Emptying the Mailbox

With my schedule completely slammed today, I figured I’d take this opportunity to pass along a few items that have crossed through my inbox over the last few days.

WEEI.com Announces Massive Year-Over-Year Increases in Web Site Traffic and Digital Audio Consumption

Unique visitors to WEEI.com have grown 173% in the past 12 months, jumping from 247,531 to 676,716, according to Onestat Analytics.  

WEEI.com has also significantly grown their page views, on-demand and streaming audio audience over the last year. According to Ando Webcast Metrics, the year-over-year statistics show: 

  • Along with unique visitors, WEEI.com page views grew 90% since July 2008, jumping from 2,275,405 to 4,279,677. This was the first time the site cracked the 4 million page views mark in a single month.
  • On-Demand Audio Plays have grown 112% from 129,915 to 274,208.
  • Live Streaming Hours increased 32% from 919,542 to 1,206,043. This makes WEEI the top internet radio station in the country in terms of streaming Average Quarter Hours (AQH) as percentage of market size.
  • Live Streaming CUME jumped 69% from 42,413 to 71,779.
  • Live Streaming Sessions are up 90% from 253,169 to 481,900. 

AQH on Stream Monday-Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. grew 12% to 3,393. The site now has a greater streaming AQH than multiple competing radio stations in the Boston market have on their terrestrial broadcasts.

Also this past July, 22,000 people accessed WEEI.com from mobile devices, utilizing their WAP site, FlyCast and the station’s recently launched iPhone application. Leveraging social media to increase their audience, WEEI has more than 8,500 combined fans/followers on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, visits from search engines have increased 134% from a year ago.

Beckett Bowl

Boston Red Sox All-Star pitcher Josh Beckett will throw strikes of a different kind on September 10, when he hangs up his cleats and laces up a pair of bowling shoes at the third-annual Beckett Bowl, a star-studded bowling tournament held at Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston. Beckett spoke to the media about the event today while signing special Beckett Bowl branded bowling pins at a Fenway Park news conference.BeckettBowllogo2009

The fun-filled evening will begin at 6 p.m. with red-carpet arrivals and autograph session. The bowling tournament will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and festivities will conclude with the official Absolut Beckett Bowl After-Party at the House of Blues with Josh Beckett and friends. The after-party will feature celebrity appearances and live entertainment, including performances by Texas country music star Pat Green, Matt Cline and DJ Buddy Costa. Absolut is the presenting sponsor of the official Beckett Bowl After-Party.

A limited number of tickets for Beckett Bowl and the Absolut Beckett Bowl After-Party are available now at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets for the bowling event are $250 and after-party tickets are $45.

In advance of the event, Beckett will host an online raffle at netRaffle.org to benefit The Josh Beckett Foundation. The winner will receive a celebrity bowling package to bowl with the stars at the tournament, as well as a special experiential fantasy day at Fenway Park. Raffle tickets are $2 with a minimum purchase of five tickets and can be purchased now at netRaffle.org. The winner will be selected on Monday, September 7, 2009. For more information, visit netRaffle.org.

“We are overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the local sports and business communities over the last two years,” said Beckett. “They’ve really pulled together to help kids, and as a result of those efforts, we were fortunate enough to open the Josh Beckett Cancer Treatment room at Children’s Hospital Boston. But this is only the beginning. I’m thrilled to be back this September to rally around these deserving children and make an even greater impact.”

The annual Beckett Bowl fundraising event is organized by The Josh Beckett Foundation, which supports community-based programs that improve the health and well-being of children, especially those who are seriously ill, disabled, poor, or otherwise disadvantaged. Since its inception in 2007, Beckett Bowl has raised more than $500,000 to benefit the Foundation and the event’s primary beneficiary, Children’s Hospital Boston.

Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation online auction

Enjoy a round of golf with Mark Wahlberg, Meet Tom Brady after a Patriots training session, Enjoy a personal batting lesson with David Ortiz or a pitching lesson with Jonathan Papelbom, golf with Adrian Grenier and shoot hoops with Boston Celtics own Ray Allen!attce321

Join us in supporting the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation online auction. Now LIVE at http://www.charitybuzz.com/through September 17, 2009.

  • Go golfing with Mark Wahlberg
  • Meet Tom Brady after VIP seating at a Patriots training session
  • Enjoy a round of golf with Entourage’s Adrien Grenier
  • Swing away at a private batting lesson with “Big Papi”, David Ortiz
  • Enjoy a private pitching lesson with star Red Sox Pitcher, Jonathan Papelbon
  • Shooting lesson with one of the best in the NBA, Boston Celtic’s own Ray Allen
  • Meet Michael Douglas on the Set of “Wall Street 2” in NYC
  • Attend the Premiere of Charlize Theron’s Latest Film, “The Road”

To raise funds for his youth foundation, Mark Wahlberg has joined forces again with the leading global auction site http://www.charitybuzz.com/ and offered an incredible array of over-the-top online auction experiences that are guaranteed to create BUZZ.

Everett High School selected to star in next Eastern Bank TV commercial

Runner-ups Lynn English and Middleboro high schools to appear in posters  

Everett High School’s football team has thrived on the field for generations, but now that success will be carried over to television after the team won the opportunity to appear in Eastern Bank’s next TV commercial, the bank announced today.

In addition to a little more fame, the school’s athletics department will receive $5,000 for winning the contest, which generated entries from more than two dozen high schools across eastern Massachusetts.

Everett was one of five finalists selected last week. Each finalist underwent site visits by Eastern Bank marketing officers or representatives of its advertising agency and production company.  In the end, the competition was so close that the bank awarded two runner-up prizes to Lynn English and Middleboro high schools, whose football teams will be featured in posters in more than 80 branch locations.

Lynn English will also appear briefly in the TV commercial, because it will be filmed playing Everett in a scrimmage.  Lynn English will be awarded $2,500, while Middleboro will receive $2,000.  The other two finalists, Tewksbury and Hull high schools, earned $1,000 for their athletics departments.

The contest, which ran from July 24 to Aug. 7, asked entrants to answer the question: What makes your team special? Everett’s video entry featured its football players talking about the importance of teamwork, tradition and pride.  The team showcased highlights and special moments in Everett’s football history, which dates back to the late 1800s. 

“Eastern Bank congratulates Everett High School and every school that entered our contest,” said Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank.  “After reviewing responses to our question, it became clear to our review committee that each team was special in its own way, so we decided it was appropriate to acknowledge everybody’s efforts.

   “As a result, I am happy to announce that we will award more than $20,000 to high school athletics departments in eastern Massachusetts,” added Holbrook.

The bank announced last week that it decided to reward each qualified, non-finalist entrant with a $500 prize.  In order to qualify, applicants needed to answer the question in the form of videos, essays or photos.  Most of the entries can be viewed at www.easternbank.com/teamwork and the public is encouraged to follow future updates on Facebook (search “Eastern Bank”).

The commercial, scheduled to launch in mid September, will be part of a broader advertising campaign to illustrate the value Eastern Bank’s team of banking, investment and insurance professionals brings to its customers. 

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Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-08-27

Patriots Prepping For ‘Skins

With the Patriots heading down to Washington D.C. later today for tomorrow night’s preseason game with the Washington Redskins, Chris Warner on Patriots Daily cranks out his latest Worry Wart column prior to the game.

Yesterday we had a look at how Brady’s contract comments sparked a media overreaction.

In the Metro, I’m looking at how Bill Belichick’s “evil” and “dour” reputation is taking a hit as of late.

Mike Reiss has a look at Derrick Burgess still trying to play catch-up with the defensive playbook for the Patriots. Ian R. Rapoport has Laurence Maroney receiving praise from Belichick for his work in the passing game. Shalise Manza Young and Mark Farinella each look at how James Sanders has stepped into the leadership role in the secondary.

Karen Guregian says that the release of Tank Williams leaves a hole at nickel linebacker for the Patriots. Hector Longo seems to be endorsing a walkout by Vince Wilfork, talking about how the nose tackle has felt the “punishing wrath of the NFL’s current contract structure.” The punishing wrath of $18 million. Jennifer Toland has BenJarvus Green-Ellis just looking to do his job. Glen Farley has Terrence Nunn just happy to be given an opportunity by the Patriots.

Christopher Price looks at how bad things can happen when rookies and young players try to do too much. Rapoport looks at Belichick’s comments on Ted Kennedy yesterday. Guregian notes that with the trade of Russ Hochstein, jobs are open on the offensive line.

Reiss’ notebook has a look at the four candidates vying for the backup center role vacated by Russ Hochstein’s trade to Denver. Brian MacPherson’s Patriots Notebook reminds us that the third preseason game is the one closest to a real game. Rapoport’s notebook has the Patriots defense looking at making a statement against the run. The ProJo Patriots journal has Brady looking to get on the same page with all of his receivers. Farinella’s notebook has Belichick with some interesting words on the specialization of certain football positions. Toland’s notebook has more on Belichick’s statements about Kennedy. Farley’s notebook has more on the opening left by the Hochstein trade.

Misc

Check in with Fang’s Bites today as he attends the ESPN Media Workshop.

Mark Blaudschun has the BC quarterback situation starting to settle down. Steve Conroy has coach Frank Spaziani saying that he may play multiple quarterbacks. Eric Avidon has the Eagles’ front seven with a new look this season.

Kirk Minihane has a massive mailbag.

Mike McMahon looks at the price hike on new season tickets for the Bruins.

Michael Whitmer looks at the first leg of the PGA Tour playoffs, The Barclays. Whitmer’s notebook has Tiger Woods committing to play in next week’s TPC Boston.

Red Sox links in the post below this one.

Bob Ekstrom’s blog links will be taking a week off this week.

Vintage Papi Hits Walk Off Blast

I hope you savored last night. I know I did, hitting the replay button on the TV several times to rewatch David Ortiz’s game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. It was the second home run of the night for Ortiz, who continues his second half home run revival. Remarkable, when you consider how bad he has looked at times this season.

Amalie Benjamin has Ortiz and Tim Wakefield both at the top of their games last night. John Tomase has the Red Sox winning like old times. Daniel Barbarisi has Wakefield reminding all at Fenway why they missed him. Jeff Goldberg says that it was just like old times at Fenway last night. Bill Ballou has Big Papi turning back the clock. Mike Fine has Wakefield leaving teammates in awe.

Bob Ryan has Wakefield coming back from his injury and dominating right from his very first pitch. Alex Speier has Wakefield restoring order to the Red Sox rotation. Silverman has more on the knuckleballer’s first start since July 8th. Barbarisi has Victor Martinez doing a fine job catching Wakefield for the first time. Eric Avidon says that Wakefield could be the key to a Red Sox playoff push. Jim Fenton has more on Martinez’s first effort at catching the knuckleball.

Michael Silverman doesn’t want the Red Sox criticizing how he and his media brethren do their jobs. He claims the players just want “fan-boy journalism.” He concludes by saying “when the Red Sox start playing media critic, they lose me.” When the media starts making themselves the focus and whining about how they should not be criticized, they lose the fans. It’s a bit surprising to have this come from Silverman, one of the quieter, non-controversial members of the local press.

Kevin McNamara has Big Papi dusting off his Superman cape last night. Maureen Mullen has Ortiz reflecting on a difficult season. Jessica Camerato has Ramon Ramirez and Junichi Tazawa forming an unlikely friendship. Barbarisi looks at some potential Red Sox callups for Sept 1. Paul Kenyon has Chris Carter in a strange middle ground right now as he is stuck in limbo between the Red Sox and Mets. McNamara has Kevin Youkilis stating again how much he loves playing in Boston.

Nick Cafardo has Billy Wagner just hoping to fit in with the Red Sox. Brian MacPherson says that Wagner gives the Red Sox yet another bullpen weapon. Chaz Scoggins wonders if we saw a sign of the future last night with how Terry Francona used Daniel Bard.

Bob Hohler reports on a federal appeals court ruling that government agents illegally seized the list of  more than 100 positive substance tests from the 2003 season. In other news, after all his horses were stolen, farmer Brown decided to lock the stable door.

Benjamin’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis  clarifying things after his comments in yesterday’s Globe were crucified all day long by faux-angry sports radio hosts. (on both stations) Tomase’s notebook has Brad Penny asking for and receiving his release by the Red Sox. The Projo Red Sox journal has Ortiz shrugging off the news about the court ruling. Goldberg’s notebook has Youkilis insisting he wasn’t taking a shot at the fans.  Ballou’s notebook looks at the difficult adjustment the White Sox in going from Wakefield to Daniel Bard.

Today and tomorrow is the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, and even if you don’t want to listen to the station, I highly recommend making a donation and having a part in this great event.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-08-26

  • Ebersol calls Costas, Michaels and Collinsworth a "trio of talent [that] is unsurpassed probably in the history of television." #
  • As usual, Dennis Drinkwater couldn't get out of Fenway fast enough after the ball left Ortiz's bat #redsox #
  • I liked the bit between Remy & D.O. about if Remy did a "rehab start" in the minors before returning to the #redsox booth. #
  • RT @richarddeitsch: If you get the MLB Network, something cool: Net is simulcasting Vin Scully’s FSN Prime call of LA-Col tom. at 3pm ET. #
  • BSMW Network Post: Wednesday’s Links http://bit.ly/wMHHH #
  • BSMW Network Post: Brady Comments Spark Media Overreaction http://bit.ly/11yv5i #
  • RT @PatriotsDaily: New blog post: Brady Comments Spark Media Overreaction http://bit.ly/DZVJt #
  • RT @realpatriots: Yesterday's press corps included a TV crew from the UK and a reporter from Germany. Next week, a crew from China. #
  • BSMW Network Post: Wednesday Quicklinks – Sox Beat Sox Again http://bit.ly/7CY78 #
  • BSMW Network Post: Wednesday’s Viewing Picks http://bit.ly/1nvOW #
  • BSMW Network Post: Pats Linebackers Still a Concern http://bit.ly/NzNDp #
  • BSMW Network Post: Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-08-25 http://bit.ly/2U6tK9 #

Wednesday Quicklinks – Sox Beat Sox Again

There’s a lot on the plate today, so we’ll have to make do with a few quick links and comments for this morning…

The Red Sox beat the White Sox last night 6-3 at Fenway Park. Check all the coverage from RedSoxLinks.com.

In that game, Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 55th base of the season, a new Red Sox franchise record.

Dan Shaughnessy catches Kevin Youkilis with some things to say.

Tom Brady’s comments to the media yesterday about money and contracts had the media abuzz yesterday. Their articles are all over at PatriotsLinks.com.

Over on Patriots Daily, we’ve got a column from Jeremy Gottlieb, who notes that the Patriots linebackers are still a concern on defense. Check back over there a little later today as we look at the coverage of Tom Brady’s comments yesterday.

Fang’s Bites has the nightly viewing picks, and media links from around the country.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-08-25

  • You'd think they were talking about the Oakland Raiders #
  • Felger & Mazz killing the Patriots all afternoon. More horrible radio from 98.5 #
  • RT @realpatriots: The Patriots have signed 2009 3rd round pick LB Tyrone McKenzie and released S Tank Williams. #
  • BSMW Network Post: All Red Sox Games Back on WEEI http://bit.ly/1yqE0H #
  • BSMW Network Post: BREAKING NEWS: Red Sox Games Return to WEEI http://bit.ly/lrA6Y #
  • RT @bostonradio: Next step will probably be to expand their local postgame(Sox or C's) talk to 1am or 2am. #
  • All Red Sox games back on WEEI: http://bit.ly/IiNdb #
  • RT @bostonradio: @bruceallen I say Sox off to 850 fulltime and WKAF 97.7 simulcast #
  • Or this: RT @bostonradio: FCC granted Entercom permission to boost WKAF's power from 1700 watts to 2050 watts Part of plan to run WEEI on FM #
  • WEEI announcement coming at 3:02. Any guesses? Expanding to FM signal? Red Sox off 680 and back to 850? New stations in NH? #
  • "Major Announcement" coming on WEEI's Big Show today. Hopefully they've "stolen" Gary Tanguay from WBZ-FM…. #
  • RT @lenno212: Announcement coming shortly on Wagner. Looks like the trade to Boston is going to happen. #Mets. #
  • BSMW Network Post: Tuesday’s Links http://bit.ly/UJtae #
  • RT @Adam_Schefter: Denver and Patriots at it again. This time the Broncos acquire Russ Hochstein from the Patriots for late-round 2010 pick #
  • BSMW Network Post: Patriots/Redskins One of Just Two Preseason Games for CBS http://bit.ly/2b54R2 #
  • BSMW Network Post: Contract Talk Still Popular Topic Around Patriots http://bit.ly/7hXH9 #
  • BSMW Network Post: Two-out Success Fuels Red Sox http://bit.ly/gx38Z #
  • RT @JonCouture: #RedSox Gm 124 (12-8 W) at http://bit.ly/18Kjl4 — Apologies to A.J. Pierzynski, not as "Varitekian" with SBs as I thought. #
  • BSMW Network Post: Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-08-24 http://bit.ly/gJobR #