Sneaker Freaker:Two decades of cult

N01 : Sneaker_Freaker-Publishing

Taking them to the next level of publishing, we created a site as entertaining as the mag itself, powered by a heavy-weight back end fuelled by data.

Live Site
Live Site

In a mammoth project which reconsidered every part of their online ecosystem, we partnered with the Sneaker Freaker team to create the Ferrari of websites - the biggest digital upgrade in the brand’s 18 year history.

An API-led approach allows the platform to integrate into any channel pushing content, personalisation and automation to a whole new level.

Create an experience that cements Sneaker Freaker’s title as the global source of sneaker knowledge.

Sneaker Freaker stands firmly as a street culture favourite, releasing its first magazine edition back in 2002. Known for its credible, no-holds-barred approach to sneaker journalism, the site was tired and needed an overhaul to overtake competitors such as Hypebeast and HighSnobiety.

Multiple screens and website images overlaid on one another
An API-led approach allows the platform to integrate into any channel pushing content, personalisation and automation to a whole new level.

We kicked off with a UX strategy that involved working closely with Sneaker Freaker to set the vision, objectives, and measurable key results for the project - which centred firmly on the user experience and a highly performant site.

Give me Jordan 1, and give me them now

Building on insights from our chats with sneakerheads, we knew personalisation and the creation of your own unique ‘Sneaker-Feed’ was going to float the boat for our users. With a simple onboarding process, users can select brand, occasion, and content type, and the new site takes this user profile data to algorithmically generate a ‘For You’ feed, serving up personal sneaker preferences on the user’s own, unique homepage, tailored to their tastes. Not everyone’s into Yeezys, after all.

For You

The tailored ‘For You’ feed. Not everyone’s into Yeezys, after all.

What sneakerheads want

We gave the user an incredibly powerful filtering and search capability to find the drop they were looking for. Realtime countdown timers tell the user exactly when to expect the global release. There’s also comprehensive city guides to their world’s best sneaker stores, and the site features eCommerce for sneakerheads to shop their favourite Sneaker Freaker merch and shop limited colabs.

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Screens showing release article and releases page
Various tickers as seen on the Sneaker Freaker website
Sneaker Freaker websites new search, showing multiple images in carousels
Desktop and mobile screens of the city guides page on
Mobile screens showcasing the shop page on
Supercharging internal efficiencies

While the key focus for our sneakerheads was personalisation, when we focussed our attention on our other audience, the Sneaker Freaker editorial team, automation was going to play the most valuable role. How could life be made that little bit easier for the team tirelessly reporting on every shoe colab, every launch, and every collector feature known to man?

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Flex that CMS

For Sneaker Freaker, it was the new headless API-driven CMS, Sanity. Totally customisable, it allowed us to access a private, secure user data store all within the one environment. We then synced our user data store with the Vero CRM which is our source of truth and where we segment our user base.

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Emails of the future

Not only do we have the power to specifically tailor all content on the site, but it also automates Sneaker Freaker's weekly email digests - delivering the most popular articles of the week, and exponentially increasing efficiencies for the content team.

‘Who took the W?’

The site also needed to make sure it kept its street cred, so there’s WebGL fire in order to vote for the much-revered ‘Versus’ articles, and the immersive feature articles look beautifully crafted but are deceptively simple for editors to build within Sanity.

LeBron or Giannis? Your vote, delivered via WebGL flame, counts.

Full screen screen of a Versus article from
Matchy, matchy

We also built some smarts into Sanity, such as a colour-picker for the hero homepage carousel, which auto-selects the background colour selected from the colour of the featured shoe, meaning no two homepages are ever the same, keeping the user experience as fresh as that day’s latest kicks.

Four screens showcasing the different hero colour options on articles

The site is a beast under the hood and a powerful, efficient, new publishing tool.

Gif showcasing image and type promoting Sneakerfreaker issue 42
Three mobile screens showing variations of sneaker freaker article hero's
Desktop screen showcasing a large 'sneaker tech' article from
Two desktop screens showing large purple and white article images from
Large grid of sneaker freaker article hero's taken from the website