SBJ/December 10-16, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Plugged In: Fred Kirsch, vice president of content, Kraft Sports Productions

Boston stands as one of the most competitive sports media markets in the country, but the New England Patriots have forged a unique voice through an aggressive set of efforts at Patriots.com, including live, in-game blogging and a heavy presence on Facebook, Twitter, online radio and a suite of mobile applications. Fred Kirsch, Kraft Sports Productions vice president of content and publisher of “Patriots Football Weekly,” discusses the emerging media landscape and his blog, “Kirsch Words.”

Photo by: CHRIS FERREIRA
Social media is taking the lid off the content creators. It takes the mystery out of it for the fan. If you’re in the business and you’re not embracing it, you better be damn good. It makes everyone much more accountable.


The Boston sports landscape:
In terms of competition, it’s never been better. There’s a huge transformation taking place involving video and social media that is so immediate it conditions the consumer to invest short spurts of attention, and content owners are less and less inclined to invest in long-form journalism.

His live in-game blog: It never ceases to amaze me. We have as many people that attend a Celtics or Bruins game following along with our games on the blog. It’s used both as a second screen and as some fans’ sole way to follow what’s going on. It shows me that not everyone can be with fellow fans for every game yet they want the social interaction.

An industry trend worth following: What will keep fans coming to the games in person is huge. How do we make the in-game experience the utmost value proposition? Part of that is our investment in free bowlwide Wi-Fi. We partnered with a company called Enterasys, and so far it’s been great.

The value of Patriots.com: If you’re a fan, this is the golden age of access. Despite the complaints about how the Patriots go about giving out information, we carry live press conferences every time Belichick or Brady speak, completely removing the filter. We have the advantage of focusing on just the Patriots. In doing what fans tell us they want most — bringing them closer to the team — I’m proud of what we do.

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