Football season is fast approaching, and if you want to provide readers with news and highlights from their favorite teams, but you don’t have the resources to do so, Pro Football Weekly is offering newspaper publishers unique NFL content for free. Pro Football Weekly is published by Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.), a Shaw Media company.
This football season is a big return for the name Pro Football Weekly. Even though the brand has been around since 1967, Pro Football Weekly folded in 2013. Last year, Shaw Media re-launched the brand as Chicago Football, but once it acquired the rights to Pro Football Weekly in March, the media company rebranded itself again to its original name and now offers national football content.
The website (profootballweekly.com) is updated daily with content from beat writers. Each week, Pro Football Weekly takes the best of the website’s content and prepackages it for publishers to print in their Thursday or Friday papers. Partners can choose from a variety of content options from Fantasy Football to opinions, analysis and previews for the next week.
“With the content we distribute to our partners, we pre-populate ad spaces that they can sell to their local audience, so that they can make some money off the content. And then from our perspective by having more distribution partners, we can get the word out about the website,” said Kate Weber, executive director of sales and content. “So the publisher wins by gaining revenue and extra content at no expense and we gain through essentially marketing through their papers.”
Last year, Shaw Media tested this content sharing program in the Chicago market and found great success. They partnered with 12 Shaw Media dailies in Illinois to distribute a 16-page insert to nearly 400,000 homes every week during the NFL season.
For Paul Gaier, president and publisher of the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, the content proved to be a money-maker.
“Our sales team was able to sell 90 percent of the local spots available to us and we’re happy to sell a new product that contained really good content,” he said. “Additionally, it was nice to add a new content piece to our Thursday package for our readers. We are planning to continue this in 2016 and beyond.”
Since re-launching Pro Football Weekly, Shaw Media has already partnered with three other media companies, with nine newspapers running their content.