Trew Knowledge Helps Achieve Gold for User Experience in PyeongChang 2018

For the past five years, Trew Knowledge, in collaboration with Toronto-based brand agency Zync, have been overseeing the programming and web development of the official Team Canada website. In preparation for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, it was critical that & deliver an Olympic worthy user experience for Canadian fans and global supporters during this year’s games.

Building on the momentum of previous record-setting achievements from Rio 2016 & Sochi 2014, this Winter Olympics the Canadian Olympic Committee’s goals were focused on optimizing the site for speed and performance, enhancing mobile user experience, and amplifying the Canadian Olympic Club fan experience.

The Trew Knowledge team watching the Opening Ceremonies of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.
The Trew Knowledge team enjoying the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018.

To improve speed and performance, Trew Knowledge worked with their partner WordPress VIP to focus on key areas of the site where the highest volumes of traffic would be impacted. This included athlete profiles, real-time results, schedules, and medal counts all being served from third-party APIs. It was critical that an intelligent caching mechanism was in place to avoid hitting rate-limits but also pull in statistics at regular intervals to ensure the results being displayed were up to date.

During peak traffic periods, the site was able to handle massive amounts of traffic without any outages or drops in performance, all while seeing load times being reduced to approximately 1-1.5 seconds.

To engage fans for PyeongChang 2018, the COC introduced several new additions to the Canadian Olympic Club. Fans can now add their favourite athletes and sports to their profile which will be used to tailor specific content based on their preferences.

Canadian Olympic Club members were also given access to exclusive “Be Olympic” content such as behind the scenes videos and photos of the new brand platform that highlights the Canadian ideals of virtue and victory.

A new Fan Fun section was introduced giving members the ability to complete quizzes, answer trivia questions, play interactive games, and watch their rank sore on the leaderboard.

New challenges were introduced for club members to unlock and earn points as well. During the Olympic games, the Canadian Olympic Committee offered fans the ability to enter contests to win prizes such as signed Team Canada gear from medal-winning athletes, Molson Canadian mini fridges, Samsung Galaxy View tablets, and much more.

With these new features and rewards, 100,000 new fans joined the Canadian Olympic Club via social login during PyeongChang 2018.

Not only was this a record-setting performance for Team Canada, earning 29 total medals (11 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze), and finishing third overall, but off the field of play, posted its highest number page views, exceeding projections by more than 200% and doubling what was generated in Rio 2016 with more than 17 million page views.

In addition to the inspirational number of podium finishes, won a few medals of its own including a Gold W3 award for mobile user experience, Silver W3 award for best sports website and another Silver W2 award for structure and navigation.

W3 Awards for the work Trew Knowledge completed for

Overall, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics meant a lot of late nights and early mornings for the Trew Knowledge team, but just like the Canadian Olympic Athletes, the team at Trew Knowledge was dedicated to making Canada proud with a user experience worthy of the podium.

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