MethodFactory helps the legendary Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., transition their web presence to the next generation using Microsoft Commerce Server and Ektron CMS as a foundation to grow with. Rawlings is now able to offer their web visitors and online shoppers an interactive experience on par with the brand's stellar reputation. View Site: www.rawlings.com
Rawlings, a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of baseball equipment and other sporting goods in the United States. Founded in 1887, Rawlings supplies athletes in baseball, basketball and football with top quality sports equipment. Rawlings is the official baseball and helmet for Major League Baseball, as well as the official brand for other professional sports organizations, including NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, and AAU. Rawlings distinguishes itself by its rich history combined with the latest product designs, technologies and innovations in sports products such as uniforms, baseball gloves, bats, training devices, footballs, basketballs, baseballs, equipment bags, and protective gear.
Rawlings had multiple Generation 1 websites representing their various divisions/brands/sports that were no longer meeting their business goals and customer desires. They were in need of modernizing their entire web presence, which meant implementing a new and centralized content management system to consolidate all of the brands and cross market successfully between sites.
As a first step, they wanted to create a new enterprise-level product catalogue site for their baseball division of US and Canada, complete with content management, and have it serve as a foundation for the other sites to be built on later.
Social media has been an important part of Rawlings’ image and branding. Rawlings believes in passion marketing and historically has generated a lot of product buzz and website traffic by engaging their fans, customers, and sports enthusiasts, as well as sports professionals and players on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. It is a top priority of Rawlings to have prominent tie-in to these social media outlets from their website(s), driving traffic to and from the social media venues.
Though the site renovation was a long time coming, they wanted to be able to launch it on January 25th, 2012, the date Rawlings celebrates its 125th year anniversary.
MethodFactory implemented a Phase 1 solution built on the Microsoft Commerce Server foundation, which supports Rawlings’ extensive online product catalogue, as well as Ektron CMS, which enables Rawlings’ staff to easily keep content fresh and offer the site in more than one language; currently the site is in English and Spanish, with Japanese coming in the future.
The features and benefits of the modern product catalogue site include, “build a wish list,” “send to a friend,” custom membership profile, a dealer locator to get customers in touch with the nearest retailer, product reviews, an extensive search function and cross-marketing capabilities.
Rawlings’ site visitors will also appreciate the interactive experience of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award section – a library of Gold Glove winners, past and present, searchable by a number of different criteria. Another unique attribute is an Advisory Staff section, which lists some of the college and pro players who use Rawlings’ gloves and equipment, as well as videos, photos and links to their own social networking feeds.
Site visitors will find social network links and social plugins globally throughout the site to help keep the community conversations going off site, and ultimately drive traffic back to the website.
The Rawlings Phase 1 site is the foundation that will be used for future content and commerce offerings. Future phases will include their other sports and units, as well as additional functionality.