Money is tight these days and it's a tough world out there. But some things are worth paying for and a subscription to Rays Digest is one of them for anyone who wants in-depth top-to-bottom coverage of the Rays organization.
I could just try and sell you by typing out a bunch of words like "Total Access" and "Premium" and "Exclusive", but what does that all really mean? If you decide to buy a subscription to Rays Digest what will you really be getting?
Before I answer that question, let me tell you what we are offering.
Two months of premium content for $7.95. In other words, if you, the reader, decides that Rays Digest is worth spending your hard-earned cash on - you'll be getting a month free if you buy a 1-Month-Pass. This offer will run the entire week from Monday Feb. 6th until Sunday Feb. 12th. In conjunction with the special, we will also be publishing two pieces of free content a day, so that you can further access if a premium subscription to Rays Digest is worth treating yourself to.
The timing of this special is not by accident. I'm no dummy. I know that the vast majority of people aren't obsessed with baseball 365 days a year like I am. But with the sports calender turning the page with the conclusion of the Super Bowl, many folks who haven't been following the sport all off-season are now chomping at the bit with Spring Training right around the corner.
It's also no accident that this special coincides with the coming of spring training, because although we did a pretty decent job of bringing some good content this winter, now that the players, coaches and front office folk will all be headed to one place....well it's just going to be a lot easier to bring quality content to the site on a daily basis.
I took over this site in October, long after the minor league season was over and the Rays major league club had made their exit from the post-season. Prior to that, Rays Digest had not had a publisher for nearly two years. In other words - I was starting from scratch. Without much to start with or to cover, I've really been using this off-season to - not unlike the players themselves - prepare for Spring Training.
I've been doing this by trying out different kinds of content, marketing the site, getting organized - and most importantly - establishing contacts within the organization that will help me to deliver the kind of quality coverage I intend to make the staple of this site.
I feel very confident that I have - for the most part - done all of the above and am looking forward to really ramping up the coverage on the site now that I have had all winter to get my feet wet and get a plan in place.
So....this is what our spring training coverage will look like the next few months. (if you buy a subscription today, it will carry over into the start of the regular season)
SPRING TRAINING COVERAGE
1) In-depth coverage of Rays Fan Fest on 2/18. Interviews, features, photo galleries...the whole nine yards. There will be three of us there and a ton of players, coaches, front office folks, broadcasters...everybody is going to be there. We are going to try and talk to as many of them as possible and in doing so hope to get plenty of premium and exclusive content.
2) Senior Writer Chris Girandola and myself will then be headed down to Port Charlotte on the 20th for the start of Rays spring training. We will be down there for five days scouting, conducting interviews, shooting photos and video and doing anything else we can think of to provide in-depth coverage of the start of camp. I will be returning to Port Charlotte for the start of minor league camp on March 6th and will be staying there for a week. I'll be primarily focusing on the minor leaguers, but will also be checking in on big league camp and will be on-site if any big news breaks.
3) In addition, I will also be catching up with the major league team at stops in Tampa (Yankees), Clearwater (Phillies), Dunedin (Blue Jays) and Bradenton (Pirates). I'll be attending quite a few minor league games as well in Fort Myers (Red Sox and Twins), Sarasota (Orioles) and Port Charlotte and will continue to provide coverage of Rays spring training from all of these locations.
4 ) I will be joined in Florida later in March by Daniel Jarrett of MLB Prospect Portal. He will be using his talents to shoot scouting video of Rays' minor leaguers that will be provided along with scouting reports exclusively to premium subscribers. Daniel will be joining our coverage team during the season as well and will be providing video of the Durham Bulls, the International League All-Star Game, the Futures Game and the Arizona Fall League.
5) I will also be hooking up with several other Scout MLB publishers over the course of spring training, namely National Baseball Expert Frankie Pilliere. I'll be joining them to get additional insight and analysis on the Rays as well as getting their input for future scouting reports. I will also be joined by Scout.com field reporters, like Fox Sports Florida's Laura McKeeman, at some point during the spring. We will be shooting and publishing videos exclusively for premium subscribers of interviews we obtain, and I'll be appearing on camera myself to give you first-hand news and analysis.
6) Every week throughout spring training we will be conducting a subscriber-only live chat. I'll be hosting it myself and Chris Girandola and other Rays Digest writers will also be available most weeks to answer any questions you have on the Rays and what we have been seeing from different players during camp.
7) We will be at Opening Day at Tropicana Field and will welcome in the 2012 season in grand style with exclusive coverage from the game.
8) We will be introducing our brand, spanking new podcast during spring training and hope to have many players, coaches and guest analysts join us weekly all throughout camp and into the start of the season.
9) On our premium message boards we will be passing along different tidbits of information and news that we gather during spring training. This might be stuff that is breaking news that we'll later do a story on, or could be just an item of interest that is worth passing along. This info. won't be available on the non-subscriber forums, nor will we be tweeting it on our Twitter account.
10) Best of all...you get access to the premium coverage on all of Scout's other sites as well. There are some really great MLB sites and you'll be able to read their content as well. It's always a good idea to see what the enemy is looking like.
If all of this spring training coverage sounds appealing to you, then take the plunge and invest $7.95 into giving Rays Digest a shot for two months. If you enjoy our coverage then you can consider buying an annual subscription later. If you don't, then all you have lost is what basically amounts to buying me lunch one day.
We'll have more information soon on what our in-season coverage will look like, but as of now, the plan is to have beat reporters in very affiliate city. So the quality coverage will not stop after Spring Training - and in fact - it will get even better.
If your sold, then click on this link (make sure you select the 1-Month-Pass). In addition to getting one month free, you will be getting a 7 day free trial. So you have a week to change your mind and cancel the subscription and your credit card will not be charged.
But remember this offer is only good from Monday Feb.6th until Sunday Feb. 12th.
After this Sunday, a 1-Month-Pass will not include a free month. However, we will provide some of our content from the week before spring training for free so that you can still decide to subscribe before our coverage from Port Charlotte starts.
John Gregg is Publisher and Senior Editor of Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @RaysDigest. He can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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