AP tracks Top 25 men's college basketball action on a new platform

March 6, 2012
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Kentucky's Anthony Davis (23) gets past Florida's Patric Young (4) to score during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Gainesville, Fla., Sunday, March 4, 2012. Davis scored 22 points in Kentucky's 74-59 win. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)
Heading toward March Madness, The Associated Press is tracking Top 25 men’s college basketball action on a new platform – fan-friendly Web pages that its member news organizations are branding, embedding and localizing in their websites.

AP sports editors are selecting the best AP stories, photos and interactive content for the pages, which more than 100 newspapers and broadcasters have integrated into their sites under their own logos and colors. The coverage prominently features the closely watched AP Top 25 Poll, as well as social media tools to enable content sharing and a forum for reader comments.

During the NCAA Tournament, March 11 to April 2, the AP will offer a Twitter feed that can be customized for each market so the homepage may include tweets from AP or local journalists, as well as key players and coaches.

Member websites are able to book ads into their branded versions of the Tournament pages.

"Our college basketball presentation is the first of AP’s many Digital News Experiences, designed to deliver great content packages to our network and also connect national advertisers to an aggregate audience that is one of the biggest on the Internet," said Jim Kennedy, AP's senior vice president for digital products. “We’re looking forward to rolling out packages for the Olympics, college football, major news stories and lifestyles.”

Responsive design ensures that the site will look as good on a tablet browser or smartphone as it does on a desktop.

The growing number of AP members that have added the college basketball page to their websites include the following:

• Denver Post - http://collegebasketball.ap.org/denverpost
• The Orange County Register - http://collegebasketball.ap.org/ocregister
• St. Louis Post-Dispatch - http://collegebasketball.ap.org/stltoday
• The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, W.Va. - http://collegebasketball.ap.org/herald-dispatch
• The Monitor of McAllen, Texas - http://collegebasketball.ap.org/themonitor
• Citizen-Tribune of Morristown, Tenn. - http://collegebasketball.ap.org/citizentribune
• The Columbia Missourian - http://collegebasketball.ap.org/columbiamissourian
• Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - http://collegebasketball.ap.org/newsminer

Here are what some AP members have to say about the new platform:

Diane Ferguson, digital media senior developer for The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, W.Va., and herald-dispatch.com:

“It’s nice to have the additional coverage we wouldn’t have had. I particularly like the ‘Find your team’ option.

“People are really interested in the Top 25 poll. People really like to click on that.

“I liked that you could add your own navigation and do your own color scheme.”

Bob Rose, assistant managing editor at St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he’s in charge of STLToday.com:

“What I really like about it is that it’s the same page that works across all my platforms so I can just share the same link and know it will work on whatever it’s viewed on.

“It’s one-stop shopping for the college basketball scene. I’m really anticipating it to be a hit during the post-season. People will be able to dive in here and find out what’s going on across all conferences and teams so we don’t have to worry about trying to have all that covered on our end.”

Julie Stricker, online content director, Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner:

“The college basketball page was easy to customize and post on the newsminer.com site. It's helping us reach a segment of our audience we haven't been able to serve in the past. We're looking forward to March Madness.”

About The AP
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For more information, contact:

Paul Colford
AP Director of Media Relations

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