- BSMW Network Post: Erin Andrews to Speak with Oprah, 9/11 http://bit.ly/E3Fcr #
- BSMW Network Post: Giving You The Monday Links http://bit.ly/qIYwF #
- BSMW Network Post: NY Times Blog – The Belichick Way: Still the Best http://bit.ly/1zcng6 #
- RT @realpatriots: Looking for more coverage on Tedy Bruschi? Tune in to NFL Network tonight at 7:30 p.m. for another interview. #
- BSMW Network Post: Monday’s Viewing Picks http://bit.ly/3nm4zz #
- RT @wbz: Tedy Bruschi retirement announcement 10:45 am – watch it live on wbztv.com and WBZ-TV http://tiny.cc/105KR #
- BSMW Network Post: Bruschi Calling It Quits Today http://bit.ly/yoU8e #
- BSMW Network Post: Bruschi Takes a Bow Today http://bit.ly/19ksJD #
- BSMW Network Post: Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-08-30 http://bit.ly/4gcF24 #
The site is slated to launch on September 14th – or opening day for the Patriots, who play on Monday Night Football that night on ESPN. ( I wonder if it is telling that 98.5 The SportsHub launched on the day of the Patriots first preseason game, while ESPNBoston launches on the day of the Patriots first regular season game.)
Here are a few of my initial thoughts on the topic:
First of all, the ESPNChicago site should give you a pretty good feel of what you can expect from the Boston version.
While there will be a lot of “re-purposing” of Boston content from the main ESPN.com site, there will be plenty of original content as well. The splash hiring of Mike Reiss gives the site some instant credibility, and you can expect some other local defections to this site in the coming weeks.
For a guy like Reiss, leaving the uncertainty of what the future holds for The Boston Globe (not to mention that recent pay cut all Globe employees had to take) probably made this a pretty easy decision. If you’ve been following the news of some of the potential buyers of the Globe, you know that the idea of Platinum Equity purchasing the Globe should have employees terrified. ESPN offers stability and reach.
I’d say the days of Reiss’ Pieces (as a brand) are over, for now anyway. Boston.com will obviously have to change the name of their Patriots blog, but I don’t expect it to follow Reiss over to ESPNBoston. ESPN is about their brand, not that of its talent. Reiss however, will continue to do exactly what he’s going now for Boston.com, except without the added burden of having to produce something for the print edition.
You can probably expect some change in ESPN Radio locally. The 890 station is not owned by ESPN, they are an affiliate. I would expect that you’ll see some move by ESPN to get their brand better established on the local airwaves. I don’t think that would come in the form of a new locally staffed and hosted ESPN Radio Boston to compete with WEEI and WBZ-FM, but something more along the lines of a more solid platform for their national shows, such as Mike & Mike in the Morning. The current incarnation of 890 simply isn’t up to ESPN standards.
The local edition of SportsCenter is intriguing. Rather than sitting through the full version of SportsCenter on ESPN for the few Boston highlights (if you even do that anymore), you’ll be able to go online and get them all instantly, at any time.
The Chicago site still seems to lean on a lot of AP content, and straight links back to ESPN.com. That’s not going to be appealing here, but I expect there to be more of a focus on local original content on the Boston site.
In a similar vein, I would hope the local focus would also result in a scaleback of the ESPN hysteria. I don’t think the Mark Schlereth type of hysterical, irresponsible speculation would go over well here. Based on the emails and comments I receive, people in this market smell out that type of stuff pretty quickly and reject it.
Also check out the Globe media column by Chad Finn on the topic.
It doesn’t touch on ESPNBoston, but the New Bedford Standard Times rates New England’s “Big 6″ sports media outlets.
One other quick unrelated link, over on Patriots Daily, we’re Trading Places with a Redskins blogger.
A new ESPNBoston.com site will be launching in a short few weeks and they’ve already announced that they will be hiring Mike Reiss from the Boston Globe to be the site’s Patriots beat writer.
Check it out at the Fang’s Bites page.
Great discussion in the comment section below. Jump in!
With my schedule completely slammed today, I figured I’d take this opportunity to pass along a few items that have crossed through my inbox over the last few days.
WEEI.com Announces Massive Year-Over-Year Increases in Web Site Traffic and Digital Audio Consumption
Unique visitors to WEEI.com have grown 173% in the past 12 months, jumping from 247,531 to 676,716, according to Onestat Analytics.
WEEI.com has also significantly grown their page views, on-demand and streaming audio audience over the last year. According to Ando Webcast Metrics, the year-over-year statistics show:
- Along with unique visitors, WEEI.com page views grew 90% since July 2008, jumping from 2,275,405 to 4,279,677. This was the first time the site cracked the 4 million page views mark in a single month.
- On-Demand Audio Plays have grown 112% from 129,915 to 274,208.
- Live Streaming Hours increased 32% from 919,542 to 1,206,043. This makes WEEI the top internet radio station in the country in terms of streaming Average Quarter Hours (AQH) as percentage of market size.
- Live Streaming CUME jumped 69% from 42,413 to 71,779.
- Live Streaming Sessions are up 90% from 253,169 to 481,900.
AQH on Stream Monday-Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. grew 12% to 3,393. The site now has a greater streaming AQH than multiple competing radio stations in the Boston market have on their terrestrial broadcasts.
Also this past July, 22,000 people accessed WEEI.com from mobile devices, utilizing their WAP site, FlyCast and the station’s recently launched iPhone application. Leveraging social media to increase their audience, WEEI has more than 8,500 combined fans/followers on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, visits from search engines have increased 134% from a year ago.
Boston Red Sox All-Star pitcher Josh Beckett will throw strikes of a different kind on September 10, when he hangs up his cleats and laces up a pair of bowling shoes at the third-annual Beckett Bowl, a star-studded bowling tournament held at Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston. Beckett spoke to the media about the event today while signing special Beckett Bowl branded bowling pins at a Fenway Park news conference.
The fun-filled evening will begin at 6 p.m. with red-carpet arrivals and autograph session. The bowling tournament will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and festivities will conclude with the official Absolut Beckett Bowl After-Party at the House of Blues with Josh Beckett and friends. The after-party will feature celebrity appearances and live entertainment, including performances by Texas country music star Pat Green, Matt Cline and DJ Buddy Costa. Absolut is the presenting sponsor of the official Beckett Bowl After-Party.
A limited number of tickets for Beckett Bowl and the Absolut Beckett Bowl After-Party are available now at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets for the bowling event are $250 and after-party tickets are $45.
In advance of the event, Beckett will host an online raffle at netRaffle.org to benefit The Josh Beckett Foundation. The winner will receive a celebrity bowling package to bowl with the stars at the tournament, as well as a special experiential fantasy day at Fenway Park. Raffle tickets are $2 with a minimum purchase of five tickets and can be purchased now at netRaffle.org. The winner will be selected on Monday, September 7, 2009. For more information, visit netRaffle.org.
“We are overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the local sports and business communities over the last two years,” said Beckett. “They’ve really pulled together to help kids, and as a result of those efforts, we were fortunate enough to open the Josh Beckett Cancer Treatment room at Children’s Hospital Boston. But this is only the beginning. I’m thrilled to be back this September to rally around these deserving children and make an even greater impact.”
The annual Beckett Bowl fundraising event is organized by The Josh Beckett Foundation, which supports community-based programs that improve the health and well-being of children, especially those who are seriously ill, disabled, poor, or otherwise disadvantaged. Since its inception in 2007, Beckett Bowl has raised more than $500,000 to benefit the Foundation and the event’s primary beneficiary, Children’s Hospital Boston.
Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation online auction
Enjoy a round of golf with Mark Wahlberg, Meet Tom Brady after a Patriots training session, Enjoy a personal batting lesson with David Ortiz or a pitching lesson with Jonathan Papelbom, golf with Adrian Grenier and shoot hoops with Boston Celtics own Ray Allen!
Join us in supporting the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation online auction. Now LIVE at http://www.charitybuzz.com/through September 17, 2009.
- Go golfing with Mark Wahlberg
- Meet Tom Brady after VIP seating at a Patriots training session
- Enjoy a round of golf with Entourage’s Adrien Grenier
- Swing away at a private batting lesson with “Big Papi”, David Ortiz
- Enjoy a private pitching lesson with star Red Sox Pitcher, Jonathan Papelbon
- Shooting lesson with one of the best in the NBA, Boston Celtic’s own Ray Allen
- Meet Michael Douglas on the Set of “Wall Street 2” in NYC
- Attend the Premiere of Charlize Theron’s Latest Film, “The Road”
To raise funds for his youth foundation, Mark Wahlberg has joined forces again with the leading global auction site http://www.charitybuzz.com/ and offered an incredible array of over-the-top online auction experiences that are guaranteed to create BUZZ.
Everett High School selected to star in next Eastern Bank TV commercial
Runner-ups Lynn English and Middleboro high schools to appear in posters
Everett High School’s football team has thrived on the field for generations, but now that success will be carried over to television after the team won the opportunity to appear in Eastern Bank’s next TV commercial, the bank announced today.
In addition to a little more fame, the school’s athletics department will receive $5,000 for winning the contest, which generated entries from more than two dozen high schools across eastern Massachusetts.
Everett was one of five finalists selected last week. Each finalist underwent site visits by Eastern Bank marketing officers or representatives of its advertising agency and production company. In the end, the competition was so close that the bank awarded two runner-up prizes to Lynn English and Middleboro high schools, whose football teams will be featured in posters in more than 80 branch locations.
Lynn English will also appear briefly in the TV commercial, because it will be filmed playing Everett in a scrimmage. Lynn English will be awarded $2,500, while Middleboro will receive $2,000. The other two finalists, Tewksbury and Hull high schools, earned $1,000 for their athletics departments.
The contest, which ran from July 24 to Aug. 7, asked entrants to answer the question: What makes your team special? Everett’s video entry featured its football players talking about the importance of teamwork, tradition and pride. The team showcased highlights and special moments in Everett’s football history, which dates back to the late 1800s.
“Eastern Bank congratulates Everett High School and every school that entered our contest,” said Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank. “After reviewing responses to our question, it became clear to our review committee that each team was special in its own way, so we decided it was appropriate to acknowledge everybody’s efforts.
“As a result, I am happy to announce that we will award more than $20,000 to high school athletics departments in eastern Massachusetts,” added Holbrook.
The bank announced last week that it decided to reward each qualified, non-finalist entrant with a $500 prize. In order to qualify, applicants needed to answer the question in the form of videos, essays or photos. Most of the entries can be viewed at www.easternbank.com/teamwork and the public is encouraged to follow future updates on Facebook (search “Eastern Bank”).
The commercial, scheduled to launch in mid September, will be part of a broader advertising campaign to illustrate the value Eastern Bank’s team of banking, investment and insurance professionals brings to its customers.