I was reading one of my favorite sports bloggers, James Mirtle (who is also a writer for The Globe and Mail), who brought up an interesting feature by Tim Lemke in The Washington Times about the Washington Capitals hockey team's relationship with new media outlets. The Capitals are by far the most advanced team in professional sports in granting access to bloggers. Many of them have been granted full-season press credentials to Caps home games, giving them the same access as traditional sports media.
As Lemke points out, traditional media coverage of hockey has dwindled in recent years, particularly as most news organizations have been hit with budget cuts. “Blogger Nation,” as they are affectionately called, looks to fill the void left by the mainstream press. Many Capitals blogs, such as Eric McErlain’s Off Wing Opinion, Jon Press’s Japer’s Rink and John Keeley’s On Frozen Blog, are among the most popular blogs in the sports world, attracting tens of thousands of unique visitors each month.
Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, the former AOL executive who might even rival Mark Cuban as a tech-savvy sports owner, responded to the Times article on his blog, both questioning the “self-fulfilling prophecies” of mainstream media’s programming choices and pointing out the blogosphere is only getting bigger.
He says, “As was once said, ‘Others go to where the puck is; I go to where the puck is going to be.’ We helped ignite a blogosphere because it is where ‘the puck is going to be.’ It was that simple.”
It’s not just in sports that bloggers are beginning to gain access. This year, CBS invited 11 influential “Mommy Bloggers,” including Mindy Roberts and Sara Fisher, to visit the set and interview the cast of “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” the Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom about a single mom, to promote their new fall lineup. Here’s a video of their visit on YouTube:
Bloggers have proved that, when they are given access, they can provide valuable exposure. Will you consider them to play a role in your next launch?