Washington Times’ sports business reporter Tim Lemke spent a number of weeks interviewing a number of the region’s hockey bloggers, his interest piqued by their prevalence in the Verizon Center press box for Caps’ games. “No team in professional sports offers as much unfettered access to bloggers as the Caps,” Lemke writes in this morning’s Times.
“Writers from a half-dozen other blogs, including Japers’ Rink, DC Optimist and A View from the Cheap Seats, are on the premises, cranking out posts that analyze everything from the Caps’ new uniforms to the Hurricanes’ power-play defense. They are affectionately called “blogger nation” and are part of a growing — and unique — strategy by the Caps to embrace new media outlets rather than keep them at an arms’ length.
We were particularly appreciative that Lemke credited Off Wing Opinion’s Eric McErlain for his role in establishing protocols for bloggers wishing to cover the team.
“McErlain worked with Leonsis and the Caps’ public relations staff on crafting a “Bloggers Bill of Rights” that would grant access to the most active bloggers while outlining rules of etiquette and professionalism.”
Lemke concludes by capturing Ted Leonsis’ commitment to new media covering his team and its sport:
“What happens if the Caps make a deep playoff run?”
“Then they can come sit in the owners box,” Leonsis said. “I’ll find them a place to sit. I hope we have that issue. I’d like to be looked at as the most new media-savvy, blog-centric of the teams. If we win, that network just helps you to keep that momentum going.”
You can read Lemke’s piece here.