United States Olympic Committee Media Site Shines With Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

The U.S. Olympic Committee re-designed its Web site for the press corps using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 27, 2010 — Microsoft Corp., the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and Slalom Consulting have teamed up to build a refreshed Web site for media during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. The site makes it easy for reporters covering the Games to collaborate with colleagues, share information, and access breaking news, photos, images, events, Twitter feeds from USOC and Team USA athletes, live streaming video, and other Olympic information.

The USOC PressBox Web site was redesigned by Slalom Consulting, a national business and technology consulting company with expertise in advanced user interface design. Using the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 beta platform and Microsoft Silverlight technologies, the site’s new features include easier search, better graphic design, and intuitive site navigation to help press find information about the Olympics before, during and after the 2010 Winter Games.

Timely Update

Joseph Davey, solution director for portals and eXtended Relationship Management at Slalom Consulting, says a main goal of the new site was to put up-to-date information at reporters’ fingertips. “Before the redesign, the USOC PressBox site was short of several of the features essential to reporters today,” Davey says. “Reporters depend on instantaneous access to information that is literally updated by the second, so we created the site with this requirement at the forefront.”

Using the new site, journalists can easily search for information about specific athletes.

Slalom Consulting knew media representatives would also require more intuitive functionality to help them quickly find press releases and breaking news stories. And the USOC wanted to give the Olympic press corps a “place to call their own” during the Olympics, with ways to share, publish and manage information directly from PressBox. While delivering on these goals, Slalom also gave the site an improved look and employed the latest Web technologies.

“We had to capture and reflect the spirit of the United States Olympic Committee, the Olympic athletes, and the dynamic energy surrounding the Games with the new PressBox site,” says Davey.

Slalom Consulting worked with USOC and Microsoft to unveil the new PressBox to select media in September 2009, demonstrating some of the site’s new features. These include a dynamic user interface that uses Silverlight technology to display athlete profile cards, which enable members of the media to take a closer look at news about an athlete. With a click on the card, reporters can see an athlete’s recent tweets, news and photos. Journalists can access a specific card quickly via keyword search by subject, sport, breaking news or other criteria.

Reporters can also use the site to search, filter, view, download and share images easily; access Olympic live streaming video; flip through article photos; download attachments; print and post to popular social networking sites with one click; read more about an athlete or find similar stories by clicking on a category, article author, or sport to link directly to the information they want; and more.

Key Benefits From SharePoint

“The new generation of PressBox is one element of the USOC’s digital media strategy designed to motivate Olympic fans and media to engage in the Olympic Movement online,” says Trevor Miller, USOC managing director of Information Technology. “Using Microsoft technology, this redesigned site showcases our commitment to innovation and captures the power of new media technologies and audiences to enable journalists to bring the best stories of Team USA to Americans.”

SharePoint 2010 makes the performance of the PressBox site scalable, allowing the USOC to deploy and manage the site efficiently in times of both high- or low-volume use — for example, during or after the 2010 Games.

“SharePoint 2010 represents a huge leap forward for collaboration,” says Davey. “In combination with Silverlight, PressBox now ultimately allows the media to interact with a story long before it’s published, giving them time to gather additional information and report the news with rich, vibrant detail.”

“The feedback we’ve received from the media to date has been great, and we’re glad we chose the SharePoint 2010 platform to make the PressBox site come alive,” he adds.

Visit http://pressbox.teamusa.org/Pages/HOME.aspx to experience the excitement of the 2010 Games. Microsoft SharePoint 2010 will be available in June 2010; for more information visit http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint.

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