July 24, 2014

How Should Sports Sites Make Money? A Great Post and a Great Line

Since Mobile Sports Report ran a story and picture of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition this week (after all, it is a big story that the issue is available online), the whole discussion about how to drive traffic to sports sites and how online news sites make money off advertising got moved to a new level with this post from Outkick the Coverage. Read it if you are in the sports marketing biz. I think the ideas contained are radical, but deserve consideration.

I was pointed toward the article from another post over at The Big Lead that was talking about how the Boston Courant makes money because it doesn’t have a website. FYI, a guy named Dave Price, who I don’t know personally but went to school at Colorado the same time I did, does the same thing at a local daily near here in Palo Alto — no online stories to protect print ads.

You can debate if that is a realistic long-term strategy, but — I loved the line at the end of the Big Lead post by Ty Duffy, so I’ll quote it below:

This story highlights a basic fact: no one has figured out how to monetize the Internet effectively. For typed words to stand alone, media must cross two fundamental barriers. First, we need a better metric to sell to advertisers than straight pageviews, before we all burn out and/or introduce Softcore Saturdays. Second, traditional media must find some way to make a non-invasive paid subscription model work.

“Softcore Saturdays,” I love it. Of course I should also mention that on the same page as Duffy’s post there is a link to the MissCollegeFootball.com poll. So maybe softcore Saturday is already almost here.

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