The Sports Bottom Line Ticker Strategy

ESPN knows how to keep your interest

Multiple Computer Screens

image credit: totalAldo

I’m not sure if ESPN was the originator, but the world’s most popular sports news network knows how to keep their viewers’ attention even when their current segment isn’t that interesting.

The bottom line sports ticker was a great way to keep viewers’ attention with updates even if a particular set of the audience isn’t interested in the main story being addressed by the sportscasters.

The strategy worked well with sports fans as most only want updates on their team. If the main story being headlined had to do with anything other than some viewers’ team, those viewers were likely to look to other sources for updates on how their team was doing. With the sports ticker, those fans could stay tuned to a particular staying waiting for their teams’ update and score to scroll across the bottom. It was a great way for sports stations to keep viewers by providing a value-adding service.

Online Websites are starting to take notice to the bottom line sports ticker of TV stations like ESPN by broadcasting updates and promoting other content with a ticker or some kind of update section while the main content is still being headlined.

Let’s take a look at a few of the sites that are taking advantage of the ticker update and look at a few ways you can take advantage of the ticker strategy for your own blog or Website.

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One Site Using the Ticker

Some Websites understand that keeping the attention of visitors is important to driving revenue. As a result, these sites are using strategies to that add value to what a visitor may value even when the interests vary from person to person.

National Football Post

The National Football Post entered a competitive arena when they started providing expert commentary and news updates for NFL fans on the Web.

The site has had impressive growth since its launch due in large part to their unique expert commentary from various experts and view points in the world of the NFL:

* Player Perspective – Matt Bowen – Former NFL Safety

* Executive Perspective – Michael Lombardi – Player Personnel

* Executive Perspective – Andrew Brandt – Contract Negotiator and Salary Cap Expert

* Agent Perspective – Jack Bechta – NFL Player Agent

About a year after the site launched they did design overall and introduced their version of the update ticker.

National Football Post Ticker

The bottom line ticker of the National Football Post scrolls through the news updates that the site updates regularly with news from around the NFL. The ticker is always at the bottom of every viewer’s screen (unless the viewer closes the large version of the ticker). As I mentioned before, NFP provides expert articles and podcasts for NFL fans and these articles are their main attraction. For an example read:

The High Cost of Concussions

However, certain NFL fans are going to visit the site looking for news related to their team. While the biggest news of the day is usually covered in the headline section of the site and while other important news is highlighted to the right of the page under Hot News & Rumors there are still updates that certain viewers want to see.

This is where the National Football Post implements their bottom screen ticker. Fans can come to the NFP, read their articles while watching the bottom ticker for news updates on their favorite team.

Ways to Take Advantage

Every blog and Website can become a source of news and updates by shaping their own form of the bottom line ticker.

The ticker doesn’t have to be at the bottom of the Web page and it doesn’t have to be as up-to-the-minute as the ESPN ticker. What your site’s version of the ticker has to provide is short snapshots of content that your viewers will find valuable.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to use embed the Twitter Widget on your site. If you regularly provide valuable updates via your Twitter feed, you can embed your update widget on your site. This way, while your visitors are reading your headline content, they can see what your last few Twitter updates have been. Perhaps the main article just isn’t of interest to them as they get deeper into the article (it happens and it’s alright), but they see that you’ve highlighted an article from your archives on Twitter and their interest is again piqued. Perhaps they’ll click on the link from the embedded Twitter feed and go to the archive.

There are lots of ways to highlight content on your site while your readers are reading your current content. You could have an area to the side of your blog posts that continually scrolls through your archives, popular posts, most commented posts, etc. You could have a bottom line ticker like the National Football Post has, but yours could scroll through the best comments on your site. This would be a great way to highlight your readers.

The only limit to what you can do is your own imagination.

Summary

The benefit of using something like a bottom line ticker is to provide value to your visitors when they may not be interested in the current content you’re highlighting on your site.

ESPN has used their bottom line ticker to provide updates, including scoring updates, to their viewers so that viewers don’t change the channel when all they want is an update on their favorite team.

The National Football Post has taken this cue from ESPN and implemented their own version of the bottom ticker on their page. The NFP version provides hot news and rumors from around the NFL so that while visitors are reading the in-depth articles written by the expert staff they can still stay updated on what’s happening around the NFL including news about their favorite teams.

You can use the bottom line ticker strategy for your own site. Visitors won’t always be interested in your current highlighted content, but don’t lose their interest completely. Highlight your content in other ways to keep their attention.

Keeping interest will lead to growth with your site while providing value to your visitors.

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Dayne Shuda

I'm a blogger and hunting enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter.