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Old 12-02-2002, 05:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Northern Virginia US
Posts: 601
Default The Sponsorship Model and Entertainment Content Sites: A Great Example

I came across what I believe to be a really incredible way of monetizing a large entertainment content site today. The method is a great implementation of sponsorships. The site this is on is www.baseball-reference.com This site gives an incredible amount of baseball information including complete player statistics and is definitely a leader in the baseball area.

The sponsorship allows any user to easily sponsor a page with a message of their choice as well as a web page link. Each page has a sponsorship link and a cost to sponsor the page for one year. According to an information page, this is set to about $1.25 CPM. The fact that they do not charge the CPM rate and just give a set rate is an important factor. I have always been a big fan of set rate sponsorships instead of 'floating' levels set to a CPM. This can even make it into a spur of the moment purchase instead of wondering if there will be a massive number of page reloads thus raising the amount you must pay. Another factor that stands out with this is that it is being targetted as a way to support the site. For a few bucks a year, a fan of a player could get a link to their fan site and support a site they enjoy.

Here's a few links on their site where you can see the system:

Information about their sponsorship system: http://www.baseball-reference.com/ab...nsorship.shtml
An example of a page which can be sponsored: http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/ripkeca01.shtml
A typical ad: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ARI/2001.shtml
An example of a fan supporting both a player and the site with an ad: http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/puckeki01.shtml

A few improvements of course could be made to this system. Personally, I feel the ad could be a bit larger or placed in several places on the page (like at the top, bottom, and somewhere in the middle).

Everyone should think about something like this if their site is popular and has a large following. I'm sure many of your loyal visitors would love to sponsor a page of your site with a message of their choice -- as well as some advertisers.
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