James La Barrie began his journey in skydiving at Skydive Carolina in 2000 when he made his first tandem skydive with then instructor, Jason McCullough. AFF followed soon after trading out golf lessons for skydiving lessons with owner and friend, Danny Smith.
Having become totally “hooked” James left the golf industry and channeled all his energies into Skydive Carolina beginning with an hourly position at manifest which led to him becoming DZM through nine years. Today, we proudly call Skydive Carolina a client.
When it was time for a new website for James’ “alma-mater”, it was a deeply personal project for our team to get right – we wanted to showcase Skydive Carolina in the most positive light.
Showcase The Heart
We believe the best marketing feels personal and so our vision for the Skydive Carolina website was to make sure that the soul of this brand came through in the design – the people and the values.
Instead of showcasing a promotion on the home page, we wanted to make a bold statement – “We Aim To Inspire.” There’s something more happening at Skydive Carolina – an essence that goes beyond the physical act of jumping itself and we wanted that to shine through.
Skydive Carolina has a lot going on between its tandem, AFF and experienced skydiver customer bases. The sitemap is relatively large and the DZ maintains a robust blog.
To ensure quick and easy navigation, we ensure users have the ability to quickly determine where in the site they need to go by showcasing call-to-action squares just below the fold to channel site users. Within each section, we used site traffic data to establish what information and links the end user will be looking for.
Skydive Carolina is conveniently located in Chester, South Carolina – midway between Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC. The dropzone also caters to additional marketplaces, and so we wanted to highlight the DZ’s location in proximity of their target markets with a clear proximity map on the homepage. This has become a signature of many of our websites as we deem it to be very important.
Staff and Values
As mentioned above, we wanted to personify the brand wherever possible and part of that was to include a staff spotlight on the homepage as opposed to tucking the staff under the Who We Are page. The staff spotlight feature showcases a different team member every time someone visits the site. Additionally, we wanted to work in a feature that shares the company’s values – an element that showcases the ‘Who’ instead of just the ‘What.’
Our SEO team has optimized Skydive Carolina’s site to ensure it sits prominently in the Google Search Results page for all its targeted markets and related keywords.
While James was still DZM at Skydive Carolina, he orchestrated the dropzone’s total rebrand.
Due to the multiple areas this logo would be used (apparel, road signs, hangar signs, stickers, aircraft decals and paint schemes) he elected to have three variations of the logo created, each prominently featuring the ‘jumper’ to tie them together and ensure consistency with all branding initiatives.
He initiated the creation of the CarolinaFest logo in 2009 with the aim of creating an annual event worthy of its own brand. Again, the ‘jumper’ is featured front and center to ensure a visual tie with the Skydive Carolina branding scheme.
“James was our General Manager for nine years. With the marketing ideas he implemented, our revenues rose 15 to 25% annually. He brought fresh ideas on how to increase our business and it worked. His attention to detail is second to none. We are a much stronger company now thanks to James’ expertise and ideas. I believe that he can help any company with their marketing and advertising.”
Danny Smith – DZO, Skydive Carolina
“I have known the owners of DropZone Marketing for years; they are compassionate, caring, and truly invested in their craft. It has been amazing to see this company grow from the ground up, with the number one attribute being the culture that they created within their organization. There is no doubt that James has empowered his crew to take ownership of their results and it shows in their success. If you want a company that will listen to your needs, formulate a plan for your success and then track that success this is the company for you!”
Ryan Levesque, Skydive Carolina