Just because AOL is gutting Patch doesn’t mean every publisher is second-guessing its “hyper-local” media strategy.
Take CBS Interactive, which plans to expand its high school sports coverage by adding 40 new metro areas to its MaxPreps franchise. The metro area sites will roll out over four weeks, beginning with launches in New York, Sacramento, Dallas, Los Angeles, Denver, Bay Area, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Cincinnati.
Shortly, when MaxPreps.com visitors search for a high school in one of 40 designated metro areas, they will have the option to visit a new site tailored to their local sports teams. Each site will feature imagery of local games, players and teams, including full-screen slideshows, which will be adaptable to all digital platforms.
Andy Beal, founder and president of MaxPreps.com, said local offerings are right in his wheelhouse. “MaxPreps.com has always offered local high school sports content,” Beal said on Thursday. “Our new metro-focused sites allow us to deliver local content in a much more vivid, relevant and compelling way.”
In partnership with CBSSports.com, each new site will also carry local rankings, upcoming game schedules, recent scores, coaches and players of the week, and stat leaders, including weekly stat stars and season-high leaders.
The sites will also feature top games of the week -- which will be determined by algorithm -- and more localized content, including the MaxPreps score stream. Social integration of local school and reporter Twitter feeds will help fans keep up with news. Additionally, users will be able to upload their own photos and videos.
CBSSports.com and MaxPreps are both part of CBS Interactive's portfolio of multiplatform media brands, including Fantasy offerings and the CBSSports.com College Network, which, as of May of this year, was producing roughly 150 official collegiate athletic sites.
Before the end of the year, the MaxPreps network should also include Miami, Houston, Charlotte, Austin, Fresno, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, Albuquerque, Baltimore, Birmingham, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Hartford, Tampa, Jackson and Orlando, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Washington D.C.