Baseball's Top 10 Blogs Released by Sports Media Challenge's Sports Blog Index

March Index dedicated to baseball as teams close in on opening day.

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Even Congress and Presidential candidates are using blogs to reach out to their constituencies. It's been estimated that there's a new blog created every minute and a recent report found that over 50 million Americans and over 30 percent of the total U.S. Internet population visited blogs in 2006. We go where the fans go and take you with us.

Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) March 26, 2007

Sports Media Challenge announces the top 10 baseball blogs in the official Sports Blog Index.™ The SBI is the first ever standard measurement to identify the top blogs across all sports and in each major sports category and aims to be a helpful tool to determine where the most passionate fans go on the Internet and which blogs carry the most weight. This month, the most influential blogs identified in the index are dedicated to baseball as teams break spring training and prepare for opening day.

"Passion and community are at the core of sports, which is why fans have embraced blogs," said Sports Media Challenge President Kathleen Hessert. "Even Congress and Presidential candidates are using blogs to reach out to their constituencies. It's been estimated that there's a new blog created every minute and a recent report found that over 50 million Americans and over 30 percent of the total U.S. Internet population visited blogs in 2006. We go where the fans go and take you with us."

"Baseball has always been romanticized in literature and is arguably the most heavily analyzed sport in our culture," said SMC Director of New Media Strategy and Fan Engagement Dex Bustarde. "The result in the blogosphere is literally hundreds of blogs - many very well written - with loyal communities analyzing the sport beyond what mainstream media is normally willing to do."

With this proliferation of blogs dedicated to all things sports, SMC identified the need to establish an Index to determine where fans and critics go online to feed their insatiable hunger for information. The giant sports networks bring us the facts, but SMC is tracking where the best virtual water cooler conversations are taking place and where fans and critics congregate to debate the hottest issues.

The Sports Blog Index will be updated monthly to ensure that the listings reflect those blogs that fans count on most for their online word of mouth. Following is the month's top 10 baseball related blogs:

1. Athletics Nation (http://athleticsnation.com)

2. Baseball Musings (http://baseballmusings.com)

3. MetsBlog (http://metsblog.com)

4. Bleed Cubbie Blue (http://bleedcubbieblue.com)

5. Viva El Birdos (http://vivaelbirdos.com)

6. Lookout Landing (http://lookoutlanding.com)

7. USS Mariner (http://ussmariner.com)

8. Minor League Ball (http://minorleagueball.com)

9. MLB Trade Rumors (http://mlbtraderumors.com)

10. Baseball Analysts (http://baseballanalysts.com)

The top 10 blogs have extremely active communities averaging over a dozen comments per post and combining for over 6300 comments over the last week.

Many of the best baseball bloggers are published in traditional media as well. This year, the blogger behind the USS Mariner is releasing his first book, "A Cheaters Guide to Baseball this season."

In conjunction with the top blogs for an individual sport, SMC has identified the top five subjects discussed on blogs in the Index which we will be glad to provide to you via e-mail. Send your request to tips @ sportsmediachallenge.com.

There are three criteria that Sports Media Challenge use to rank blogs for the top 10 - Influence, Fan Engagement and Quality. These criteria combine quantitative aspects, including the number of incoming links that connect to the blog, number of fan comments as well as qualitative measurement by Sports Media Challenge analysts.

Buzz Manager, a staple service of SMC, is the proprietary search engine that mines, monitors and analyzes online content and helps rank blogs in the Sports Blog Index. Buzz Manager tracks and measures the online word-of-mouth and mainstream media exposure of brands in the sports market. A combination of proprietary technology and human analysis is used to determine a brand's awareness and fan perception. The Sports Blog Index uses the Buzz Manager tracking software to determine ratings for the thousands of sports blogs bring tracked. Beyond blogs, Buzz Manager also monitors trends on other forms of fan-generated media™ (FGM) including message boards, MySpace and YouTube sites and other social networks that focus on sports. We can measure the volume, intensity and direction of influential fan sentiment.

We urge fans and media to send us a link to a sports blog they think should contend for a top 10 spot on the Index. We will put it on our Watch List and it will be added to our Buzz Manager search engine. Even if a blog focuses on one sport or team, please send them along because, as you see above with the baseball specific list, we will release a sport specific blog Index each month of the year. You may send these to tips @ sportsmediachallenge.com.

For interviews on anything pertaining to the Sports Blog Index, please contact Harold Kaufman at (704) 451-8938.

About Sports Media Challenge

Since 1988, Sports Media Challenge has helped more than 100 leading university athletic departments, professional leagues, teams and world-class sports personalities protect and enhance their brands through strategic communications, consulting and training. Some of the more prominent clients to use PR and marketing tools both proactively and reactively include, The Universities of Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, THE PGA TOUR, The NFL, MLB and NBA teams as well as NFL MVP Peyton Manning, Yankees Captain Derek Jeter, and NBA great Shaquille O'Neal. Sports Media Challenge has become the industry leader in online word-of-mouth marketing.

Media Contact:

Harold Kaufman

Sports Media Challenge - Senior Analyst and Consultant

704-451-8938

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