AOL Launches New Sports Site FanHouse.com
MediaGlow, AOL’s newly created publishing unit, announced the launch of the new sports site FanHouse.com, http://www.fanhouse.com. An evolution of AOL Sports, FanHouse.com features a new design, an expanded line-up of leading national sports columnists, increased on-site coverage of major sporting events and new features that give fans more ways to interact with others and show support for their favorite teams. The new FanHouse will be joined by a growing roster of writers, including nationally acclaimed columnists Jay Mariotti, Kevin Blackistone and Lisa Olson, who will provide daily commentary and analysis across the spectrum of sports. FanHouse will also continue AOL’s tradition of stellar Super Bowl reporting and will again feature the “Super Sunday Ad Poll,” the comprehensive viewing and voting destination for Super Bowl commercials.
The launch of FanHouse.com follows 12 months of remarkable growth and expansion at AOL Sports, and responds to the changing Web habits of sports fans dominated by the important male 18-54 demographic. Since December 2007, monthly unique visitors to AOL Sports grew 21% (from 9.1 million to 11 million), page views climbed 142% (from 142 million to 345 million), total time-spent increased by 65%. It is now one of the top five most visited sports sites, according to December 2008 comScore Media Metrix data.
“Over the past year, AOL has had tremendous success in growing its sports audience and FanHouse has become one of the premier brands in online sports media. With the addition growing stable of world-class writers, FanHouse will provide a daily must-read for any serious sports fan,” said Marty Moe, Senior Vice President, AOL News, Money & Finance, FanHouse, KOL and Weblogs. “In addition to its unique news and editorial offering, FanHouse is a comprehensive sports destination, with a full suite of scores and stats, robust community forums, as well as Fleaflicker’s best-in-class fantasy sports coverage.”
In April 2008, AOL acquired Fleaflicker.com, http://fleaflicker.com, a leading fantasy football site and plans to continue the aggressive expansion of its sports offerings. Featuring a new look and feel, FanHouse.com is significantly expanding on-site coverage of major sporting events, including Super Bowl XLIII, in addition to offering new dynamic live scoreboards, a new community platform, a fantasy Baseball game, an expanded editorial staff, additional video highlights, more RSS feeds, and enhanced community elements including live chats and message boards.
The new FanHouse.com also features:
• A bold new design with enhanced navigation and custom sponsorship opportunities;
• Award-winning blogger Michael David Smith, and key FanHouse talents Ryan Wilson, Matt Watson and Shane Bacon, as full-time writers;
• Expanded NASCAR and auto racing coverage from award-winning writer Holly Cain;
• Exclusive Mixed Martial Arts coverage, including top fighter interviews, industry news, and live event reporting;
• New and expanded scoreboards and stats;
• Expanded fantasy games through Fleaflicker, http://www.fleaflicker.com;
• The FanShop, http://shop.fanhouse.com, an online store featuring apparel, collectibles and authentic autographed memorabilia.
FanHouse blogs, dedicated to each individual team within the NFL, NHL, MLB, and top NCAA Football teams, will continue to provide fans a place to discuss news and events of their favorite teams – one and off the field. FanHouse plans on growing aggressively in 2009, including the creation of a number of vertical sites featuring coverage targeted at specialized sports fans, including a Mixed Martial Arts site among others.
FanHouse also outlined its Super Bowl XLIII coverage, with Jay Mariotti, Kevin Blackistone and Michael David Smith on site with around-the-clock reporting leading up to the big game. FanHouse will also bring fans the 7th Annual AOL Super Sunday Ad Poll, which lets fans watch each Super Bowl commercial online and rank their favorites. The poll will begin shortly after kick-off and will run for a week after the game with results constantly updated on the site.
The launch of FanHouse.com follows AOL’s announcement this week that it will centralize its publishing content sites into a new division called MediaGlow. Year-end numbers announced by comScore Media Metrix show AOL’s page views growing from 48 billion to 71 billion in 2008, up 47% for the year, unique visitors up from a monthly average of 70.4 million to 73.4 million, and total minutes growing from 40 billion to 47 billion year over year, up 17%.
AOL is a global Web services company that operates some of the most popular Web destinations, offers a comprehensive suite of free software and services, runs one of the largest Internet access businesses in the U.S., and provides a full set of advertising solutions. A majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., AOL LLC and its subsidiaries have operations in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. Learn more at AOL.com.
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