Women’s Sports Outlets Turn To Classics and Collaboration In Sports-Less World

  • Even without live sports, women’s sports media outlets are focused on staying relevant with their readers.
  • Publications like Just Women’s Sports, The GIST, and Power Plays are altering their content efforts to reach more people.

In a matter of weeks, all of the progress that was made around women’s sports in 2019 has hit a severe roadblock by the coronavirus pandemic – a fact that is not lost on female sports media outlets. When The GIST launched in July 2018, it aimed to provide women with a way to learn what was going on in sports in less than five minutes. The twice-a-week newsletter covers both male and female athletics, but particularly emphasizes the latter […]

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Whistle to Boost Content Distribution While Fans Remain At Home

  • Media brand plans to continue shooting and editing new content remotely.
  • Viewership on YouTube gaming content for Whistle in March is up 33% over last month.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit each sector of the sports industry differently. While leagues and television networks featuring live sports action continue to face headwinds, digital media companies relying on programmed content find themselves on the other end of the spectrum. FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives believe that it would be at least 60 days before leagues resume play. Whistle, founded in 2014, is one. The network, known formerly as Whistle Sports, offers weekly episodes of 23 different original […]

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Tom Brady’s Move to Tampa Boosts Local and National Media

  • Brady has been a one-person news cycle for local media like Tampa Bay Times and national networks like ESPN.
  • After ranking 30th in home attendance, Brady’s Buccaneers are expected to sell out Raymond James Stadium.

The coronavirus pandemic has hammered sports media, with some newspapers like the Washington Post cutting their sports sections in half and others like the Denver Post suspending them. But one of the bright spots in the otherwise grim sports media landscape has been Tom Brady. FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives believe that it would be at least 60 days before leagues resume play. Brady’s move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 20 years with the New England Patriots has […]

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Marlins Turn to Virtual Opening Day Game For Baseball-Hungry Fans

  • Although Opening Day didn’t happen on March 26, the Miami Marlins had a Virtual Opening Day versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • During this hiatus, Miami will continue to release content for baseball fans stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 26 the Marlins were supposed to be hosting the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park. Instead, they brought the game into the homes of their fans with the teams playing virtually on “MLB The Show 20,” with the controllers handled by Miami shortstop Miguel Rojas and Philadelphia first baseman Rhys Hoskins. FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives believe that it would be at least 60 days before leagues resume play. “It was something our social media team came up […]

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ESPN’s Embrace Of User-Generated Content Is Here To Stay

  • Omar Raja’s arrival spurred ESPN toward more UGC - But with no sports, it has become vital.
  • ESPN’s average engagement per post is up 75% this March compared to a year ago

Like he has thousands of times in his ESPN career, Mike Greenberg was narrating a sports highlight on TV. But this no-look, behind-the-back pass was not made by the NBA’s LeBron James or Steph Curry. Instead, it was an average Joe deftly flipping his Eggo waffle into his toaster. “Nothing but the bottom of the toaster,” declared the host of ESPN’s “Get Up” morning show Thursday. “I don’t care how many takes that took. I like it.” FOS REPORT: 54.5% […]

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Overtime Looks To Shine Spotlight On Young Athletes Who Lost Sports

  • Cancellation of sports nationwide inspires Overtime to create #WhosNXT hashtag for athletes whose seasons were put on hold.
  • Engagement on #WhosNXT posts is 55% higher than the 2020 US Sports Media average for IG videos.
  • Overtime execs have pivoted to map out three months of planned programming.

Overtime has built its business connecting directly with athletes, especially rising young stars who haven’t yet gone pro, by sharing their stories and video clips. So as the entire sporting world took a collective pause amid the coronavirus outbreak, Overtime CEO Dan Porter and his staff began to hear a similar story from those who have played their last game or lost a chance to compete for a championship. FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives believe that it would be […]

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Without Basketball, Rockets Develop Content Plan With Heavy Fan Input

  • Rockets aim to give fans a sense of normalcy on their social media accounts.
  • Team has revived their #FanArtFriday campaign in effort to stay engaged with its supporters.

Steven Goldfried knows that these are not normal times. Since the NBA temporarily suspended its season on March 12, he has tried to make the abnormal appear anything but. “That’s very hard to do because there aren’t games being played,” Goldfried, the Houston Rockets’ director of digital content strategy, said. “These are not normal times, but if we can give them something that is a little bit comforting in terms of basketball content, then that’s what we’re going to try […]

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Big Ten Network Invites TV Viewers To Pick Games They Want To Watch

  • Fans can vote to watch either Magic Johnson-Larry Bird NCAA Final from ’79 or Maryland-Indiana from ’02.
  • BTN’s Michael Calderon says an interactive approach gives fans something to "root for."

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic shut down live sports, TV networks have looked to give fans a steady diet of archival footage and games. But rather than guessing which games fans would be most interested in watching, the Big Ten Network instead gave them that choice directly. The sports network is asking viewers to vote on social media about which classic Big Ten/NCAA tournament basketball games they want to watch on TV over the next week. FOS REPORT: 54.5% of […]

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NHL Leans On Players To Entertain Fans At Home

  • One of the NHL’s goals during its hiatus is to better connect its players with their fans.
  • Thus far, more than 55 NHL players and coaches have worked with the league to create online content.

In recent seasons, the NHL has put a heavy emphasis on increasing the amount of storytelling that focuses specifically on its players, as well as their personalities.  But even as hockey has gone on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league is still pushing that strategy forward, making one of the key pillars of communication during this time a direct line between players and fans, according to NHL Chief Marketing Officer Heidi Browning. FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives […]

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With No Sports To Cover, Newspapers Either Retrench Or Get Creative

  • Washington Post redeploying some sports reporters to Coronavirus coverage, while Boston Globe goes to the well for story ideas.
  • Online-only outlets like The Athletic have lowered subscription paywalls to attract and retain readers.

When Boston Globe sports editor Matt Pepin first heard that NBA player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus, he sensed in his gut the sports business was headed for a long, painful shutdown. Pepin immediately asked his staff for “creative” ways to cover a sports world with virtually no live sports. His team responded with ten pages of story ideas, ranging from personal recollections of covering Boston’s biggest events to in-depth features on the inner workings of teams and leagues […]

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