New York Islanders Invite Bloggers to Press Box

Inside The Sporting News for Week of June 25, 2007 (yes, a paper magazine), I saw this blurb:

Cyber Place

The best thing about a great idea is how quickly it spreads. This is one of those ideas: The New York Islanders have created the NYI Blog Box, a psuedo-press box exclusively for fans who have—or will have—their own blogs about the team. Bloggers will get credentials for one game, a seat in the Blog Box, a set of game notes and the chance to ask a few questions of a player or coach after the game. Bloggers who are selected will have their blogs linked to at newyorkislanders.com. And, unlike in standard press boxes, cheering will be encouraged. In the first 48 hours after the plan was announced, 137 bloggers applied. Now that’s a great idea. —Ryan Fagan

When the NHL actually does something right, it really needs to be mentioned. Because it is so rare.

I hate sports lockouts. It took baseball a while to woo me back after the 1994 strike. I had other things going on… high school, getting ready for college, playing in a band. They left me, the fan, high and dry and at that point in my life I had enough going on to move on.

Same with hockey. I was a HUGE hockey fan. It is probably the most exciting sport to watch and play. But they had a lockout. While they were locked out, I had kids. I got more responsibility at my job. Now the NHL is back and I still haven’t resumed following it.

That said, I love this program. Some reasons:

  1. They acknowledge bloggers as journalists
  2. They acknowledge that they need some buzz from the fans
  3. They acknowledge bloggers can give a new perspective
  4. They know the feedback they will get from the bloggers will be immensely helpful
  5. They show they are on the leading edge of technology and communication

I wish them luck with this. Who knows? Perhaps the buzz will generate enough revenue to start to pay for that Rick DiPietro contract.

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