By: Staff reports
Site Helps Manage High School Sports Statistics
SportsHuddle.com of St. Louis scored a touchdown this week when
it signed powerful Tribune Interactive to its team.
A national network of high school sports Web sites, SportsHuddle.com
has partnerships with about 50 newspapers. The partnership with
Tribune brings on board latimes.com, ChicagoSports.com, and
orlandosentinel.com. SportsHuddle was already working with newspapers
in the Scripps and New York Times Co. chains.
SportsHuddle’s software allows newspapers to populate their Web sites
with extensive statistical information. ‘Ninety-five percent of the
newspapers working with us have no significant stats online because
they’ve had difficulty pulling them out of their print products,’
said Matt Coen, president and founder.
High school sports stats are typically gathered by the sports desk
and then printed in agate, which doesn’t easily migrate to the Web.
SportsHuddle allows newspapers to more efficiently collect and publish
game results and statistics. The same system feeds both the print
newspaper and the Web site simultaneously.
‘High school sports information is very unique to local newspapers,’
Coen said. But until now, much of the detailed stats that sports fans
so love has been absent from Web sites. There’s no doubt that those
stats bring traffic, Coen asserted.
The system creates separate Web pages for every school, team, and even
individual player. This greatly builds repeat traffic, since players
and teams like to frequently check their running stats. Another feature
allows players to e-mail their stat sheets to friends and relatives.
One paper renames print section after Web site
At one SportsHuddle partner, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, stats have
become an important part of online sports coverage. Unlike many papers,
the Mountain News already was running stats online, but could only
update the information a couple of times a week, said Shane Fitzgerald,
high school sports editor. Since installing the SportsHuddle software
in December, the sports desk updates that information automatically.
A team of 10 stat reporters spends about 200 hours a week tracking all
sports for both boys and girls at 307 schools in the Denver area,
Fitzgerald said. ‘This is a strength of newspapers,’ Fitzgerald said.
‘Nobody else has the resources to gather and present this information.’
The Web operation has been so successful that the newspaper renamed its
Thursday high school sports print section after the Web site –
RockyPreps.com. ‘The Thursday print section only carries a fraction of
our stats, so we tell readers that this is just a sample of what’s
available online,’ said Jack McElroy, general manager, Internet, at the
SPORTSHUDDLE PREPS SITES FOR HIGH-SCHOOL SPORTS (04/03/00)
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