Escalade Sports
Escalade Sports

Shopify Plus Case Study: Escalade Sports​

Unifying Fifteen Brands to One Platform for a D2C Win

Escalade Sports, a sporting goods manufacturer, distributor, and retailer based in Evansville, IN, supports over 18 household sports brands today. They engaged CQL to develop an e-commerce strategy, roadmap and single-platform architecture to unite their brands and provide a model to easily bring on additional, complimentary brands as part of future acquisitions. CQL supported this approach by leveraging Shopify Plus and a unique set of third-party solutions and integrations, including Salsify, a SAAS PIM software, as part of this new ecosystem.

Escalade Sports

15 Sites. 1 Platform. Shopify.

A Growing Brand Family

Established in 1927, Escalade Sports has grown its business to over 18 sporting goods brands, including Onix, Bear Archery, Goalrilla, STIGA, Lifeline, Rave Sports, and more. As expansion continues, Escalade was faced with the question: “How do we maintain, manage, and go to market with dozens of brands on legacy custom tools?”

B2C Market Opportunity

Escalade saw huge growth potential in the B2C marketplace, allowing customers to shop directly at and their portfolio of brands. A common e-commerce architecture was needed for B2C expansion, featuring a multi-site framework, a consistent user experience, and content that reflected unique brand personalities.

Shopify Plus Framework

A consulting engagement & recommendation of Shopify Plus was a crucial step to transition Escalade from a CTO mindset to a CMO growth-focused approach. Shopify Plus normalized all brands under 1 framework, allowing for scalability, unique brand design and customizations, and marketing ownership of content for future growth.

Escalade Sports Screens

eCommerce Framework That Scales

By using Shopify Plus as a common framework across brands, CQL could customize each Escalade brand’s website with a common set of components and page structures. This framework provided a consistent user experience across brands, while offering a flexible UI to create unique design experiences, brand customizations (such as palette builders or logo switchers), and  “find installer” and “store locator” features specific to each Escalade brand.

The Shopify Plus solution now allows Escalade Sports to launch newly acquired brands quickly, while continuing to provide a consistent user experience with custom branding and feature sets on each website.

eCommerce Framework
Escalade and Salsify

Salsify PIM Delivers Consistency Across Brands & Marketplaces

Entering the B2C market meant Escalade Brands needed to have a centralized source of product data across all digital touchpoints – from and individual brands to digital endpoints, like Google and Amazon marketplaces. To grow market share quickly, Escalade integrated Shopify Plus with Salsify, an industry-leading Product Information Management System (PIM).

Using Salsify, Escalade had the ability to accelerate new product time to market, update content faster, optimize product performance, improve data quality, create engaging product experiences, and streamline data management in a centralized, easy-to-use platform.

Pulling It All Together: CQL Custom Development

Shopify Plus was just one piece to Escalade’s technical landscape. Although the eCommerce platform had a robust CMS that empowers marketers to build content and grow the business, a common framework to launch new brands in under 90 days, and a flexible solution for customization and integrations, Escalade still had custom-built pricing, shipping, and inventory feeds from their ERP and a highly-customized AS400 backend. CQL’s extensive experience with custom development allowed our technical team to design middleware to integrate these systems with Shopify Plus to complete Escalade’s commerce ecosystem.

In less than 12 months, Escalade Sports had a new end-to-end solution rolled out on 10 sites, each with a unique design, built on a scalable framework to support future growth and acquisitions. Each year, more sites are added to Escalade’s portfolio of brands include: American Heritage BilliardsBear Archery, Brunswick Billiards, Cue & Case, Escalade SportsFowlingGoalrilla, GoalsetterLifeline FitnessOnix PickleballRave SportsSTIGAUS WeightVictory Tailgate, and Woodplay.

12 Months Design To Launch
15 Sites Uniquely Branded
1 Platform Common Framework

SEO Migration & Launch Support

For over 3 years, CQL’s partnership with Escalade Sports has allowed us to master Shopify Plus migrations and guarantee clean, optimized, and reliable websites at launch.

For each site migration for Escalade Sports, our SEO experts work in three stages:

  1. Current Site SEO Analysis: our team performs migration benchmarking and validation to ensure SEO health prior to launch.
  2. Pre-launch SEO: Just prior to launch, our team captures and addresses any new site issues such as redirects, status codes, metadata structure and completeness, internal linking, canonical tags, schema markup, robots.txt files and other technical elements, preventing SEO degradation during launch.
  3. Site Launch: Immediately after launch, our SEO team crawls the live sites to ensure SEO health, submit new sitemaps and robot files, and address any post-launch updates.

After over a dozen migrations to Shopify, Escalade Sports continues to see new and exciting SEO improvements for their sporting good brands.