Building on an overall strategy to increase engagement with its fans and stakeholders on a year-round basis, the Cleveland Browns were more active in the local media landscape in 2011 than ever before.
The Browns and its media partners produced more than 400 hours of team related programming last year, and the organization grew the mediums in which the content is delivered, including those on mobile and social media platforms.
“We recognize the appetite that there is for Browns content in our marketplace,” said Jim Ross, Senior Vice President of Business Development. “With that, we’ve worked hard to develop new and innovative ways to engage with our fans. It is an area that we intend to enhance and grow as we move further into 2012.”
The growth in overall Browns content in the marketplace is highlighted by key developments and initiatives in several different areas:
The team and its media partners produced more than 130 hours of television programming in 2011, including pre-existing programs, those that were enhanced, as well as new ones.
The team itself produced 28, 30 minute programs, including “Browns Insider,” the first team-produced, weekly over-the-air program since the Browns returned in 1999. “Browns Insider” aired each Sunday throughout the fall on WJW FOX8 from 11:00-11:30 a.m.
SportsTime Ohio, the Browns official cable partner, produced more than 95 hours of team-related programming in 2011. In addition to staple programs like “Training Camp Daily,” “Red Zone,” “Sunday Strategy” and “Berea Report,” STO worked with the Browns to co-produce “Postgame Live.” The program, which gave fans a unique, live look at Browns postgame coverage -- including press conferences, one-on-one interviews and fan phone calls -- successfully established the team’s first official regularly scheduled postgame show since 1999.
WKYC produced and aired all four preseason games, as well as four pregame shows. The preseason games were once again the highest rated and most watched local programs, including those in prime time, a streak that has remained intact since the team returned in 1999.
In addition, the Browns and WKYC developed more programming together in 2011, launching “Browns Minute,” a live news segment emanating from the team’s training facility in Berea with Browns Senior Editor Vic Carucci. The segment aired twice each week throughout the fall.
The marketplace saw a dramatic increase in the amount of programming produced by the Browns and its partners, from just over 150 hours in 2010 to more than 270 in 2011.
Most prominent among the new radio programming was “Cleveland Browns Daily,” which airs on ESPN 850 AM WKNR, Monday through Friday, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. The show, which debuted on July 25, is team-produced and hosted by Vic Carucci.
Browns radio programming aired prominently on the team’s flagship, WTAM 1100 AM and WMMS 100.7 FM. In addition to gameday broadcasts, the programming lineup included the “Monday Night Wrap-Up Show,” hosted by Mike Snyder, as well as the debut of the “Cleveland Browns High School Football Show,” which aired on Saturdays from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. throughout the fall. “The Monday Night Wrap-Up Show” consisted of weekly live segments with Head Coach Pat Shurmur, marking the first time that a Browns head coach had a regularly scheduled appearance on the program since 1999.
The team’s official web site, ClevelandBrowns.com, streamed more than 1.6 million audio and video clips in 2011, and offered up more than 300 hours of live video and audio content. In addition, the site attracted more than 8.6 million unique users, including 1.3 million unique users in the month of August alone.
Additionally, the team saw the followings of its official Facebook and Twitter accounts more than double in 2011, to more than 500,000 Facebook likes and 70,000 Twitter followers.
The Cleveland Browns entered the mobile space in 2011, launching a free application for both IPhone and Android devices. The app, which offers news, player information, as well as live video and audio streaming capabilities, received over 50,000 downloads in the five months following its launch in August. The team plans to launch its official IPad app this spring.