To give itself a year-round voice, The Super Show and its owner Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMS) have funded a website called SportsSPIN to be produced by sportswriting company Black Book Partners.
Black Book editors Mike Kennedy and Mark Stewart, who have in the past supplied editorial for The Super Show dailies, will produce stories for the SportsSPIN site. (Ed note: Just don't type in SportSPIN, with one 's', because you'll land at a site that produces pins for sports, which is likely very excited for the traffic.) Each week, the site will focus on one exhibit category at The Super Show with three to five stories.
"For the moment, we have asked the show to feed us names from the companies that are signed up for" the next show in Orlando in January, Kennedy told SNEWS. "That solves a problem for us, and gives them an extra 'thank you' to throw into the mix for their exhibitors."
In its debut week June 16, the focus was on sports apparel, while fitness was featured the week of June 30. Fitness stories included one about a one-man startup company begun by Joe Arroyo that will unveil the Arroyo Combination Exercise Bike, another on Sissell physical therapy products entering the fitness market, and the last being an interview with Nautilus' Al Cockrill, vice president of sales.
"SportsSPIN is a straightforward way to give a voice to sports product manufacturers that are anxious to tell their innovation stories," Stanley Schwartz, director of The Super Show, said. "It also represents a solution to a dilemma we have faced for a decade and a half, which is how to keep companies in our industry in front of consumers -- in a way that makes a real difference -- throughout the entire year."
Kennedy said a new show daily -- sort of a paper version of SportsSPIN -- is in the works for the January event. The site is at www.sportsspin.com.
SNEWS View: This could become a nice little information site to support the show and its exhibitors, much like a show daily paper does â€¦ except all year. We like this idea. No reason that a trade show shouldn't keep its exhibitors and attendees informed about what each other is up to all year long. The problem comes with the role descriptions as presented. Kennedy and Stewart obviously have a long background writing books and covering sports stories with solid reputations as independent writers. Good so far. Yet, the website -- although funded by the show and SGMA -- is also called independent â€¦ even though it is only writing about exhibitors. In fact, a recent email newsletter from The Super Show read: "To find out how to have your company featured in an upcoming edition, please call our public relations department." Ooops, this isn't independent news if PR is asking for those who want to be featured. From what we remember from our journalism school classes, being told what to write doesn't classify as independence, although it may not mean bad stories. If all involved would just be upfront and say, "We are real writers presenting information by and for the show," then everybody would know what's going on.