Sunday, April 12, 2009

In sports blogging, the name is the game

Tre Wells has an interesting premise in his Bleacher Report story How The NFL Is Destroying rivalries.

"Over the years the NFL has promoted its players over its teams. A marketing strategy of selling the stars of the game, over the cities of the teams, makes a lot of money in jersey sales, but diminishes the value of a rivalry. It no longer was the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears. It was Brett Favre vs. Brian Urlacher."

True. True.

But is the NFL mistaken to do that?

I long ago noticed higher traffic for posts here and on Hog Heaven that headlined a player rather than the team.

"Redskins going to the dogs" would bring a few hits. "Clinton Portis comments about dogs" might boost traffic by a factor of two or three.

It's a stronger headline that mentions both player and team name. Try to mention the full team name--both city and mascot--at least once somewhere in the post to make it easier for search engine spiders to categorize the story.

It seems that fans love their team, but follow their players. That's too much for some owners to resist. They build the roster by bringing in a few big name stars as opposed to growing talent that fit the scheme of the team.

I'm not singling out any owners because the owner I'm thinking of is not the only one follow the practice.

We, however, are concerned about building blogs, not football teams. Building posts around a well known player will generally get more hits than a story about the team.

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