I was part of the team that first launched GrindTV.com back in 2005, and for many years it was the leading destination for extreme and action sports, focusing primarily on core skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding content. The name “Grind” came from the the skateboarding world referencing a particular set of tricks, but was also something that you could do on a surfboard and a snowboard. Over the years, however, the site shifted it’s focus to attract a more mainstream audience and introduced sections like lifestyle, travel and fitness.
The name GrindTV no longer fit the new direction the editorial team wanted to take the site, and was confusing to advertisers. We thus decided to change the name to better align with its future as the premier destination for all adventure sport content.
In late 2017 I led the relaunch / rebrand of GrindTV.com as Adventure Sports Network (ASN), and launched the new site on January 28, 2018. The new site still included content from the action sports world, but was much more focused on covering all aspects of the outdoor world, including hiking, running, yoga, wellness, etc. We wanted to build a new experience that targeted the fast‐growing audience of outdoor/adventure sports enthusiasts in the United States. Our goal with ASN was to be the world’s most engaged digital media platform serving the outdoor/adventure sports and lifestyle community.
We realized that outdoor enthusiasts are not single‐sport or one‐dimensional individuals. They’re in the ocean surfing and on the mountain snowboarding. They’re camping, road‐tripping and hiking. They’re prioritizing their health, and looking for products and experiences that enhance their time outdoors. More women than ever are participating in outdoor sports. The new ASN website needed to be the home for this amazing content that informed and inspired this growing audience, not just in sport, but in the entire outdoor lifestyle.
The ASN editorial team was producing original content around experiences, product, gear and travel while also leveraging content from TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s twelve action‐adventure sports brands such as Surfer, Powder, TransWorld Snowboarding and Canoe & Kayak. ASN also wanted to have a multi‐channel approach that leveraged web, social (Instagram, Facebook) and video (YouTube and OTT) platforms.
My objective was to build an experience where:
- Users that came to the site would instantly know what the new site was about, and would understand the rebrand.
- Users could see the breadth of content available on our site as well as from across our TEN network, thereby incentivizing them to stay on our site longer.
- Users could easily see our video and social channels.
- Users could easily subscriber to our ASN newsletter.
I worked closely with the ASN team to come up with a new website hierarchy & taxonomy, re-categorizing old sections of the site and coming up with a new navigation that really highlighted the breadth of content available. We introduced new sections on the site that highlighted content from across the TEN network, that promoted our video & social channels and encouraged people to subscribe to our newsletters. I made wireframes & mocks using Sketch to come up with a clean design that met our needs, and worked closely with developers, ad/ops, editorial, and sales/marketing to get the site built, tested and launched on time.
3 months since the ASN redesign launched, we saw significant improvements in key engagement metrics including:
- 18.81% increase in pageviews.
- 11.37% increase in pages / session
- 37.41% increase avg. session duration
- -25.28% decrease in bounce rate.