Thanks to the online service development partnership between Hurja and KuPS, the football club is also scoring online

Kuopion Palloseura (KuPS) is a football club from Kuopio, Finland, established in 1923. KuPS has won the Finnish championship six times, the Finnish Cup three times and the Finnish League Cup once. KuPS has been playing in Finland’s Premier League, Veikkausliiga, continuously since 2008. The team plays its home matches at Väre Areena, a stadium located in Mölymäki, Kuopio, near the city centre. The team’s home kit is black and yellow and it’s known for its cheer, BANZAI!

“When things are working, they just work!”

Tero Taipale, Marketing Manager (KuPS)

Requirement

Websites and Online Store

Kuopion Palloseura carried out a comprehensive rebranding in 2020, as part of which the club’s online visibility was also desired to be updated to reflect the enhanced brand. One of the goals of the rebranding was a strong and recognizable visual language, which naturally needed to be reflected online as well. In addition, the rebranding aimed to focus on easy maintenance and further development of the website. Therefore, the WooCommerce online store called KuPStore, implemented by Hurja a couple of years ago, was left unchanged as it still served its purpose.

However, in 2023, there was a desire to extend the rebranding to the online store as well. The online store had been implemented using the WooCommerce plugin, and technically, it was still up to date. However, its structure had become somewhat confusing over the years and no longer matched the refreshed brand. Hurja Solutions is a long-term partner of Kuopion Palloseura, providing services such as websites and online stores, so naturally, Hurja was also responsible for the technical implementation of the website and online store during the rebranding.

LIVE football scores

The KuPS football club’s innovative approach to marketing and wish to increase the club’s visibility and interactive features in the local North Savo region resulted in an idea of a brand-new LIVE football score service. The LIVE football score service project was launched in 2021. The LIVE football score service aims to provide an easy way for both local Kuopio residents and others from the North Savo region to follow how their team is playing in home games.

Newsletter tool for more effective online communications

As a part of the website redesign, there was an aim to make the communications of the football club to fans and other stakeholders more effective. Hurja’s solution was to provide the club with a newsletter tool and user training.

KuPStore mockup.

Solution

Website and online shop

In the website redesign project of 2021, Hurja implemented KuPS’s new website as a custom solution based on the design plan provided by Ahooy Creative, who was responsible for the rebranding. The world’s most popular content management system, WordPress, was chosen as the platform for the new website. WordPress is a flexible, user-friendly, and secure option for website development, allowing for a fully tailored custom solution for KuPS.

Additionally, WordPress addressed KuPS’s needs for easy website maintenance and future development. The website’s management took into account the client’s requirement to make content changes easily, and the flexibility of the WordPress platform also serves future development needs. Security is another benefit of the WordPress content management system since regular updates are released for the platform and its plugins, improving features and addressing any vulnerabilities.

The revamp of the WooCommerce online store began with a quick Figma prototype of the store’s appearance, following KuPS’s graphic guidelines. During the design phase, the structure of the online store was simplified and modernized. Prototyping brought speed and clarity as it allowed for testing the usability and functionalities of the store before any code was written. Alongside the structural changes, the main pages of the online store were updated with consistent visual content.

WooCommerce is the world’s most popular open-source e-commerce solution, which we at Hurja commonly use for our clients’ online store projects as well. The benefits of open-source include the fact that the content and data of the store are fully owned by the client. So, why change a good thing! After the approved designs, a developer from Hurja implemented all the desired changes to the store’s appearance, structure, and functionalities.

LIVE football scores

The LIVE football score service is an online application fully customised to KuPS’s specific needs. The service enables people from the North Savo region to follow how their team is playing in its home games also when not able to watch the matches at the stadium. Hurja designed the visual appearances of the LIVE football scores app for KuPS based on the football club’s new visual identity. Subsequently, Hurja created a program that retrieves data automatically to display the scores from KuPS’s Veikkausliiga league home games.

The solution aimed to make it easier for fans to follow matches using the LIVE football scores service. The app helps avoid any manual work during matches, such as entering goals into the system. The result is a real-time football statistics application. Thanks to the app, local people at the Kuopio market square get to celebrate their home team together via a screen displaying an animation whenever KuPS scores. Hurja also implemented the motion graphics for the football score service.

The LIVE football scores are displayed in Kuopio, Varkaus and Iisalmi on Mediateko’s digital screens located in Prisma, Sokos Kuopio, ABC Kuopio and on roadsides in the Kuopio urban area.

“It’s great to get to be a part of developing one of the most visible brands in the region. Hurja is KuPS’s long-term partner as a website provider among other things, and most recently, we’ve had the honour to participate in implementing the club’s innovative LIVE football scores service. The LIVE football score service is an application fully customised to KuPS’s specific needs. The service enables people from the North Savo region to follow how their team is playing in its home games also when not able to go to the matches. In fact, you could say that the software Hurja has developed is a bit like an engine under the hood, increasing the interactions between the brand and KuPs’s fans.”

Vili Härkönen, CEO, Hurja Solutions Oy

Introducing a newsletter tool and providing user training

A link to subscribe to the football club’s newsletter was included on the new website. Hurja was the partner for selecting a tool that best serves the client’s targets and provided training on using the tool. The selected newsletter tool was Mailchimp, a newsletter and marketing automation tool that is easy to use and one of the most popular platforms for marketing automation in the world.

Benefits

Both KuPS’s website and KuPStore are now precisely aligned with KuPS’s brand identity, offering a clear, user-friendly content management and maintenance experience, as well as future development opportunities. The seamless integration of the WooCommerce store into the WordPress publishing platform allows for effortless product management, making jerseys, season tickets, and the latest fan merchandise easily accessible to football fans.

The LIVE score service enables KuPS to increase interaction between the brand and fans, while the newsletter tool provides a functional addition for digitizing and enhancing communication with supporters and other stakeholders.

The close collaboration between KuPS and Hurja continues as a mutually beneficial partnership, where cooperation does not end with the completion of a project. Instead, various web service development projects are constantly underway. Hurja also takes care of ongoing maintenance and security of KuPS’s website through the WordPress maintenance service.

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