Sunderland AFC’s new mobile-first website is a glimpse of the future

Sunderland AFC have become the first Premier League football club to adopt a mobile-first approach to their official club website.

The creation of the new site – a six-month collaborative project between Sunderland’s digital and design teams and the club’s digital agency Aqueduct – will allow the club to present its fans with high definition, retina display resolution images as well as full HD videos to all users, including those on mobile.

The initiative, while new to the sector, is hardly shocking. With mobile traffic reportedly accounting for more than half of the traffic across the web, it’s no surprise that sports teams would seek to connect with their fans – who are obviously their main audience – on the devices they use the most.

But the new platform will serve as more than just a cleaner and more attractive way for Sunderland fans to consume official club content. The site is also geared towards boosting the club’s commercial growth.


Key areas of the business’s revenue stream are highlighted by the cleaner format: links to the club’s ticketing and hospitality services, the club’s online shop and even links to book a hotel room in the city’s Hilton hotel are put front and centre. The club are clearly keen to give the user a pleasant and modern experience whilst also promoting their own commercial services.


“We’re tremendously proud of the new site.” Said Stuart Vose, Head of Digital at Sunderland AFC. “Performance across mobile devices was key to our thinking throughout the process, and the innovative way we have integrated marketing and commercial messaging means we have a truly valuable channel for everyone involved.”

The club is clearly thinking about how to give its fans access to the club in a modern and user-friendly way, but it is also possible to do this in a way that also benefits the club’s business interests, too. A better website encourages fans to continue to come back to the site and consume content, but even the prompting to book a hotel room in the city shows that the club is trying to expand beyond the North East of England and reach out to future fans from further afield as well as its current fan base.

Rob Oubridge, Founder of Aqueduct adds: “Our collaborative approach means we’ve been able to deliver a future-proof, fan-centric experience directly allowing Sunderland AFC to step forward in its mission to deliver a truly rich, engaging site for its fans and to benefit the club’s business plan and shareholders”

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 831 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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