Welcome to the Campus Report!
August 5, 2010
Welcome to our (school) year-end campus report. We had a terrific year, thanks in large part to your ongoing support and cooperation. Our business is strong and growing - both from a B2B and B2C perspective. We have experienced some healthy (and anticipated) attrition during the past twelve months, which has enabled us to spend more time with you, our most important clients.
This report contains a wealth of interesting information, including the exciting launch of our enhanced new media player (All-Access 3.0), new e-commerce reporting tools with individual school access, the announcement of powerful new partners, site launches, a great new editorial product called the "Sticky Bar" and much more.
Congratulations to Texas, Alabama and USC for finishing the 2009-10 school year atop of our network in traffic, online store and auction revenue and all-access revenue respectively. I encourage you to speak with your University Relations representative to learn more about how the aforementioned schools achieved their success and other CBSSports.com College Network best practices.
Accounting for the recent additions and four affiliate sites, the CBSSports.com College Network now includes 52 of the 65 (80%) BCS eligible schools from the big six conferences, a dominant position entering the 2010 college football season.
All-Access 3.0 Launch
Recently, we launched the front-end of our new media player, All-Access 3.0 (we expect to launch the back-end on or before August 9). We have invested significant resources into the development and roll-out of this player in order to provide your fans with an enhanced audio/video experience. Some of the new features include:
Flash-based player, 16:9 aspect ratio, full screen-able
Power of CBS
Research & News: Improving Ad Performance
Our Director of Advertising Sales pointed out a recent article in Ad Age that discusses how to improve ad campaign performance over time. Most advertisers only work in the short-term, but placing your focus on long-term results with a library of advertisements can yield a bigger payout.
While the concept of building an ad library is simple, the author notes that this is rarely executed well. He narrows the process of planning an effective long-term campaign down to eight steps, which you can view here. Regardless if your objective is awareness or a high click-through rate, this information can help us all improve advertising campaigns on our Network.
New Distribution Partner: Bravo Photos
CBSSports.com College Network is pleased to announce a partnership with Bravo Photos, an online digital photography store that that allows customers to combine their personal photos with officially-licensed designs from their favorite college teams to create unique prints and photo gifts. Your University Relations representative will be sending more information soon.
New Distribution Partner: PROforma
We are also happy to share our new partnership with PROforma, the largest print/promo/digital solutions company in North America. With this partnership, we are able to offer each member of our Network state-of-the-art, interactive, digital publishing solutions up to 60% off retail pricing. Click here to see an example from Texas A&M. For more information, please contact PROemags National Account Manager, David Nunn (firstname.lastname@example.org) and make sure to mention that you are a partner of CBSSports.com College Network.
New Distribution Partner: FreeCause
CBSSports.com College Network, in partnership with FreeCause, has launched a branded affinity toolbar on over 100 Official Athletics Sites, with over 110,000 active users.
The toolbar provides partners with a direct connection to their users while providing an outlet that increases branding opportunities and heightens engagement with fans. Fans will now have instant, one-click access to the OAS and its various links. In addition, the toolbar also includes a messaging component to reach out directly to the user.
Please contact your University Relations representative if you are interested in launching this branded affinity toolbar for your OAS.
In preparation for football season, CBS' Adam Aizer posted interviews with student-athletes from Pitt and USC to CBSSports.com. In addition, Dennis Dodd and Gary Parrish recently began a five-part series that ranks and profiles the schools who have positioned themselves for success now and into the future in both football and basketball. First up at number five was Network partner Pittsburgh, with Wisconsin and Texas checking in at fourth and second respectively.
We regularly share this type of content with our partners so that you may utilize it in your own recaps, releases and features.
Adam Aizer chats with Pittsburgh DE Greg Romeus about the 2010 season: Listen | Video
USC's Matt Barkley sits down with Adam Aizer: Listen | Watch
CBSSports.com Flourishing Five: Pitt Football | Pitt Basketball | Wisconsin Football | Wisconsin Basketball | Texas Football | Texas Basketball
PittsburghPanthers.com: CBSSports.com names Pitt to "Flourishing Five"
UWBadgers.com: CBS Sports: Badgers among college sports' best
New Reporting Tool
On August 1, our e-commerce team launched the new store backend reporting tool, which gives you full access to all the sales data from any store, ticket, registration, or donation site on our platform.
In addition to being able to run real-time sales reports that include complete data, the new backend tool has a monthly snapshot report with the most pertinent information and an easy view.
Initially, this report includes monthly totals such as gross and net sales broken down by direct to site and email, top referring URLs, top 10 products sold and school commission. Before the end of the third quarter, the report will also include traffic and conversion numbers.
The report has PDF download and email forwarding buttons for you to save reports easily to your computer or email to your constituents.
To set up your username, password and a 10-minute training session, please contact your Online Account Manager (OAM).
"Sticky Bar" Feature
It is our pleasure to announce the creation of a new content presentation feature referred to as the "sticky bar." The sticky bar "stays put" on the end-user's screen while he or she scrolls through your OAS. This provides you the opportunity to keep select content in front of the user throughout his or her visit to your site.
The bar frees up space, thereby providing greater design flexibility
It can be presented on just the front page or on all pages
The content can be changed at any time, thereby providing numerous options for use of the bar (special event or seasonal needs, for example)
You can view a live example by visiting GoMarquette.com.
We are currently deploying this feature with site launches (new & redesign) and will be able to deploy separate of the launch queue beginning in mid-September. Please contact your University Relations representative or Managing Editor for more information.
Fall Editorial Hours
With the school year right around the corner, we will be ramping up our hours of operation. Beginning Saturday, August 21, we will be open on the weekends. Our hours of operation are as follows:
We will extend Sunday hours with the start of the basketball season. We will notify you prior to that change.
Did You Know?
New Home of the CBSSports.com College Network
Last month, CBSSports.com College Network launched its new website, www.CBSSports.com/CollegeNetwork. Check back frequently to find our latest news, recent site launches, information on products and services and new development udpates.
Mobile & Wireless
iPhone App Promotion
One of the ways USC promotes their iPhone app is through their RipsIt blog. The school posts a simple graphic that pushes product awareness, as well as new content, in order to keep users coming back to the app every week.
In addition, we always encourage you to promote important live events as "available on the iPhone" through any releases, recaps, features or blogs you post on your site.
Forward Thinking: New Business
Vendor Partnership Selection
We are constantly exploring new products that will enrich your fans' digital experience. Whether we develop these products internally or through external partnerships, our primary goals are to increase 1) traffic to your site, 2) the amount of time each visitor spends on your site and 3) the amount of revenue generated per visitor. These Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are one of the ways we evaluate YOY success of your site and our network. For this calendar year, all three indicators are up YOY.
CBS and the strength of our digital network provides us a great amount of leverage in the industry - power that we utilize to secure the most advantageous deal possible for you. We are able to reduce or eliminate most "out-of-pocket" expenses by delivering such a powerful audience to would be partners/vendors. Examples of these partnerships include Apple, Replay Photos, FreeCause, Bravo Photo and Yahoo.
Currently, we are in discussions with a several companies as it pertains to the following categories: licensing, ticketing, search, live video promotion, weather forecasts at your facilities, affinity e-mail programs and synergies with your television rights providers.
Our long-term vision is to make your site a destination that fans want and must visit numerous times a day, as well as a location that generates incremental revenue for your Athletic Department.
Finally, if you hear of any interesting opportunities, please pass them along to your University Relations representative.
STAT CREW Software Release
2010 upgrades to STAT CREW Software are now available via download. Click here for more information and to purchase the software. For all customers running XML live stats, please keep in mind that you will need version X.12 when you start your 2010 season. Order this summer and avoid the rush in the fall!
Newly Redesigned Sites
Click here for our newly redesigned sites:
Thank you for your continued support. Please send us any feedback that will help improve our quarterly newsletter.
SVP, University Sales and Marketing