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Australian Grand Prix Corporation Website Redevelopment

After a successful pitch in 2014, we were appointed as Digital Agency to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC). Our key responsibilities involved managing, enhancing and optimising the AGPC's digital activity, including maintaining the existing event sites, motogp.com.au and grandprix.com.au.

After getting under the hood of the existing event sites and working with the AGPC team in the 2014-2015 season, we got a clear picture of where the current platforms had been outgrown and how we could improve the customer experience. Together we agreed to undertake redeveloping the main event sites, grandprix.com.au and motogp.com.au.

The problem

The Formula 1 and Moto Grand Prix are adrenalin-fuelled and enthralling, with wide appeal across audience segments. The online experience should be no different. An out-dated site that is hard to navigate creates a disconnect with the audience who expect a slick, modern, user-friendly experience.

With over 65 different ticketing products available for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and 40 for the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, we needed to design an interface where consumers could easily search, filter and refine their selection to find their ideal Grand Prix experience. We also needed to create a system that the AGPC could easily administer to give them the flexibility to add and update ticketing quickly to facilitate their quick-fire promotions schedule.

Beyond ticketing we needed to consider season race results updates, news, travel information and, of course, social integration.

The solution

With so many different types of content to manage, and AGPC already being supporters of open source, Drupal was the obvious platform choice. It modular framework and ability to handle large amounts of content lent itself perfectly to the project requirements.

A key insight V.I. had gained from working on the 2014-2015 season was that AGPC were extremely active in managing their own website content. Content updates were made daily and distributed to their owned channels. The challenge we faced was how we could allow collaboration on feature updates at the same time as regular content updates were being made on the production server. To overcome this we implemented our custom deployment system, content authoring environment and branching system.

Planning & design

To get the best results with all stakeholders and site requirements taken into account, UX was facilitated by V.I. via a series of collaborative workshops and online testing. Timings were extremely tight – the design phase was completed in just five weeks, culminating in interactive prototypes for mobile, desktop and tablet.  

Event Time

While ticket sales are the most important measure of success for AGPC, the performance of the site during event time comes a close second for the digital marketing team.

Throughout the year traffic to the event sites remains consistent. In the weeks leading up to the event traffic starts to build, then come event weekend it spikes up to over 100,000 sessions per day.

We worked closely with AGPC’s selected hosting provider, Rackspace, during site development and in lead up to the event to ensure the applications and the environments were in sync. To test the applications we completed load testing with three times the number of concurrent users from the previous year’s event, with the site still staying intact throughout.

"Thank you for the work you’ve put into the application. V.I. are hands down the best Drupal digital agency I’ve seen. You’ve made a hungry beast very lean and nimble."
Daniel Wernicke, Lead Engineer, Rackspace Australia