Pac-12 Enterprises is the content and multiplatform media company for the Pac-12 Conference, a leader in collegiate athletics that includes 12 of the most prestigious universities in the world. Every season, players from Stanford, the University of Oregon, and UCLA battle for Pac-12 conference titles.
Pac-12 Networks operates Pac-12.com with a goal to provide a great digital media experience that would make the site a daily destination for fans. Pac-12 Networks wanted the new network of athletic sites to focus on five key areas: team schedules, video, mobile optimization, social media and engagement, and content creation.
However, Pac-12 Networks’ former web platform made innovation difficult. A combination of off-the-shelf software, which was slow and inflexible, made it challenging to display live updates and publish thousands of pieces of rich media on school sites. With a large archive of existing content — including videos, news articles, and game stats — located in multiple sources (Wordpress, external services, and the existing CMS for Pac-12 Networks), the network’s digital team found it difficult to deliver a unified digital experience to its fans and at scale as the amount of content grew.
Pac-12 Networks needed a single content management system (CMS) that enabled the creation of professional websites with the same high level of performance the conference’s athletes exhibit on the field.
“Since we launched Pac-12 Networks, our primary goal has been to make Pac-12.com the go-to destination for the conference’s fans by delivering the best content available,” said David Aufhauser, vice president and general manager of Pac-12 Digital. “We needed a flexible, unified platform that supported rich, diverse, and engaging content in a scalable way.”
Acquia worked with Pac-12 and digital agency, Phase2 Technology, to develop and implement a highly integrated Drupal site that enables its content editors to store, organize, and deliver the network’s vast content resources. Phase 2 spearheaded Drupal development, and helped Pac-12 create a Drupal content repository. Not only did Drupal integrate with every member school and streamline operations, but it also provided a bridge between athletics and the top-rated IT departments of member schools, who were already running tens of thousands of Drupal instances.
Phase2 also helped Pac-12 develop an API-First approach, which is supported by Acquia Cloud. Scores, standings, and stats were incorporated through an API, which tags and displays stats and standings in real time. An open API-approach also allowed Pac-12 to integrate third-party video platform to seamlessly display high-quality video directly on the site, and which automatically stores video and attaches metadata locally in the CMS. Finally, by integrating the Acquia Platform with each school’s athletic newsfeed, school coverage can be published alongside Pac-12 Networks content.
Drupal’s flexibility and ease of integration were critical to Pac-12’s success as the challenges surrounding migration of historical content and multimedia was top of mind. Pac-12 Networks used Acquia Cloud to build the new Pac-12.com sites from the ground up, which allowed it to deploy all content seamlessly, effortlessly, and quickly from the old site to the new one.
Acquia and Phase2’s capabilities allowed Pac-12 Networks to address all five of the key areas critical to its site redesign within just five months.
- The athletic events calendar is the backbone for the site, resulting in the creation of individual landing pages for all of the 3,000-plus annual Pac-12 Conference events.
- Thousands of athletic events mean tens of thousands of hours of video that needs hosting on the web. Drupal’s flexibility, ease-of-integration, and its centralized platform allowed Pac-12 Networks to migrate all existing video and host all pregame, live-game, and post-game video.
- In the first year on the Acquia Platform, Pac-12 Networks doubled the number of hours people viewed video content on the site.
With Acquia and its new network of Drupal sites, Pac-12 Networks is delivering the fan experience it wanted, one that meets the high expectations of the conference’s athletes. In addition to deeper fan engagement, Pac-12 Networks was also able to create a seamless fan experience from site to site, school to school, as a result of a single web, video, and publishing platform. Call it “The Network of Champions.”