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Competing successfully with fan and official sports sites

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Competing successfully with fan and official sports sites

“Before we developed Sport.pl/local, no sport section had traffic of more than 100,000 page views per month. There were no digital revenues. Seventy per cent of content came from the print section,” says Marcin Gadzinski, Head of Development for Sport.pl, which replaced the local websites to great success.

The reason it worked? Gazeta Wyborcza recognised that other newspapers were no longer their main competition for sport.

“The real competition is fan sites, official club websites, message boards, Facebook groups,” says. “Those are the places where local fans go to check news, to feel emotions, to talk about the games. We want to be more like them.”

The first local version of Sport.pl was launched in and around Gdansk February 2011. “We brought our brand and localized it,” says Mr Gadzinski. “We brought all the tools Sport.pl has – player stats, special scoreboards etc. for the local markets. And most important to us was local content.”

Other sites followed and local versions of Sport.pl are now found in seven other cities, with 10 to 15 million page views per month total, and new advertising contracts every month.

“For some reason, it was most popular with local car dealers, in city after city,” says Mr Gadzinski.

The secret to success was to focus on just one team, or maybe two, but not try to cover everything – just cover the one team better than anyone else.

“This is not a newspaper anymore,” says Mr Gadzinski. “On the internet you can’t focus on everything you focus on in the newspaper. You have to pick, you have to focus, and provide the best coverage you can.

“No news about the club is unimportant,” he says. “You can publish 10 or 15 stories a day about your club. Fan sites put every piece of content about the club on the web every day and this is the way to do it. Fans know they will never miss any information about their team if they come to the site. In the newspaper, you cannot do this. As someone said, the newspaper is broken if you don't have coverage of ALL local teams.”

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2012-03-29 17:56

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Journalists and sport experts from all over the world will gather at the home stadium of Real Madrid in Madrid, Spain, on 29 and 30 March for the International Sports News Conference. WAN-IFRA will provide summaries of each speaker's presentation during the event. Check back on our blog for the latest updates.


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