2015 Digital PR Awards: Redesign/Relaunch of a Site

Winner: ESPN.com - Redesign & 20th Anniversary

ESPN is the self-described “worldwide leader in sports,” and so one of its goals with it website redesign was to place ESPN/ESPN.com at the center of a conversation about the way media has evolved over the past 20 years.

The 20th Anniversary ESPN Front Row Series, for example, was a series of daily corporate blog posts looking at ESPN.com and ESPN digital overall “then and now” the week of March 30, tied to the official launch of the ESPN.com redesign on April 1, 2015. The strategy also included a Q&A comparing different aspects about how ESPN serves fans digitally today and/or coming soon with the redesign vs. 5, 10, 15 or 20 years ago accompanied by images, infographics, quotes and/or testimonials from ESPNers who were there.

Another component of the strategy, 20/20 Vision, gathered thoughts from leaders and influencers across sports, digital media and technology both internally and externally looking back at the media landscape over the past 20 years and looking forward to the next 20. Comments ran unedited as part of a “20/20 Vision” series highlighted as a sidebar accompanying the ESPN Front Row series on ESPN.com’s 20th anniversary.

In the first month of the ESPN.com redesign (April 2015), the new ESPN.com garnered 55.2 million unique visitors for the month, up 19 percent from a year ago, while 39.9 million people visited ESPN.com via smartphones and tablets, an increase of 24 percent from April 2014.

Overall, ESPN Digital Media reached 75.5 million unique visitors in the U.S., up 14 percent from a year ago and the ninth-largest monthly total in sports category history. Across digital platforms fans spent 5.7 billion minutes with ESPN content, a sports category record for the month of April and up seven percent from a year ago.

Honorable Mentions:

•             70kft

•             CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield - State of Maryland

•             Entropy Solutions - PureTemp.com

•             Fahlgren Mortine - Chart Industries

•             Genentech - Gene.com

•             Middle East Public Relations Association - Growing Together: Introducing the new MEPRAi

•             Swirl - Kingsford.com