Following of the Swatch Freeride World Tour by the North Face® is higher then ever and continues to grow

(lifePR) ( Lausanne, Switzerland, )
The Freeride World Tour has seen spectacular growth in its online reach compared to last season. The 100,000+ Facebook fans mark was reached already in January and it keeps growing continuously and organically with a steady 1.5 mio people reached on Facebook. Website traffic is also up, reaching a 20% growth year over year. These numbers provide a strong indicatation that the new user-adapted online strategy, along with the increase in resources allocated, seem to be paying off.

Growing interest and improved communication

Over a period from October till today there has been a 30% increase in new visitors to the website and it has been visited more than 500,000 times. This is 20% more visits than in the same period last year. With regard to content, there is a 20% increase in pages viewed in the same period last year. On the video side, counting all platforms together (FB, DM, YT, Live, etc) there has been more than 4'340'000 views between January and February alone.

Online strategy

While these numbers indicate a growing interest and fan base in general, they also show that the new online strategy seems to fit the users' demand with more multimedia content and a focus on the riders.

“We have analyzed the statistics and the behavior of our fans on the social media platforms to make some changes in the strategy,” says FWT Digital Media Manager, Gary Eisinger. “- More concretely, this means that we make more regular news posts, and we use photo and shorter videos a lot as this is what our online users seem to want.”

New website

One major change since last year has been the implementation of a new, more user-friendly and responsive (available from any screen) website with more content and regular news updates both about the Freeride World Tour and its riders, but also concerning the two recruiting tours, the Freeride World Qualifier and the Freeride Junior Tour. Combined with social media posts using professional photos and videos this global online strategy has proven to generate more traffic and interaction. The videos in particular are very popular and are also being shared on other online platforms which of course increases the reach. As an example, more than 640.000 people watched the online videos during the week of the Vallnord, Andorra FWT event. Finally, the Instagram account is also taking off and just received 106,000 likes in one week with more than 700 comments.

New FWT Application available in the app stores

As an extra service to fans, a new FWT App can now be downloaded from both the Apple store and the Android Market. The idea is to have a direct way to stay updated on the latest news and keep rankings, rider information and photos handy any time. One can also use the application to follow the FWT live stream of competitions straight from one's mobile device. The greatest advantage of the application is that one can get push notifications on news and concerning the live stream and any changes in schedule. Everything is being done with the user in mind, to make it easy to follow the action - no matter how far away - and share the experience with friends, colleagues or family.

FWT General Manager, Nicolas Hale-Woods is pleased with the development, which is also a result of putting in more resources:
“There is a big professional production team working behind the scenes to capture all the action and we always have an abundance of top quality live and still images to share. It is important to us be able to both satisfy the online community and to service the traditional media, who tend to appreciate our longer shows and written content,” he says, concluding: “It's great to see that it all pays off as it gives more exposure - not only to the Tour and its partners - but also to the riders.”

SWATCH

Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch maker and one of the world’s most popular brands. The first Swatch watches surprised everyone with their revolutionary concept, creative design and provocative spirit. Today Swatch continues to innovate and surprise with new models, collections and special editions. The brand maintains a strong presence in the world of sports with its commitment to snowboarding, freeskiing, surfing, FMX, ice cross downhill and Mountainbike Dirt Jump. Right from the start, Swatch connected with art and artists, and Swatch watches remain a prominent canvas for artists from a broad range of disciplines. www.swatch.com

THE NORTH FACE®

The North Face®, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company's products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers, and major outdoor specialty retail chains. For more information, go to www.thenorthface.com

FWT MANAGEMENT

FWT Management SA, based in Lutry/Lausanne-Switzerland, is organizing world-class sports events in mountain resorts and regions since 1996. Founder of “Xtreme Verbier” – iconic event in freeride skiing & snowboarding –, FWT Management SA has taken the stand-alone Xtreme Verbier event to create in 2008 Freeride World Tour (FWT), Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ), and a Freeride Skiing Team Competition (Swatch Skiers Cup) with events in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. FWT Management SA is the sole and exclusive organizer of the above mentioned events. www.freerideworldtour.com
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