WHAT THEY DID: The Independent in Massillon, Ohio, drives interest in local high school sports with a weekly video Q&A series on IndeOnline.com that focuses on an athlete of the week. The video includes a one-on-one interview with the student-athlete and uses b-roll of the athlete in action.
The series has run for about 18 months and focuses, for the most part, on athletes in sports other than football. Coaches make the nominations and are asked to select athletes who get the most out of their abilities.
"Football was, is and always will be 'king' in Stark County," editor Joe Shaheen says, "but The Independent has always recognized that other student-athletes deserve to be recognized for their efforts and sacrifices as well. To that end, we developed our 'Athlete of the Week' initiative to give credit where credit is due."
THE TAKEAWAY: Video segments such as athlete of the week give viewers the opportunity to meet many of the athletes they may read about in the print edition during the course of the season. The Q&A format, coupled with action shots, offers a more engaging experience for consumers than its print counterpart. Remember to drive traffic to the video through Facebook and Twitter. Use Facebook to ask followers who they think should be the next athlete of the week.