May 10, 2010
Welcome to the Campus Report!
2010 First Quarter Network Rankings
CBSSports.com is coming off one of the best quarters in company history, due in large part to the exciting NCAA Basketball Tournaments. This positions us well for the remainder of 2010 and benefits our partners in terms of revenue, content and traffic.
One of the advantages of being in the CBS family is your ability to leverage our expertise and vast resources. We will now include a new section in our quarterly newsletter entitled "Research & News". It is our intention to drive understanding of the digital landscape so that you can expand your fan base and increase site revenues.
This edition of the newsletter also contains information about enhancements to our Image Manager, All-Access promotion, and our first quarter rankings.
I hope each of you has an enjoyable spring as the academic year heads into the final stretch.
Power of CBS
CBS Sports is one of the most powerful brands in the media industry. As a member of our family, we are pleased to provide you with unique opportunities that can help you build the awareness of your brand, drive incremental traffic to your site and ultimately increase revenue. Moving forward, this portion of the newsletter will be used to highlight marketing, syndication platforms, valuable research and insights.
Marketing and Promotion
The NCAA Tournament is a great opportunity for our partners to tap in to CBS Sports' basketball coverage, but it also a chance for us to display your top-notch content.
Below are a few examples of how men's basketball content from Michigan State was integrated into the lead story of CBSSports.com
through the synopsis, men's basketball page and the full story.
Coach Tom Izzo Press Conference (Spartans All-Access)
Player Interviews (Spartans All-Access)
Spartan Hoops Courtside (feature story on MSUSpartans.com)
Research & News
Below is select data from Forrester Research's February report on "Benchmarks and Best Practices for Online Video Advertising". The information contained in the images below is applicable to the national ad campaigns we present to our partners, as well as the campaigns you sell on a local level.
Video advertising spending in the US is forecasted to pass the $1 billion mark this year. The projection from now through 2014 is below and includes spending on in-stream, video banners and other video ad formats. We are already starting to see an increase in video use from our advertisers and anticipate this trend will continue in the coming months and years.
The chart labeled Figure 4 displays industries that use in-stream advertising the most, with consumer packaged goods brands representing 34% of adopters. The CBS Ad Sales team regularly receives campaigns that include video advertising from each industry represented below.
The majority of these video ads last between 15 and 30 seconds, with an average of 20.7 seconds per ad. With close to half of online video viewers complaining that video ads are too long and too frequent, advertisers need to adjust the length and format of their ads to become more effective. Keeping ad duration to 15 seconds or less with multiple versions of the creative in rotation are recommended.
Your University Relations staff frequently monitors reports like this one and is happy to assist with any research needs you may have. Please reach out to your rep for more information.
Google Using Site Speed in Search Rankings
Google recently announced the addition of site speed in their search algorithm. This is good news for the CBSSports.com College Network members' rankings since our websites routinely have the fastest response time among all official athletic sites. In addition, faster sites make end-users more engaged with your OAS and increase time on site.
Netitor Galleries and Replay Photos
Our editorial and tech teams have completed some Image Manager follow-up projects in conjunction wtih Replay Photos. Here is a summary of each:
Shipping Sellable Photos to Replay
Whenever you import a photo that is sellable, or go into your database and change a photo to be sellable, Netitor will ship the photo to Replay for possible placement into your Replay store. Each photo will go to Replay with all of the metadata associated with it at import (sport, description, photographer, etc.).
To save you time by eliminating the need for you to upload photos twice (once to your database for site use and once to Replay for store population).
Offering AP Photos for Sale
Your site likely has hundreds of photos from the Associated Press that we've uploaded over time. Now many of those will be available for sale through your photo store. We're in the process of going back and making all of your old AP photos sellable where available.
To provide your fans more images to choose from when shopping for photos, as well as to generate more revenue for you. This is a particularly nice upgrade since it increases your potential revenue with no extra effort.
Photo Size Requirement (Sellable Photos Only)
We are introducing a code into Netitor that will allow it to check the dimensions of photos at the "Import" stage and if a photo does not meet the 2,500px width or height requirement, it cannot be made sellable.
The purpose of implementing this requirement is to reduce the effort needed to round up larger, usable photos to fulfill orders, which in turn reduces cancellations due to fulfillment delays, or the inability to fulfill because a usable photo could not be secured.
Forward Thinking: Editorial
When importing photos into your database, it is important to associate as much information (season, event, people, photographer, etc.) to each photo as possible. Doing so provides a number of current benefits, including but not limited to, enhancing your search capabilities, helping us choose a correct photo when posting content, and assisting or generating other association options (tying photo galleries to recaps and bios). However, doing so will also prepare you for the future.
We have a couple of projects in the development queue which will tap into these associations and one which will be entirely based on these associations - which is the ability for site users to peruse photos in your database. The ability to generally browse, or to seek out photos of a particular person, or from a particular event, should prove to be a popular feature for all of our partners. And for those that sell photos via their site, giving users the ability to easily access photos of
interest will boost photo revenue.
So by associating as much information to your photos as possible when importing, you're not only maximizing existing benefits, but setting yourself up to fully realize future features at debut.
Subscription Promotion/Marketing Idea
USC is promoting Trojans All-Access through their spring game schedule card.
The card features a promotion code for a monthly subscription with the first month free of charge, as well as highlights the compelling content featured in the product. Click here
to view the card.
Editorial Hours of Operation
With the basketball season completed, we have returned to a 9:00 p.m. PT close on Sundays. Our hours of operation will remain as follows through the baseball College World Series:
Monday - Saturda
Eastern......8:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
Central.......8:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Mountain...8:00 a.m. - Midnight
Pacific.......8:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Eastern......10:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Central.......9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Mountain...9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Pacific........9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Following the CWS, we will move to our summer schedule (M-F). Another note will be sent prior to that change.
RSS Page Changes
An RSS feed for "General Releases" has been created for each partner. For the time being, it will live behind-the-scenes. There is a bit of work to do still to incorporate it into the menu of RSS options.
Additionally, each sport's RSS page boasts your logo in the top-right of the page. Previously, on every page, this logo linked to your home page. Now, it will link to the home page of the sport selected. For example: http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-swim/headline-rss.xml
Upgrades have been made to Netitor's publishing component for the purpose of presenting better and more accurate content when a story is shared on Facebook.
When sharing a story, there are three components Facebook presents: headline (or title), description and photo. The upgrades 1) ensure that the photo used in the story is the one shared with Facebook and 2) provide a description that is related to the story (rather than the standard meta tag content: The Texas Tech Official Athletic Site, partner of CBSSports.com. The most comprehensive coverage of Texas Tech Athletics on the web.). The latter is solved by drilling the synopsis of the story
into the meta tag.
Did You Know?
10 Years ... or More
The CBSSports.com College Network boasts 45 partners that have been with the company continuously for 10 or more years. An additional 15 partners will reach the 10 year mark by the end of 2010.
2010 NCAA DI Basketball Championship: OAS Representation
The 2010 NCAA DI Basketball Championship women's field of 65 featured 32 CBSSports.com College Network partners, while the men's featured a record-tying 40 partners. The men's total surpasses the previous company record of 39 partners set in 2002 and matched last year's record.
As always, our editorial and product development teams did a fantastic job of integrating OAS, NCAA.com, and CBSSports.com content on to our partners' tournament pages. Click here for an example of a fully customized tournament page.
2009-10 DI National Champions
CBSSports.com College Network partners partners have won 14 of the 22 NCAA Division I titles so far this academic year. Further, our partners won or finished runner-up in 17 of the 22 sports, and, 10 times both the champion and runner-up was a CBS partner.
Partners with the most recent championships include: Iowa Wrestling
, Texas Men's Swimming and Diving
, Penn State Fencing
, UConn Women's
, Boston College Men's Ice Hockey
, as well as several individual champions.