Friday, March 23, 2012

Time Magazine Enters Sports Arena

With March Madness in full swing and 16 teams on the road to the Elite Eight, sports are at the forefront of American culture right now. In fact, they pretty much always are. So whether you roll your eyes and storm out of the room whenever someone puts on the game, or arrive two hours early to get the best seat on the couch, you might as well accept the role that sports have come to play in our society.

Time Magazine, known traditionally for their grasp on political, world, health, and entertainment news, has taken strides to make inroads with a wider group of consumers with the advent of Keeping Score, a sports blog.

The blog, housed in the Entertainment hub the magazine's online site, covers sports-related topics from around the world. But rather than covering the tireless flow of stats, trade agreements, contracts, salary caps, and lawsuits that plague the sporting world, Keeping Score takes a step back and evaluates the larger cultural, economic, and political implications of developments in sports.

As managing editor Catherine Sharick wrote in an internal memo, "Keeping score will be much more than a chronicle of games and statistics. It will explore the key issues and personalities, controversies and trends, driving the daily conversation about sports" (Adweek).

I think this is a great idea. I consider myself a huge sports fan, though I try not to occupy myself with the petty details that some sports fanatics can recite in their sleep. I will undoubtedly keep up with the blog, which provides a refreshing outlook on sports in general and at the issues of politics, health, economics, business and religion that surely come into play when dealing with sports. I also find the global scope of the blog fascinating, and it's interesting to see the different sports perspectives around the world.

This is a great example of looking at the bigger picture in order to better meet the needs of consumers, which I feel many companies so often forget to do. Sports, fitness, and outdoor activity can mean so many things to many different people, and it's important to take into account that these enthusiasts may have other areas of interest that influence their extracurricular activities.

Thanks to Keeping Score, I can now keep up with this month's excitement in college basketball while gaining a deeper understanding of other significant issues that may be at play here. (Go Syracuse!)

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