AquaZone Magazine Goes Digital

From print to social network

Skylab is hiring!


Our task was to digitise the ASA's AquaZone magazine and engage more effectively with swimmers aged between 9-16.


AquaZone used to be just a print magazine that was published quarterly with a circulation of 40,000 swimming members aged 9-16. The printed AquaZone magazine was expensive to produce.

With advertising revenue in traditional media falling and the swimming community expecting greater interactivity and up-to-date information, the traditional format was becoming unsustainable.

The ASA had identified a key drop off age group of 14 years old. However, AquaZone had a great reputation amongst its young readers, the magazine accessed a key age group the ASA were targeting young swimmers, divers, synchro swimmers and water polo players to engage with.

There was a real need to develop a community of young people the ASA could engage with so they did not give up swimming.


Lower the costs associated with the magazine
Improve the service to the age group and engage with them effectively
Retain it as a free to access resource but with revenue being generated via membership and advertising

Overall Solution

Initially, the ASA directed people to an online survey asking them how they would like to see AquaZone develop. Whilst 60% of responders said they wanted it to move online, a further 30% of respondents wanted both the magazine and online. There were a variety of responses and there was no pattern between age and preference. However, the main concerns about moving away from the magazine to online only were to do with the regularity of content and accessibility. It was clear that the new AquaZone would need to find a way of meeting these concerns.

Throughout the design and development process, the AquaZone community were kept informed of the changes being made and a sample group of users were engaged with to gain ongoing feedback. It was important to engage with the community throughout to ensure they got what they wanted.

Skylab also worked closely with the ASA and CEOP (formerly the 'Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre') to ensure AquaZone members could ensure a safe, secure environment in which to interact with their peers.


A closed, secure Social Network for AquaZone members
Providing a cross platform social platform which takes AquaZone content into an online environment
Members are able to create a profile as part of the registration process
Member profile includes, Timeline, Friends and Notifications from ASA and club notifications
Whilst there is no one-to-one messaging between members, users can add individuals to their friendship network
Users can like, share and comment on content
There is also the ability to report content or individuals
Clubs - Directory and Profiles
Zones with specific content for swimmers, divers, synchro swimmers and water polo players to feel welcome
Integration with Integra to allow for 9-16 year old ASA members only access

The CPSU, Child Protection in Sport Unit, have endorsed Skylab's online interactive magazine and secure social network, Aquazone, which is part of the ASA network and membership database. Their article was published on the CPSU website in August under Safeguarding children. To have the CPSU endorse the online magazine is a huge positive for Skylab and the ASA in the successful delivery of such a high profile and delicate subject area.

Do you need to get your audience active? Are you looking for tools to help increase participation? Contact us on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Twitter at @studioskylab

Related Work

  • AIBA Brings Live Results To Fans

  • Holt Lloyd Launch International Sites

  • Skylab Conquers The Court With Battle Badminton’s Social Hub

  • Skylab Delivers First Round Win With AIBA Pro Boxing Website

  • Watch out! Skylab’s New Video Wordpress Theme

Back to top


  • Skylab Drive New Digital Strategy For England Golf

  • AIBA Brings Live Results To Fans

  • Holt Lloyd Launch International Sites

  • AquaZone Magazine Goes Digital

  • Skylab Conquers The Court With Battle Badminton’s Social Hub

  • Skylab Delivers First Round Win With AIBA Pro Boxing Website

  • Watch out! Skylab’s New Video Wordpress Theme

  • Swimfit Web App

  • English Lacrosse Builds Fans A Digital Hub


  • BMC TV Summits With MediaTank

  • SwimmingTV Steps Up To The London 2012 Olympic Games

  • British Swimming Points You To The Pool With PoolFinder

  • Yonex All England Badminton Championships Bring The Heat

  • Careers In Aquatics

  • Manchester City Auctions

  • British Paralympic Association

  • Skylab Makes Big Splash

  • British Swimming

  • Man Utd Hospitality Sales Website

  • Skylab’s Recipe for Success with Breville’s Turn on your Creativity

  • Skylab Delivers Responsive Design Website For ITN Productions

  • Skylab Creates Authentic Content For Authentic Food

  • Morson Group Provides Thousands Of Job Opportunities

  • Skylab’s MediaTank Hosts National Film And Television School

  • sk:n Switch-on To Mobile Audience

  • Skylab Launches Hasselblad tv

  • 2012 British Gas Swimming Championships

  • sk:n E-Commerce

  • Philip Lawrence Awards

  • Simply Be Blog

  • InjuryLawyers4U Website

  • Ruth Badger, Branding & Website

  • Burnage Media Arts College

  • Cassons Website

  • SnoKart Website

  • SnoKart Brand

  • HouseTraders

  • Splintered The Movie

  • Trexx & Flipside

  • Cassons For Counsel


Big Chip 2011 - WINNER Best Not For Profit Project

Skylab is an innovation studio

We specialise in digital strategy & production.

We explore the internet to invent the new...

We are experts in digital strategy, IP, websites, apps, social media and film.

We help clients create a digital strategy that acts as a road map to success across all digital platforms. We also create digital intellectual property for clients that they can own and build on, well into the future.

What's the best way to describe what we do for clients?

We live in the digital wild west. We scout for new methods, ideas, techniques and technologies and blend them into commercially successful solutions for you.

We are unashamedly commercial in our approach. We employ disruptive tactics to help move, shape and fundamentally disrupt markets on behalf of our clients. Many of our solutions are innovative firsts and often set the standard for that industry. We like being the best at what we do, so we'd be happy to help you be the best in your industry too.

From the BBC to the Brit Awards and from Heathrow's T5 to Hollywood, our work has played on some of the biggest canvases in the world.

Our clients come in all shapes and sizes from small businesses to big names such as the Home Office, William Hill, British Swimming, the BBC and Manchester United.

Skylab has an award winning heritage including a BAFTA Award plus two further BAFTA nominations. Our previous experience has also gained us awards from Cream, NME, British Video Association, Roses and Big Chip.

If you would like any advice or guidance about any digital platforms, then please feel free to call us.

Thank you for visiting...


Digital Strategy

We help you develop a commercially viable digital strategy that delivers measurable success.

  • Research & Analysis
  • Ideas & Solutions
  • Tracking & Evaluation

Intellectual Property

We create digital IP for some of the biggest brands in the world, giving them a significant strategic advantage over competitors.


Our websites are highly engaging, beautifully designed, technically advanced and comply with international web standards.

  • Content managed (CMS)
  • Open source
  • E-commerce


We are constantly innovating, creating new apps for all digital platforms.

  • Websites
  • Mobile
  • Facebook, Twitter etc

Social Media

We help clients understand the potential of social media and how they can use it to gain loyal fans, followers and customers and importantly generate new business.

  • Strategy
  • Build & Deploy
  • Listen & Evolve


Film production is in our blood and becomes a powerful way to communicate your message when combined with our digital distribution channels.

  • Corporates & Commercials
  • Events
  • Motion Graphics
Video CMS for developers | MediaTank
Back to top


Get in touch

Call us on:
0161 877 0004

Email us:

400A Third Avenue
M17 1JE

Get directions


Skylab are happy to help with comment, opinion pieces or articles. Email or call for a chat.

Email address:


We're always looking for good people for full time, part time and freelance opportunities.

Email your CV to: (No agencies please)

Back to top