NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune, The Advocate and The Acadiana Advocate were honored with the 2022 Mega-Innovation Award at the Mega-Conference on Monday afternoon for their sports betting vertical: BET.NOLA.COM.
Sports betting is an extremely competitive multi-billion business across multiple states. In the fall of 2021, in-person sports betting came to Louisiana and was legalized in 55 of 64 parishes across the state. In January, mobile sports betting went live across Louisiana.
In anticipation of legalized sports betting, the staff of NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune, The Advocate and The Acadiana Advocate knew there would be a large appetite for relevant and engaging content across a myrid of platforms.
During a Monday afternoon session at the Mega-Conference, Judi Terzotis, president and publisher, and Kevin Hall, chief revenue officer, presented the entry that was recognized this year with the Mega-Innovation Award. They were joined by Alisha Owens, vice president, sales, and Robert Young, vice president, digital solutions.
They said the success of this content vertical was important for two reasons:
Finalists for the Mega-Innovation Award were the Border Belt Independent and Stacker.
In the summer of 2021, BET.NOLA.COM was launched with a staff of four journalists. The entry submitted by NOLA.com notes that a micro-site was built within the existing framework of the NOLA.com platform. BET.NOLA.COM was chosen as the brand because of the incredible statewide reach of NOLA.com, Lousiana's largest news website by a wide margin.
The site features a myriad of content, including:
Each week, the papers' Sports Betting Director Zach Ewing hosts several weekly video shows covering a range of relevant sports betting topics from gambling to fantasy shows. They include:
The papers tracked and optimized those deliverables and adjusted them accordingly based on performance. Those deployments included:
The Mega-Innovation entry noted: "Spinning up a content initiative from scratch is clearly a collaborative endeavor. It required yeoman effort cross-departmentally from News, Sales, Marketing and Information Technology. The result has been a measurably successful product that exceeded reader and advertiser expectations and proved once again the power of our audience."
Performance metrics from Sept. 1, 2021, through Jan. 31, 2022, included:
Learn more during a Mega-Conference session on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 in Griffin D & E: "Gaming — Big Gamble or New Business Model."
Congratulations to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune | The Advocate | The Acadiana Advocate ... recipients of the 2022 Mega-Innovation Award!
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