Project Description

Sailing Spoken Here (a Mount Gay Rum campaign) – 2011

“The goal is for the microsite to serve as an online community for sailors — a virtual port, if you will.
The content of the special Web site includes a rundown of races and other events; a feature called Crew Finder, which declares: “Find a crew. Join a crew. Get sailing”; a Cruising Life section, where stories and photographs can be shared; a section where races, calls and protests can be replayed and reargued; and even a Bar Finder, for locating post-sail libations.
The microsite is lightly branded, in keeping with a belief that overcommercializing an online destination will only discourage computer users from visiting.
One section specific to Mount Gay is devoted to the red caps sporting the brand’s logo — the words “Mount Gay” superimposed over a map of the island of Barbados — that are given away to sailors who have completed races sponsored by the rum.” – from the NYTimes article published shortly after the launch. The site’s intended audience are sailors who are so passionate that they organize their lives around sailing.

Beyond the immediate idea of a website the challenge that we were addressing was a 360 degrees approach to a sailor’s life. When the planning for the site began, ideas like facebook login integration and iPhone apps tied to the site, were in their infancy. After careful planning and in order to satisfy a very aggressive timeline and minimal dev staff, we decided to develop the site using many of the most familiar aspects of Facebook provided in their APIs and integrate them into a brand new site. We created an iPhone app that allowed sailors to replay parts of a race, usually when a disputed call was made by the judges, either on their iPhones or via the website. We tied the experience back to Mount gay using the Red caps, a program designed exclusively by mount Gay and well know by the sailing community and a source of pride among red cap holders. We tied sailing bars that serve Mount Gay rum and are exclusive partners in the bar finder. And we added the ability to provide discounts using foursquare app on check-in for those venues. We wove these features and more carefully through the site, enabling a vibrant community that could be easily updated.