NC State will begin the fall semester soon but Wolfpack sports fans are already getting ahead of the game. The Gopack.com website recently relaunched with a new, sleek look and more techno tools & treats for NC State surfers.
“We were really looking for a site that was more visually appealing as well as more functional,” said WSM General Manager Brian Asbill of the redesign.
When WSM decided to make a change, the staff first began looking to find the best provider for GoPack.com. WSM chose Access Technologies because “they give the schools the flexibility to be able to build a site that is what the school needs,” said Asbill. WSM’s former provider CSTV, a media company, provided rigid templates to plug material into.
Then WSM set about putting together the new site with two goals in mind:
- becoming more efficient with the site and
- advancing the technology they can give to consumers.
So What’s New?
New technology is key in the site redesign. Previously the audio-visual portion of GoPack.com was housed on Yahoo! and subscribers had to be redirected from the GoPack site. Now Pack Pass subscribers can access volumes of Wolfpack sports audio-visual streaming and on-demand media directly from Gopack.com.
This new subscription portal means a variety of new packages. NC State fans can make purchases:
- by the month or by the year and
- can buy audio only, or the total package with audio & video.
The new site also enabled WSM to change the structure of the Pack Pass offering. Right now WSM streams close to 160 audio events per year. Subscribers will now get those events with some great additions. GoPack.com will now stream:
- live video press conferences (such as Chuck Amato’s press conference on the Monday before a game).
- After all home games, subscribers can go into the press room for the after-game press conference.
- WSM is also in the process of pulling old highlight videos and video replays from old coaches TV shows to add to the video & audio available at the click of a mouse.
- All of these great features will be available live & on demand.
Another change, while aesthetic in nature, means more bang for the WSM advertisers’ buck. In the redesign, WSM removed the leaderboard ads that once appeared at the top of website and replaced them with skyscraper ads, which are vertical tall ads on the side of the page. Fans had told WSM that the ad on the top of the old site detracted from the NC State presence. WSM listened. And they realized that visitors were immediately scrolling down away from the ad, thus no exposure for the client. The skyscrapers travel with the reader as they scroll down the page, maximizing the visual time for the ad. This is an overwhelming advance for the advertisers and GoPack.com is the only college site around the Triangle to utilize this new tool.
Another great addition, especially for the WSM staff, is the new site can be managed in-house. That means NC State sports fans won’t have to wait for the latest news and information to be posted. Getting rid of the middle man approach means WSM can post the latest and greatest immediately.
How’d They Do That?
The redesign began in January, when talks with WSM’s old provider and a potential new provider got underway. In April, the team made the decision to go with Access Technologies, forging a new relationship which then gave them three months to rebuild and launch the site. WSM basically took the old GoPack.com, tore it apart, and then rebuilt it from the ground up. No small task. But the results are amazing. And Asbill says the site will continue to be a work in progress through the end of the calendar year.
“I’m really excited about the enhancements we have incorporated in the site,” said Asbill. “And I believe our clients will be the ultimate beneficiaries as well.”
One overriding reason WSM chose Access Technologies to create the new GoPack.com is because they are a technology company. WSM also wants to deliver their products in more high tech ways. GoPack.com already includes a brand new auction feature. Fans can bid on a variety of memorabilia throughout the year.
And the best is yet to come. WSM will soon expand to present:
- podcasts of its audio Pack Pass offerings;
- ring tones and more will be in the offering – not just generic ringtones and wallpapers – but unique and proprietary items like play-by-play calls. Soon Wolfpack fans will be relieve the latest great touchdown when their cell phone rings.
What’s next for GoPack.com? Delivery to wireless devices and much, much more. In selecting Access Technologies, WSM fulfilled their goal to “go into a relationship we are sure will provide a platform consistent with what our company’s idea is for new technology,” said Asbill. “We wanted significant latitude.”
So, the Wolfpack sports fans will be on the winning side every time.