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Getting local ink / pixels

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LightningMan, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. LightningMan

    LightningMan New Member

    Hi. I'm an unpaid media adviser to the Tobacco Road Basketball League, a minor professional basketball league in the Carolinas. Recently our coverage at a minor league website was downgraded because many of our member teams do not get local media coverage. I'm coming up with a comprehensive strategy to get some of the less established teams covered by the local media.

    So far my thoughts have been for the teams to push their exposure through community involvement and ticket sales (because ultimately if enough people go to games, the local media will care no matter what else they do or don't do) and to press release anything even moderately newsworthy because you never know what day is the slow news day or when an outlet has a space they need to fill.

    What can they do to encourage their releases get read by media outlets? What can they do to make covering of games and other activities attractive to local media? Would some sort of local media open house be an intriguing idea?

    If this thread seems similar to a little more combative one started by the head of the new and IMO unimproved ABA, it's because someone citing his thread here at Our Sports Central lead me here. However, I had been tasked with this before that thread was ever started and this just gave me another resource to take advantage of.

    I thank you for all feedback you may give and I am open to any questions you might have.
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Try this thread for suggestions and advice:

  3. LightningMan

    LightningMan New Member

    Thank you, Buck, for replying.

    I did not find advice in that thread. I found a justified excoriation of the new ABA, with which I am familiar as one of the teams in my league (the Wilmington Sea Dawgs) played in that league at one point until it wised up and got out.

    If that is the sum and total of advice to be had here, then I thank you all and bid you a good day.
  4. Not too familiar with the TRBL, but a few thoughts/questions:

    1) How good is the league about uploading schedule, results, boxscores, stat leaders?

    2) How good is each team about sending those out after every game?

    3) How often are games cancelled/postponed/changed?

    4) How many former D-I guys play for each team?

    5) Are these teams located in towns with other things going on (Charlotte pro sports and racing scene, Rockingham racing, Durham/Raleigh/Chapel Hill college sports)?

    6) Does every team have an constantly updated website with few spelling errors? Same thing with twitter accounts and facebook sites.

    7) Does any team have radio/tv deals? Because if TV and radio aren't willing to cover them, not sure why you jump on newspapers for doing the same.

    8) Does every team have its own tried-and-true home arena?
  5. LightningMan

    LightningMan New Member

    1) The league is very good about schedules and results. In fact, the 2013 schedule just went up. ( http://www.trblproball.com/ ) I don't know about stats, but I do know it's a league requirement to keep them, thanks to the ABA experiences prior. At the Sea Dawgs games I was able to get the stats immediately after the game in order to write the Sea Dawgs post game wraps that were sent out as press releases.

    2) The league sends out the releases to Our Sports Central but I do not know if the individual teams are doing that to their local media outlets. The information I am getting from league brass is more that the releases aren't being used by the local media. But that is one thing I am going to hammer home, that the individual teams must send releases to the local media outlets and try to develop relationships with them.

    3) No games were missed in the 2012 season. Again, having been in the ABA (and PBL and CBL), the Wilmington ownership group (one of the driving forces behind the league) was painfully aware that missing games undercut the league with fans, media, and advertisers. One of the other driving forces in the league, the Cary Invasion, was a co-owner of the Wilmington team during a lot of the shenanigans and is also very watchful about that. Because of their knowledge and history, both of those teams get local media coverage, even though Cary is in the shadow of Raleigh. It's the teams in some of the other areas that are not getting a lot of ink.

    4) Unfortunately, I don't know the answer. If you look at the individual team pages, some of last year's rosters are still up. I know that the Wilmington team has had a few former UNCW players on it, and IIRC they are Division I. I can try to cobble together a number for you.

    5) Most are not in locations with plenty of other things to do. However two are in the greater Charlotte area (which I am sure is the problem for there). I mentioned previously the Cary team actually does get some press in the local / neighborhood media even though they're in the shadow of Raleigh. The other towns in the league are Wilmington, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Greensboro, Smithfield (Johnston County), and Lumberton in NC and Spartanburg in SC.

    6) The league provides all the teams with websites that offshoot from the league website. Again this is the league leadership learning from experience. Most of the teams have a Facebook presence. I will urge those that do not to do so.

    7) The league does not nor any member that I know of have any radio or television deals to broadcast games. The Wilmington team gets covered by the local sports radio station and the local television outlets as well as the local paper. And I am not jumping on the press. I fear that I am being tarred by Joe Newman losing his mind in the other thread. As a former broadcaster myself (WKNR Cleveland was where I produced sports talk), I know it's not a right for any team to get any coverage. Joe came at you combative and refuses to understand that his unprofessional league is a large part of the problem as to why even successful ABA teams don't get paid attention to.

    8) Every team in the league that is not in the league as a travel team has a home venue. None of the facilities are very large. Some are rec centers and high schools. I know it's not impressive, but I am not here to blow smoke.

    I'm going to take what I know from my days in radio and try to help the newer, less established clubs, get some media penetration. But one thing I know is that I don't know everything. Another thing I know is that it's been a while since I was in radio and the game changes. So that's why I have asked here.

    Thanks for your questions and your help.
  6. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I'm a big fan of minor league sports...so I commend you for trying.

    As for "broadcasting" games....there really is no need for you to try to get a radio or TV station...just do it yourself. Stream the games yourself, sell advertising for it, make it your own. If you put out a good product and people take notice, you can sell the rights of each team to a local station, if you choose to do so.

    Best of luck!
  7. LightningMan

    LightningMan New Member

    Thanks, Spike. Since the specific question was about broadcasting, I didn't mention that the Wilmington club has periodically webcast games. But this is also an area worth suggesting to the other clubs.
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