We were looking for interactive things to put on the site," says Durward Williams, director of sports marketing at Eurosport, a Hillsboro, N.C., soccer equipment cataloger. The $50-million company had always strived to create interesting copy in its print catalog to draw readers. It wanted to do the same when it set up a Web site (www.soccer.com).
Eurosport came up with an interactive feature called "Are You Baggio?," named for Roberto Baggio, one of the world's best soccer players. The feature works like this: Visitors fill out a seven-question survey, selecting their position, temperament, and skill level in soccer. A moment later a screen displays a photo and short essay about the professional soccer player that best matches the visitor's profile. Truly bad players are matched with a Eurosport manager.
"It's definitely drawing people to the site," Williams says. Eurosport's service provider, Catalogue.com, tells the company that most of the site's 2,000-plus daily visitors come to the site from searching soccer players' names on search engines. Visitors who go to the Baggio feature from the home page must scroll past articles about products and soccer players, along with links to the product catalog. Thus, Eurosport has created a flow through its site, much like some retail stores that put the most popular items in the back of the store.
When the company created the Baggio game, it intended to include descriptive fields and perhaps some humorous quotes. But because there was deadline pressure to have the game ready in time for the Web site's debut, the feature was kept fairly simple. "Now I think that's a good thing," says Williams, noting that even visitors with slow modems can play the game quickly. "A quick feature like this can draw visitors back to your site again and again."