Kick Off: ESPNBoston.com Launches Today
Online Destination for Boston Sports Fans to Feature Exclusive, Original Local Coverage Including a Daily ESPNBoston SportsCenterStubHub, Dunkin Donuts, Covidien, AutoTrader.com Signed as Launch AdvertisersNOTE: screen grabs of ESPNBoston.com are available here.
As football season in New England kicks off, so does ESPNBoston.com, the new online hub for New England sports news and information. The site features exclusive, original content, a stable of authentic New England voices, and original locally-relevant content created from ESPN’s multiple platforms, branded programming and award-winning contributors.
At the core of the site will be a stable of authentic Boston voices, including notable New England writers and voices, as well as contributions from ESPN’s national experts with ties to Boston. Regular contributors include:
- Mike Reiss – Former Boston Globe NFL writer, who will cover the New England Patriots;
- Tedy Bruschi – Three-time New England Patriots Super Bowl champion will offer his NFL insights and analysis in multiple contributions per week;
- Peter Gammons – Hall of Fame honored ESPN Baseball analyst and Boston-area native who spent nearly 15 years at the Globe will contribute columns on the Red Sox;
- Michael Smith – Sr. Writer for ESPN.com and E:60 correspondent who spent three years covering the Patriots during the recent Super Bowl runs will contribute coverage of Boston sports;
- Howard Bryant – ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine senior writer, Boston native, Western Mass. resident and former Boston Herald writer, will contribute reporting and columns on New England Sports;
- Amy K. Nelson – ESPN.com writer, born-and-raised in the Boston area and a graduate of Hampshire college, will cover the Boston Red Sox daily and author a Red Sox blog;
- Matt Kalman – Boston-area journalist and blogger who will author Boston Bruins blog.
ESPNBoston.com will also be the exclusive home of ESPNBoston SportsCenter, hosted by SC anchors and produced originally each day. The video series will provide fans a 3-6 minute roundup of the city and region’s sports news, teams, highlights, figures and stories each day.
In the weeks ahead, ESPNBoston.com will also add dedicated reporter/blogger coverage of the Boston Celtics, New England Revolution and major collegiate sports programs in the area. The site will also grow to provide small college and regional high school coverage.
Overseeing the day-to-day editorial operations of ESPNBoston.com are Managing Editor Peter Lawrence-Riddell, a native of Amherst, Mass., graduate of Bates College in Maine and 10-year veteran of ESPN.com, and senior editor David Lefort, a Whitinsville, Mass. native and the former online sports editor for the Boston Globe.
The new site will also feature a custom Boston video hub, offering a library for the latest highlights, news, analysis and original content from ESPN programs including exclusive, original Boston content from the teams at ESPN programs including Baseball Tonight, NFL Live, College Football Live and more. The dynamic 16×9 video player will be featured on the front page and main index pages delivering a rich, integrated high-quality video experience.
The launch of ESPNBoston.com coincides with ESPN’s Monday Night Football season opening doubleheader, featuring the Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots (7 p.m. ET). Beginning at 7 p.m. and continuing throughout the game, ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons (aka The Sports Guy) will chat live with fans about the Patriots opener, Tom Brady’s anticipated return to the field and more. The opening day of ESPNBoston.com will also feature live Boston sports chats with Gammons (2pm ET) and Bruschi (9:30 a.m.).
At launch, ESPNBoston.com includes multiple charter advertisers, including StubHub, Dunkin Donuts, Covidien and AutoTrader.com.
ESPN Local Sites
The launch follows the recent news that ESPN will launch sites in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York in the next 10 months. ESPN’s first local site, ESPNChicago.com (which launched in April), has already established itself as the top sports site for Chicago fans and among the most popular news and information destinations for Chicago residents. In July, ESPNChicago.com logged almost 1.7 million minutes of time spent on the site from over 700,000 unique visitors, up 19% in both metrics compared to June, and up 153 percent in total minutes and 87 percent in unique visitors since May. The site also struck a content syndication agreement with The Huffington Post Chicago and collaborates with ABC-owned TV station WLS to deliver easy access to Chicago news, traffic and weather.