Local sports programming can be a huge revenue generator. Airing play-by-plays on Friday nights is nothing new, but a growing number of stations are using apps and websites to expand their coverage. Even adding a local sports digital component isn’t something new. Some early-adopting radio stations have built year-round online revenue generators just providing local sports content on their station websites. Some have even created new brands outside the station because the demand is so great. It just depends on your market.
Earlier this year Townsquare Media Cheyenne/Laramie, Wyoming acquired the local sports website 7220Sports.com. This website, formed by a fan, dedicated its news coverage to the University of Wyoming Athletics. 7220Sports.com added to the cluster’s high school sports website WyoPreps.com and their news website LaramieLive.com. The majority of the content on these sites comes from their sports and news radio stations.
In Springfield, IL, Neuhoff Media invested in digital back in 2015 to deliver on local high school sports using highlight packages and original features on athletes and teams. The company’s Chanel1450.com—named for its sister radio station, “Sports Radio 1450” WFMB—is a standalone website dedicated to area prep sports. By nature of its digital format, the staff isn’t constrained by linear broadcast schedules, and producers can post content at any time. On Friday nights during football season, for instance, the staff often works until 2 a.m. producing highlight packages.
Social media is a key component for Chanel1450.com. The staff posts relentlessly to its Facebook page and Twitter feed, and Kerker says about 94% of traffic comes directly from this activity.
KEY STEP: Don’t post content that can be fully consumed on social. Use social to drive traffic back to the website where advertisers are.
For local advertisers, these sports websites offer a new avenue to reach potential customers, and the site’s demographics might reveal some surprises. For Channel1450, along with the male demos typically associated with sports, adult women—the so-called “soccer moms”—are also frequent visitors.
These kinds of websites are popping up all around the country and generating revenue from the content.
You don’t need to have a dedicated sports website to start with. Start by adding any local sports to your radio station website, promote it well and see if your audience buys in. If the data suggests that most visitors are hitting your sports content, then it may be time to create another brand that you use separately.
Don’t wait too late and have someone else beat you to it!!!
Need help taking the next step with your radio station website? Reach out to us.