwide. Across the Asia Pacific region, the studios collaborate closely across Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Tokyo and Shanghai to form one united APAC presence. For the second consecutive year, AKQA is positioned highest for its ability to execute in the Leaders quadrant in Gartner’s annual independent evaluation on global marketing agencies and most recently was awarded two Grand Prix Lions at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.