U.S. Polo Association's classic style goes global with Nansen and Contentful
Existing CMS used by USPA was limited in providing support for localized environments
Needed an easier way to manage global brand consistency and aesthetics reflecting the USPA
Needed localized store identification for users no matter the country
Needed a new CMS that could help them achieve their goal of reaching 100 countries in multiple languages in the first two years of the rollout
Gained more than 100,000 unique visitors in first three months
Monthly traffic has consistently stayed in tens of thousands
Solid visitor engagement with bounce rate holding steady at 15%
Global website available in 24 languages
"Our global brand footprint has expanded into 180 countries today and we want both consumers and sports fans to have a common place to learn more about our amazing brand and sport. We are in the process of achieving this monumental goal through the site rollout and other digital initiatives.”
“Without much of a digital presence, we were missing an opportunity to tell a consistent brand story and drive visitors from all over the world into their local stores to purchase our licensed apparel and gifts.”
“Our visitors land on the website, view our collection pages, watch a video or two and then click on the shop to see where they can purchase what they’ve seen. We’re doing exactly what we set out to do — drive purchase intent to our licensees.”
Established in 1890, the United States Polo Association (USPA) is the official governing body for the sport of polo. The organization sells its branded apparel across 160 countries in over 1,100 stores under the brand of the U.S. Polo Assn. But despite its global reach, the brand lacked a global website.
“We needed to design and develop a website that could both speak to a global audience and offer localized information to our customers in various markets,” said Jose Nino, VP of Global Digital & E-commerce Strategy at USPA Global Licensing, Inc.
The existing content management system (CMS) used by USPA was limited in providing support for localized environments, so Nino knew he would need to find a more robust CMS and a strong partner to see the implementation through. Having worked with translations provider Translations.com in a previous role, Nino reached out to see if the company could provide any recommendations.
Taking the U.S. Polo Assn. website experience international
Translations.com referred international customer experience agency Nansen, and after careful consideration, USPA enlisted Nansen’s expertise to build the new global site USPoloAssnGlobal.com and associated branded microsites on the Contentful platform.
The United Kingdom was the first international version of the site to unveil localized content including events, happenings and news. Nansen planned the aggressive expansion and worldwide rollout to begin in English-speaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and then added Italy, Japan, Latin America and beyond. With the goal of reaching 100 countries in multiple languages in the first two years, USPA and Nansen are definitely heading in the right direction.
Putting the pieces in place for a global audience
With an ambitious goal of launching dozens of locales, Nansen set to work. To kick the project off, they facilitated a workshop with the USPA team to rapidly reach a consensus on the website information architecture, structure, and design direction. Nansen then created designs for the new global brand site that would convey the premium aesthetic and position of the USPA brand to a global audience.
“Experience and value were really the two driving factors behind our decision to work with Nansen,” said Nino. “They have a very strong portfolio of clients and proven experience with both creating localized environments and Contentful, the CMS platform we had selected.”
Next, Nansen set out to build the site in Contentful. One of the first items on their list was to integrate the website with Yext, a store location management system. Yext provides a central database with consumer access to all global store locations so that no matter where a customer is, the website displays relevant, localized information. For example, when a customer visits the website in Milan, the site automatically recognizes the visitor’s location and loads only nearby stores in Milan.
Localization and languages bring the USPA brand to the world’s fingertips
Because apparel collections (e.g. spring/summer, fall, vacation) are often region-specific, Nansen also needed to build in the capability to load assets specific to the visitor’s location. To complete the localized experience, Translations.com was integrated to ensure the appropriate language would load for each unique visitor.
There are 10 languages available on the USPA global website, but that’s only part of the story of how Nansen has made localization work for the brand. In addition to Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Romanian and Russian, there are eight versions of English — a global version, plus: Australia, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa and the UK. Two Arabic choices for Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and eight localized Spanish languages for customers located in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Spain.
In addition to the integrations with Yext and Translations.com, Nansen designed and developed an interactive timeline, collections pages and galleries, support for video and news content, and an integration with Foursixty for USPA’s Instagram feed — all while making it easy for the team at Nansen and USPA to continually add and update the website content.
In just a few short months, Nansen launched the USPA website and saw immediate results.
Increased traffic, conversions and engagement — everyone wins
“When we initially purchased Contentful, we thought there was no way we’d ever reach the bandwidth in their top tier package. Now we’re increasing bandwidth with Contentful’s Premium version to help address the additional traffic,” Nino said.
Every month since launch, USPA has seen more and more visitors on their site. The new global website averages tens of thousands of visitors each month with over 100,000 unique visitors in the first three months post-launch. Visitor engagement on the site is also up with the bounce rate at just 15%.
“Our global digital site is one of our most ambitious undertakings to date as it supports our vision and execution towards a digital transformation,” said J. Michael Prince, president and CEO of USPAGL who manages the multi-billion dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand. “Our global brand footprint has expanded into 180 countries today and we want both consumers and sports fans to have a common place to learn more about our amazing brand and sport. We are in the process of achieving this monumental goal through the site rollout and other digital initiatives.”
The licensing and franchising organizations USPA works with could not be happier.
“They recognize that we’re investing in the brand and also in our licensees by pushing traffic to their stores,” Nino added. “Very few global brands have a website like this, and it’s a wonder why when you consider the benefits to both brand and retailer.”
The new international website features six engaging sections for users:
Collections: Seasonal U.S. Polo Assn. classic collections displayed in aspirational photos designed to keep customers in the global fashion trend loop.
Heritage: Interactive timeline illustrating the game of polo from the first recorded match in 600BC to the recent launch of the USPA’s new high-goal series, GAUNTLET OF POLO™, including the founding of the USPA and launch of the U.S. Polo Assn.
Store Locator: Anyone anywhere can find their closest store, out of the 1,100 global retail stores, to visit.
News: Where polo fans go to find the latest global or their regional news, brand news, launches, seasonal fashion trends, photo shoots, fashion shows, polo tournaments, charity initiatives and Ambassador signings.
Women in Polo: Inspiring representation of women in the sport: photos, news and profiles of accomplished female players.
Shop: Global customers are one click away from their region’s e-commerce site where available.