It was about a month ago that I previewed the Saucony site with Mary O’Brien, the VP of Marketing Communications at Saucony. While the folks had waited a while to update their site, the wait was for good. Like the brand, Saucony.com is easy to navigate, well designed, illustrated well, with easy to follow links, and images that are easy to download…
The Saucony brand, over the past half dozen years, has been reinvented. A brand with a huge tradition dating back to the beginning of the running boom, Saucony has been a stalwart brand that was weathered many of the changes in the sport of running. It’s current team, in design, sales, communications and management is a dedicated running brand. It’s recent purchase by Stride Rite has only strengthened the brand, especially when the president of Stride Rite is a marathoner who recently competed in Boston with his wife.
Saucony focused first on the product and with their four point increase in specialty sales in 2007-8, that was the right thing to do. The Saucony.com celebrates the brand, again, with a smartly designed site, combining strong design, great commentary and one of the best edited sites on the web.
I like the use of athletes of all shapes and sizes, and all ethnic groups. The site is inviting and that is important. Running has been, for much of its existence, an upper middle class sport.
The images and copy on some of the site is actually better than any advertising that I have seen from Saucony, especially the runner who is covered with mud, and running stretching. Those images invite the viewer to get involved and hold some tie of truth with the consumer. The key is to get the consumer interested and then, involved.
An example of the plain speaking of the Saucony.com site is their words on their technology :
The copy reads that the technology was a big deal when it was launched. There is just enough self deprecation in the copy to have the consumer go, “Hey, I am not being
fed a line here.”
The section on their athletes is also nicely done, from Molly Huddle to Jason Lemkuhle, Saucony has supported a group of athletes who dream of making the US team, with Huddle and Craig having the best chances in the women’s 10,000 meters. (Recently,
Saucony developed a sponsorship relationship with Magdelena Lewy Boulet, the second placer in the US women’s Olympic Trials.)
In speaking to my son, Adam and his friends, a site that is too heavy on the graphics will be dropped by the consumer. The new Saucony site has done just that, with enough information-race lists, build your own training route..that make sense and build interest.
One unique spot is their staff area. The majority of the staff of Saucony is noted, including President Richie Woodworth, and VP of Product Pat O’Malley. Pat O’Malley is pure O’Malley-to the point, honest and fun (http://www.saucony.com/staff.aspx?pid=31&bioid=23)
Plain speaking, great imagery, well written and well edited copy, and a very, very nice
navigation style gives Saucony.com four out of four pints of an adult beverage or
four out of four javelins. Nice job, Saucony!
For more on the site, please check http://www.Saucony.com
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