Spokesman-Review, TV station join forces for high school sports coverage, attract multi-platform advertisers


It’s game day, baby!

The leaves are starting to turn as tailgate party supplies are flying off grocery store shelves in the United States. Letter jackets are proliferating in high school hallways, and cheerleader uniforms are as cute and crisp as ever.

Cross-town rivalries are heating up. But there’s no rivalry between S-R Media/The Spokesman-Review and KHQ-TV – at least on the topic of prep sports.

With colourful and eye-catching marketing campaigns and collateral material, plus top-notch television and radio promotion, www.NWPrepsNow.com is already a favourite among local readers and television viewers.

And advertisers are lining up to get their messages out as part of this family-friendly joint offering between Spokane’s daily newspaper and its NBC affiliate TV station, which share the same ownership and operate within a couple of city blocks of each other.

The Spokesman-Review has long dominated preps (high school) coverage with its crew of award-winning photographers and sports journalists. Not only that, but the sports department has built years-long relationships with local coaches, who call in to newsroom staffers with statistics after every big game.

From down the street, KHQ leveraged its great on-air sports talent to shoot game highlights and just recently secured the rights to all local high school games. Additionally, KHQ launched an all-sports-and-weather station called SWX, which has gained a tremendous local following.

KHQ liked the idea of enhancing its preps offerings with our statistics. We liked the idea of enhancing our preps offerings with the radio station’s video. As a bonus, KHQ/SWX’s negotiations included winning the rights to live-stream games on the Web and on mobile.

S-R Media/The Spokesman-Review Sports Editor Joe Palmquist and Online Director Gina Boysun created a content and design plan together with KHQ’s Jared Frank, director of digital strategies, SWX Station Manager John Fritz, and Neal Boling, executive director of content & operations for KHQ and SWX.

As the content team did its work, the marketing and promotion engine brainstormed how best to reach students. We came up with a multi-faceted promotion plan that included both of our staffs attending the first big rivalry game of the season, to hand out NWPrepsNow.com swag, and to talk up the site with student athletes, their fans, and their families.

Football season is very much under way, and all multi-platform ad packages (advertisers chose from three levels of commitment) are sold out until late-fall sports begin. Advertisers reach customers via the combined muscle of the newspaper, the TV stations, and our in-common Web and mobile site, NWPrepsNow.com.

Go team!

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