Gannett plans to launch more than 100 hyper-local sites co-branded with HighSchoolSports.net. The firm also plans to increase its coverage of high school sports on USAToday.com.
The first micro-sites will debut this month in 38 Gannett media markets such as Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Denver. A rollout to Gannett’s other local media outlets is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. Collectively, Gannett sports content is estimated to reach about 9.4 million monthly visitors.
The expansion allows Gannett to enhance coverage of high school sports by combining the assets of its TV and newspaper units with the content of HighSchoolSports.
“This unlocks the full value of our prep sports content for our readers and for sports marketers, including national marketers, who are increasingly looking to reach 12- to 17-year-old athletes and their families at the local and regional level,” said Peter Lundquist, vp, gm of Gannett High School Sports.
Gannett acquired a controlling interest in Schedule Star, the online publishing arm of HighSchoolSports in 2007. It is part of the Gannett Digital Network.
The move toward local coverage mirrors a similar effort by AOL, which this week vowed to boost its Patch.com network.