Happy New Year from BPSN
When your business plan includes soliciting advertising support from restaurants and sports organizations, chances are you are going to struggle through a pandemic which resulted in bans on or severely curtailed restaurant dining, and shuttered almost all sport activities.
But through all the doom and gloom of 2020, BP Sports Niagara has soldiered on and continued to provide the stories you have come to expect from a site dedicated to local sport in Niagara.
Despite having little or no sports to report on since March, we have been diligent in hunting down and writing stories on the athletes, coaches, officials, organizers and sports groups that make Niagara a vibrant place to live. The down time in live sports has allowed us to recognize the many unsung heroes that make sport happen in Niagara and we plan to continue sharing those stories. We have done this in a safe and socially distanced manner to keep ourselves and our subjects safe.
That hard work has paid off as we have managed to maintain more than 90 per cent of our readership during the pandemic and we’ve even had some stretches where we have exceeded our page views from non-pandemic times. We are extremely proud of those accomplishments.
Since our inception in September 2017, we have written more than 3,200 Niagara-centric stories and attracted almost 1.7 million page views and more than 400,000 unique visitors to our site. We are a local sports information source like no other and are truly pioneers for the future of sports journalism in Canada.
Our ability to provide this invaluable service to Niagara is the result of the support we have received from local businesses and sports organizations. We are eternally grateful for the support of local businesses and thank them for sticking with us through this difficult period. We ask our readers to kindly click on their ads on our website to see what they are all about or better yet, support them by purchasing goods and services from them. These same businesses have been contributing to local causes and charities forever and now is the time to pay them back.
BPSN would also like to express our appreciation to all the sports groups and institutions that have seen the value of advertising on BPSN or providing us with sponsorship. Their assistance allows us to dedicate two full-time, experienced sports journalists to covering the sports scene in Niagara. These groups don’t have bloated bank accounts but have seen the value in helping us chronicle the Niagara sporting environment. We have recognized that help by spending thousands and thousands of hours over the past three-plus years at local arenas, gymnasiums, football fields, golf course, tracks, cross country courses and other sporting facilities. No other news source in Niagara can come close to matching the time and effort we put in to doing a good job.
Our site has also received support from the people who have clicked the Support Us button on our website and made generous one-time or monthly contributions. When we started BPSN, we had hoped that this would be a more lucrative part of our business, but it is hard for readers to understand the need to pay for local journalism when they have been getting it for free for decades. Unfortunately, the give the fresh bread away for free and try to sell the day-old product business model is DEAD and local on-line journalism needs your support. We wish good luck to our competitors who have implemented paywalls on their local journalism websites — they too provide a much-needed source of credible and well-written information in a world of fake news and Facebook experts — but rest assured we have no plans to make readers pay for the content found on our site. That being said, we hope that our faithful readers who have not yet made a contribution will consider doing so. All the money we have received through this channel has been used to purchase camera equipment and other tools to help us improve the product we present to you on a daily basis.
As 2020 draws to a conclusion, we hope and pray that 2021 will bring a return to normalcy in sport and the world in general. To those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, we share in your grief and wish you health and healing. May all of us do our part to keep each other safe.
Happy New Year
Bernie and Bill