Offensive Strategy: CBS Rebrands Sports Web Site

CBS is rebranding its online sports portal. The network is dropping the CBS SportsLine name in favor of CBSSports.com, hoping the new moniker will reinforce its association with the broadcast content.

The move strips the Web site of the last vestige of its previous incarnation--SportsLine--which CBS bought a stake in 1997 and rebranded. CBS purchased the rest of property in 2004.

Sean McManus, president of CBS Sports and News, remarked: "The ability to bring unity to the CBS Sports brand across all media, television, online and mobile, is something we believe both audiences and advertisers will appreciate."

Steve Snyder, COO for CBS Interactive, added: "This change will allow the community to continue to thrive as it always has--but with the added and more clear connection to the premiere sports broadcasting franchise in the industry."

CBS executives probably hope the rebranding will also give the Web site a shot in the arm in terms of visibility and traffic. At present, it lags far behind ESPN.com and the Sports Illustrated Web site. The rebranded site will continue to host an online fantasy sports league with social networking and user-generated content components.

The decision from CBS comes not long after Sports Illustrated's February acquisition of FanNation.com, which leverages this growing social network of sports enthusiasts to increase exposure of the magazine brand.

At a recent showcase of the company's digital initiatives, Time Inc. executives said they were pleased with the acquisition and would model social networks for their other magazine properties on FanNation.com.

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