A newspaper group in Illinois has found an interesting way to engage audience interested in high school football by recognizing the best athletes in an approach that is encouraging reader participation.
Shaw Media, a group of newspapers in Illinois and Iowa, created Friday Night Drive, a digital destination that features high school content. As part of the Friday Night Drive brand, they have developed a contest that had readers flocking to Shaw’s websites in hopes that their favorite player is recognized.
Each Sunday during the regular football season and into the playoffs, Shaw opens up voting for their Team of the Week, and readers get to decide who makes the team. The top voter gets recognized with an MVP belt, which is sponsored.
Their efforts won them Best Contest and/or Promotion in the Digital Innovation Awards from the Local Media Association.
We caught up with Shaw’s Illinois Editor John Sahly to learn more about their efforts.