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SBJ/April 11-17, 2011/Media
WEEI, SB Nation sign content and sales partnership
Published April 14, 2011, Page 3
The initial contract is for one year, though both sides are eyeing a longer-term relationship, and possibly replicating the pact in other Entercom radio markets. Financial details were not disclosed, but the deal is built primarily around revenue sharing.
The deal marks the first time SB Nation has partnered with such a market-leader station.
“The distinguishing feature about this partnership is that it’s so much more integrated than typical deals of this type you usually see,” said Jim Bankoff, SB Nation chairman and chief executive. “Very often, all you see is link shares and very little contact between the parties until the contract is up for renewal. Instead, we’re after a very high degree of collaboration and a real joint sense of how we can each push ourselves to create something really relevant and new.”
For WEEI, the deal continues an aggressive push into digital content over the last three years. In addition to a fully featured WEEI.com website that attracts more than 1.1 million unique visitors a month, the station has ventured into mobile applications for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms, generating more than 420,000 total downloads. The station holds contracts with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, among others, for exclusive weekly on-air interviews, in turn becoming a frequent source of breaking news.
“This is an incredibly competitive sports market, and we’re creating a strong, integrated multimedia strategy to reach fans wherever they are and whatever they’re doing,” said Tim Murphy, Entercom vice president of digital strategy and enterprise platforms. “With SB Nation specifically, we think the combination of our brands and the scope of our content will allow us to leapfrog the competition.”
SB Nation, meanwhile, in the WEEI deal expands a local-market strategy first launched last June. Boston was among the first batch of local-market sites SB Nation created, and its current total of 21 local hubs combines for nearly 4 million unique visitors a month, according to internal metrics.
“We see a great deal of traction in our local strategy, and this [WEEI deal] is definitely an instance where joining forces puts us in an even better position to go after local and super-regional sponsors,” Bankoff said.