Root, Root, Root for the Home Team: ESPN Goes Hyperlocal

ESPNDallas

-by Amy Yen

You may have noticed that ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, has recently started looking local. Today, they launched their latest, ESPN Dallas, which joins ESPN Boston & ESPN Chicago in their series of hyperlocal portals for major sports markets. Just as ESPN Boston is now competing directly with established local media sites like Boston.com, NESN.com & WEEI.com, presumably ESPN Dallas will take on Dallas’s local sports media coverage, which has been weaker since competing dailies the Dallas Morning News & the Fort Worth Star Telegram started merging their sports coverage back in February.

It’s an intriguing idea, & ESPN Dallas certainly launches with a certain amount of credibility, with the presence of longtime Dallas-based ESPN.com NBA writer Marc Stein & Dallas Morning News veterans Tim MacMahon, Richard Durrett & Calvin Watkins. The site is also smartly built around team-specific blogs & market-specific multimedia. It would have been nice to see some contributions from some of the market’s other sports media personalities who maybe aren’t as nationally known, but who are locally respected, like 1310 The Ticket’s Bob Sturm or Stars color man Daryl “Razor” Reaugh, or even some of the area’s highly devoted & popular sports bloggers, like Adam Morris of Lone Star Ball, Jamey Newberg of the Newberg Report or Mark Stepneski of Andrew’s Stars Page. To me, it would have given the project an even more authentically local feel.

Regardless, I like the idea & think it will probably succeed, particularly in the four-sport markets ESPN is starting with. I believe there is a huge group of sports fans, myself included, that is very municipality-loyal. That is, we follow almost every sport, but we only really follow the local team. We don’t have much interest, unless of course we have a fantasy stake, in watching the rest of the league. This kind of site is tailor-made for us, covering only the teams we care about, but with a bit of national credibility.

Now, if only we had something to cheer about

EDIT [07/07/10]: Just an update on this, looks like they took my suggestion. 😉 Starting this week, Mark Stepneski of Andrew’s Stars Page, the longtime authoritative Dallas Stars fan-run news page, is joining ESPN Dallas. Great move by ESPN to bring in a familiar & highly reputable local writer. As I said, it does wonders for the credibility of this localized site. Over the years, Andrew’s has been the definitive source for regularly updated & incredibly comprehensive Stars news, so much so that it is actually the only site I’ve ever paid to continue to get access to, which I did gladly. Congrats, Mark, it’s very deserving.

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4 Responses

  1. local sports is like local politics; good

  2. […] By wwgeorgeyoussef  In search of the elusive ‘Fountain of Youth’? Wisecandyman  Root, Root Root for the Home Team: ESPN Goes Hyperlocal Amy in Wonderland  Phones on Planes? No Thank You! Technologizer  Odd sights in a Japanese Graveyard Quirky Japan […]

  3. […] By wwgeorgeyoussef  In search of the elusive ‘Fountain of Youth’? Wisecandyman  Root, Root Root for the Home Team: ESPN Goes Hyperlocal Amy in Wonderland […]

  4. Wow! what an idea! What a concept! Beautiful .. Remarkable …

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