Don Shelton, Idaho ’76 is the Sports Editor of the Seattle Times. He’s spoken to our luncheon several times before, and he is a popular guy with lots of insider commentary on the local sports scene. This was Don’s fourth appearance before our group in the past ten years. In 2010 he spoke shortly after the 2010 Winter Olympics, and his insider presentation had us all immersed in the back scenes of the Olympics. This luncheon found us enjoying Don’s back scenes reports of the 2014 Super Bowl that he and his team of reporters covered in early February.
First, a little background. After 24+ years of sports reporting with the Seattle Times, Don was promoted to the position of Sports Editor for the Seattle Times in 2009. Don assumed these reins when reporting was expanding beyond black print on white paper. In fact, the digital channels have become an important part of circulation, and the digital influences the strategy for the news coverage. This is especially true for sports.
The Seattle Times executed a sophisticated campaign that began weeks prior to the actual Super Bowl game. Don’s insider report included the strategy for coverage, the type of personnel, and the engagement tactics they employed.
The Seattle Times print edition reaches primarily Puget Sound; whereas the digital reporting and web pages reached Seahawk fans in 3,200 different locations. The digital side of reporting consumes far more photographs than the newspaper. During the Super Bowl game, the Seattle Times had 4 photogs shooting the game — this is the maximum allowed. At the same time they had 2 editors managing the photo flow.
For the Super Bowl, Don’s Sports Team published 260 pages, 285 paly-off storeis, and 1,200+ photos. The Monday following the Super Bowl, they had a total viewing of 2.3 million minutes on the digital pages. This one day delivered the equivalent of 4 years of viewing. It was a good story for our luncheon attendees, and it is an impressive inside view of today’s press covering the biggest sporting event of the year for Seattle. Go Seahawks!
You can reach Don at the Seattle Times at firstname.lastname@example.org