Friday, July 20, 2007

The Value of Sports Blogging

With Michael Vick and Barry Bonds, two class acts, dominating the sports world these days, I've found myself venturing into some articles on sports blogging and press credentials.

Here are a couple articles worthy of a read:

Blogs offer instant, irreverent analysis of the sports world:

"I'm just some guy in West Virginia with a computer, but we've got the premier NFL blog out there," said Florio, whose drew more than 600,000 individual viewers in March. "I never did like the word blog, but I've accepted that that's what our Web site is."

Florio's nearly 6-year-old site attracts more than fans - it's a must-read for many NFL players, management types, agents and media members.

"Every day, several times a day, I check on ProFootballTalk," said Miami Beach-based agent Drew Rosenhaus, who counts Dolphins Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor among his impressive and expansive client list. "It's very entertaining. He tries hard to break news and he's got good sources. He's very credible. I've been reading his stuff for years now."
Looking into the Blog Box:

We’re setting up a BLOG BOX in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – sort of like a press box, but away from the scribes and broadcasters because we know you want to cheer, shout, have a pretzel and enjoy the game experience on your own terms.

We will provide you with a media pass for a few games next season and a seat in the NYI BLOG BOX. You will also receive your own set of Game Notes when you enter the Coliseum Press Gate. All you have to do is bring your note pad and/or voice recorder and cheer as loudly as you want. After the game you attend, we will set up an area where you can toss a few questions at a coach or players, based on your requests and their availability.
Some great stuff out of David Singer at Ice Block. I also want to point out the Ted Leonsis' take on bloggers as well:

Of course press rooms and player access should be made available to bloggers! Bloggers are passionate fans. They are very knowledgeable and have a growing audience. They bottle up interactivity and they know how to utilize the new medium. Bloggers are showing up higher and higher in search engines and on search results pages. They point back and forth to one another. They dive deep into subjects and are very capable of building next generation businesses. They are a medium and they are helping to build a new one that is fast growing instead of shrinking. They are journalists who are self policed. If they do bad work, they won't be pointed to by other bloggers and they will fall out of the search engine results pages. The NHL needs all of the coverage and audience we can generate. Our audience is the most wired of all the pro sports. We need to be looking at the creation of next generation networks and deliver content to fans in a manner they are comfortable with and in a voice that relates to the new consumer.
And once again, Eric McErlain leads the charge for press credentials. I am really on the fence about this one. I think Eric needs to rethink exactly who he is representing in this cause. Bloggers like himself and On Frozen Blog, who take blogging to another level with regular and original coverage, player interviews, and inside sources? Or the regular bloggers, still serious, but those that have content that teeters between the sports and entertainment world.

I believe both add value to the sports world. And as long as a blog adds material on a regular basis and does so in a professional manner, they should be considered for in-game blogging in some fashion. That is why I think that the Islanders idea is a great one. I also think that they innacurately characterized the atmosphere that the bloggers would be a part of. On the contrary, I think that a blog box would be quite professional. As Ted said, bloggers self-police. So "hooting and hollering" with "hotdogs in hand" probably wouldn't be seen in a blog box... at least not in Washington, where Capitals blogging is taken seriously.

So to Eric. Please rethink the all or nothing game plan. Because I believe that would exclude a lot of great blogs out there that would be very happy with covering a game from a blog box.

Remember that it is the press that is worried about bloggers... not the other way around.

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