Although I don’t write as much about sports as I used to, I still read my share of sports blogs. I still follow the Seminoles, Rays, Mets, and Knicks through both fan blogs and mainstream media sites. Two of my favorite of these sites ended 2009 with very similar posts that showed some interesting differences.
Over at Rays Index, the almighty Professor gave a hearty thank you to his readers for year well done. According to the Prof, Rays Index received 1.1 million page views in 2009.
Over at MetsBlog.com, founder Matt Cerrone also wrote a year-end post and mentioned he was on pace for six million page views in December 2009.
(Interestingly, both sites said they had huge increases in readership over 2008’s totals, 40% for Rays Index and 80% for MetsBlog. Meanwhile, newspapers are going the way of the dodo. Oh, in case you are curious, my old site, TheSeriousTip.com, received only 250,000 hits in its 3 years of existence.)
If the numbers given by Cerrone and the Professor are correct, in one month MetsBlog.com received almost six times the amount of page views that Rays Index got for all of 2009 – that’s 72x the page views for the entire year.
Of course, there are some legit reasons for this. MetsBlog.com the flagship fan blog for a New York City-based team. New York City has well over 10 million people. That’s a lot of potential viewers in possibly the world’s biggest media market. Not to mention, MetsBlog.com is associated with SNY, New York’s newest sports and entertainment television network.
Then there is Cerrone’s fanbase. New York is one of the more online cities in the world. I would also venture a guess that many of Cerrone’s core readers are Met fans who became fans during the Mets glory years of the late ’80s and are currently early-30s, late-20s professionals leading the business world into the Internet age.
Rays Index, on the other hand, isn’t quite the flagship blog of Rays fans. Although there is a growing Rays blogosphere, there are two primary Rays fan blogs, Rays Index and the more statistical-based, stat geek-run DRaysBay. Rays Index is the more snarky, less-pretentious, more down-to-earth alternative. Personally, I read and am a fan of both.
(Disclaimer: I’ve met the bloggers from both sites. Whereas The Professor and I shot the breeze over a beer, the guys that write for DRaysBay had no interest in chatting as they were too busy shadowing (or was it sucking up to) Will Carroll of BaseballProspectus.com.)
Rays Index also caters to a much smaller market without the depth and fanbase legacy. The Tampa Bay Rays’ market, if you really stretch it, could include from Orlando to Sarasota to Tampa to St. Pete-Clearwater, and tops out at probably 5-6 million people. That’s half of MetsBlog’s guaranteed, local, direct market. From a legacy perspective, the Rays as a team also don’t have the history, of success or otherwise, that the Mets have, although I bet if you compare Rays Index’s page views from 2007 to the present, you will see a large increase (More than MetsBlog’s 80% increase? Tough call.). And finally, to my knowledge, Rays Index doesn’t have a partnership with a major entertainment company.
I’m not sure why I just wrote nearly 500 words comparing the page views of a major market flagship fan blog with a fan blog in a minor market. I guess the fact that one receives 72x the annual hits of the other blew me away.