On February 3, the Capitals began a partnership with the Examiner, running an advertisement section wrapped around the cover of the daily titled ‘Caps Extra.’ It’s an eye-catching, highly visual, four-page, color supplement that features color photos, four feature files bylined by Comcast Sportsnet’s Corey Masisak, and previews of upcoming Capitals’ games. The hockey section supplement will run weekly through April 21.
The Examiner has emerged in the past couple of years as a popular paper for commuters in particular, and its prevalence among Metro’s sizable ridership represented just the sort of the audience the Caps wanted to reach, Nate Ewell, the team’s senior director of media relations, told us. And the partnership with the Examiner allows the team to literally take over the front of the paper once a week.
Masisak’s participation in the project, Ewell added, represented a “perfect fit” for what the Caps wanted to do with it. Presently, ‘Caps Extra’ is available only as hard copy, with the distributed Examiner copy, but the Capitals own the rights to the section’s content, and they are entertaining ideas for incorporating it into the team’s web site down the road a bit. There’s good reason to do that; one of Masisak’s ongoing storylines in the section is identifying the top dozen moments in Capitals’ history, what he’s termed ‘The Defining Dozen.’ Here’s a rundown of Corey’s dozen best moments in Capitals’ history thus far:
- THE DEFINING DOZEN: No. 12: Ovechkin bests Crosby in ‘trick’-y affair
- THE DEFINING DOZEN: No. 11: Capitals move into their downtown digs
- THE DEFINING DOZEN: No. 10: Sergei Fedorov provides one last bit of heroism
- THE DEFINING DOZEN: No. 9: Bondra becomes Caps’ first goal-scoring champ
- DEFINING DOZEN: No. 8: The Jagr Era ends; rebuilding begins
- THE DEFINING DOZEN: No. 7: Ovechkin is all Hart for Capitals
- THE DEFINING DOZEN: No. 6: Furious finish sparks city’s interest
We run into Corey at Caps’ home games regularly, and if he doesn’t work in a certain Dale Hunter game 7 goal in his list there’ll be a heavy reckoning.
Speaking of Comcast Sportsnet, another new weekly media product, ‘Caps OT,’ a short online video program hosted by Michelle Scalise, debuted this week. It’s the brainchild of Scalise and her Comcast colleague Sebastian Salazar. Comcast conducted research as to how long the program should be to best engage online audiences, and found 4-5 minutes the favored length. The project has been a priority pursuit for Scalise since her arrival at Comcast last fall.
When we spoke with her about the new product this week she cited the Caps’ own weekly program ‘Red Line,‘ which airs in-season on Comcast, as a powerful influence because of its features on players off the ice. Comcast’s own research bolstered Scalise’s instincts about such content: Fans really dig it. So ‘Caps OT’ will offer similar features capturing players and their interests and enthusiasms off the ice.
Scalise and her digital team at Comcast want the show to drive traffic to the site, but they are open to adapting and evolving it and offering it in new and fresh applications (such as iTunes, perhaps). ‘Caps OT’ will regularly offer a ‘Play of the week’ highlight with local hockey media reacting to it; interviews of hockey analysts; and fresh, non-traditional player features. For instance, in a recent interview of John Carlson, Scalise asked the young defender to cite the most recent instance of his singing out loud.
Full disclosure: OFB was informally consulted to assist the outlet with a name for the new program. Initially, the product was going to be a blog with video content, so we had a little fun in our creative thinking. We also took into consideration the outlet’s alluring and hockey-savvy on-camera talent. Here’s a partial list of names we suggested:
- Zamboni Dreamin’
- Hockey Hotties in Heels
- The Estrogen Enforcement Zone
- The Hanson Sisters
- Heels ‘n Knuckles
- Head Turners on a Swivel
- Five for Cat Fighting
- Lipstick ‘n Stitches
The latter was a particular favorite, and as you can probably tell, we didn’t much involve DC Sports Chick in the suggestion process.
Update: Here is the debut editition of Caps OT.