AOL Overhauls Sports Site with Focus on Blogs
FanHouse Blogs, Enhanced Fantasy Sports, Top Stories, Scoreboards and Videos Allow Fans to Control Content
AOL today launched a new version of its sports site, http://sports.aol.com, that focuses on community content and blogs, and leverages the power of its top sports blog the FanHouse, http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse. AOL also rolled out the new blog format on its news portal earlier this week, http://news.aol.com/. The overhauled sports and news sites build on the success of the blog-centric format first used by celebrity gossip site TMZ.com, which is a joint venture of AOL and Telepictures Productions.
In addition to the new Web 2.0 features, the sports site features traditional sports news, exclusive columnists, up-to-the-minute scoreboards, and user-generated video. AOL also announced a new fantasy football experience that provides simple sign up, and will include free live scoring, line-up analyzer and free online draft kit.
The new AOL® Sports blog format invites discussion and debate about top sports stories. Posts are tagged by topic and team so fans can easily find news on their favorite team or rivals. The site also incorporates the FanHouse on the main sports page, giving users the power to engage in a real-time dialogue with other sports fans. Since the launch of the FanHouse last August, page views to AOL Sports have grown 28%. ¹ “The FanHouse has been our ‘slam dunk’ when it comes to community and this new format leverages this strength to provide users with a dynamic Web 2.0 experience that incorporates our blogs, top industry news, and users’ voices,” said Neal Scarbrough, Editor, AOL Sports. “Unlike other sites, our fantasy sports offerings are entirely free. This year, we have made our feature game, League Manager, among the easiest on the Web, with quick sign-up and free live scoring to make it a simple and comprehensive experience"
Among the features of the new AOL Sports site:
- The left side of the page features exclusive content from the FanHouse, including links to the most recent posts, most popular posts and tags to popular topics.
- The center column of the main AOL Sports page features regularly updated top sports stories of the day, including photos, videos and polls, delivered in a blog-style format that lets users vote and comment on each story. Stories are tagged so fans can easily find what interests them the most.
- The right side of the page includes daily scoreboards and schedules, interactive scoreboards, fantasy links, exclusive columnists, and constantly updated sports headlines, photos and videos.
The improved fantasy offerings include free league style games offering express sign-up and a fully customizable game - League Manager. With League Manager, users get free live scoring, robust commissioner tools and access to a live draft room. In addition, all users can access fantasy news and tools including a free online draft kit and line-up analyzer to optimize users’ line-ups and can be used for teams on other fantasy sites, not just AOL.
Fans can sign-up now for the 2007 Fantasy Football season and review training camp previews. The Fantasy Football draft starts in August and will feature a fully-customizable game.
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