Dear TSL Community Members:
We’re getting ready to enter an exciting time here at TechSideline.com, and I
wanted to let you know about it and ask for your help in accomplishing an
important goal here at TSL. We’re about to change the way we do business, and
how successful we are with this change is dependent upon you. In the past, you
have helped us get and retain new sponsors and advertisers, and that’s where
we’re asking for your help once more.
In order to continue to grow and improve the site, we need to bring in more
sponsors, and how we’re going about this is changing. In addition to the great
sponsors with a local/VT feel that we’ve always had, we’re working on adding
national-level sponsors, big-time names that you see around you every day. To do
this, we have formed a network with other web sites similar to TSL, sites that
don’t want to join a network like Rivals.com or Scout.com, but which would like
to have the power of a network behind them to attract big, national advertisers.
This network is called the Sportswar network, and it currently consists of
about 25 college sites that attract about 2 million visitors a month. Like TSL,
all the sites in our network don’t have to fit themselves into a standard format
like Rivals or Scout. We all keep our individual look, features, feel, and
communities. (TSL as you know it won’t change, so breathe easy.) But together,
we can offer national advertisers the opportunity to reach large numbers of
The formation of this network, and selling its sponsorship opportunities to
national advertisers, has been going on behind the scenes for a while, and this
effort is about to bear fruit. We have a handful of potential sponsors who are
very close to signing on for long-term sponsorships, but to push them over the
edge, we need your help.
What can you do? In the coming weeks, you’re going to see some short-term
"pilot" sponsorship programs for some of these potential sponsors, and
if the pilot programs go well, they’ll sign on as long-term sponsors. Whether
the pilot programs "go well" is determined solely by how you respond
to these sponsors. For example, you might see a TSL-specific money-saving coupon
for a new, potential sponsor. If you print the coupon out and use it, they’ll
know that their sponsorship of TSL is working, and they’ll be inclined to
transition from their pilot sponsorship to a longer-term sponsorship that will
truly help us grow and improve the site.
We’ll announce these pilot sponsorship programs one by one, and when we do,
we’ll give clear instructions on what we need you to do, thus unleashing the TSL
army on sponsors one at a time. We know you’ll respond and won’t let us down.
What’s in it for you? A better web site. The business we’re in changes
rapidly, with great new features being added all the time, and of course, these
new features are expensive to add and maintain. A new recruiting database, a new
message board system, blogging, RSS feeds … these are all things that are
costly to add to the site or upgrade to new versions. We know that in order to
be able to add them, and thereby increase your enjoyment of the site, we need to
attract national-level sponsorships for long-term partnerships.
In the past, you’ve been very responsive in your support of the web site,
through the purchase of subscriptions, supporting our sponsors, and shopping at
TechLocker.com (back when we had our own store). We have done our best to grow
the site by adding new features and coverage, by hiring Chris Coleman full-time
and bringing new and better writers aboard, and by making our site faster and
reliable (remember when Signing Day or a big event used to bring the site to its
knees? Those days are over.) This latest initiative is the next step in our
ongoing efforts to improve the site and make sure it’s the best Tech sports
community on the Internet.
Here’s all we’re asking you to do:
- Keep your eyes and ears peeled, and look for news releases and new
sponsorship programs here on TSL.
- Please pitch in and support these efforts.
We have put a ton of time and effort into getting this network up and
running, and convincing advertisers that sponsorship of our sites is the way to
go. They’re about to give us a test drive, and now it’s in your hands to blow
them away. In this day of DVRs, multimedia, and information overload, it’s hard
for advertisers to figure out how to spend their ad dollars effectively, so let
them know that TSL is a great place to be, and they’ll respond. Help us out, and
we’ll help you out by making TSL a better site.
Two last comments: (1) we still love our Virginia Tech-specific sponsors and
local/regional sponsors, too. Those sponsors will not be pushed aside or
overshadowed by any new sponsors that we bring aboard. If you’re running a
business that could benefit from advertising directly to Tech fans, TSL is still
the best sponsorship venue for you. Just contact me at [email protected];
and (2) if you are a decision maker at a national-level company that might
benefit from getting the word out to our network of 2 million visitors per
month, let us know. Email me at [email protected],
and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.
TechSideline.com is almost 11 years old, and we have a long history of
working together with our readers, visitors, and subscribers to make things
succeed and grow. Please help us in this latest endeavor by looking for
announcements and following through. Our future depends on this succeeding.
General Manager and Managing Editor