I want to share with you an update on where Sporting Pumpkin is today and what we are looking to do as we start to transform the website to better serve the needs of the community.
Sporting Pumpkin was established in August 2020 by co-founders Brad Morris and John Howley as a sports blog to provide nuts-and-bolts coverage of high school sports to the community that we had previously covered together at the area newspaper.
We feared that a vacuum had been created that would result in significantly less coverage than Amanda-Clearcreek, Circleville, Logan Elm, New Hope Christian, Teays Valley and Westfall high schools in Pickaway and southwest Fairfield counties had become accustomed to and we wanted to provide a backstop against that occurring.
Over the first two years, Sporting Pumpkin has provided coverage of big events across area high school sports while primarily focusing on football and basketball.
Everyone associated with Sporting Pumpkin has contributed to this website on a volunteer basis during that time, so I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our team of John Howley, Gary Wright and Scott Iles.
This is the team that you came to know previously at the area newspaper and it has stayed together and continued to offer high quality reporting and photography to the community because of our commitment to where we grew up and still call home.
I also want to thank the community for visiting Sporting Pumpkin, spreading the word about the website and helping to grow this platform.
During the 2021-22 school year, Sporting Pumpkin had in excess of 42,000 visitors turn to us for their high school sports coverage. Over the course of the state track and field championships back in June, Sporting Pumpkin reached over 4,000 people during that weekend on our social media platforms.
That brings us to the present. The foundation has been built and now is the time to take the next step in expanding our coverage.
I officially took on the title as editor of Sporting Pumpkin this month, a title I previously held at the area newspaper from 2005-2007 and 2008-2020. During that time, I was recognized by the Associated Press as a finalist for best sports section, best sportswriter and best photography in the state.
This move was necessary, so I could lead the transition of Sporting Pumpkin from a sports blog to a sports media website in our continued quest to better serve the community and provide additional coverage.
We started to ramp up coverage last week, offering nightly updates on the Daily Blog, covering a volleyball match between Circleville and Logan Elm and the Pickaway County girls golf championship match. That’s in addition to the weekly football coverage you have become accustomed to on the website.
And more is on the way.
Sporting Pumpkin is also developing statistical packages for other sports, starting this week with volleyball, as just one example.
The community took notice of the additional coverage. Sporting Pumpkin set a weekly record for engagement with the community, starting with our website being viewed over 5,500 times and visited by 2,900 people.
On Facebook, Sporting Pumpkin content reached over 17,270 people with more than 3,500 direct post engagements.
As part of our transition, we are asking for community partners to join us and help support the website financially.
We are currently offering three advertising packages for businesses to consider that start at just $150 per month. If you are interested in partnering with us and supporting coverage of area high school athletics, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The support of area businesses is vital as we look to take the next step in the transformation of Sporting Pumpkin into offering more comprehensive coverage of area high school sports and possible expansion into video media offerings to the community.
Preliminary steps are already underway in regards to video media, but I am not ready to share them with you at this point.
I want to take the time to recognize and thank Roese Bros. Paving for their support of Sporting Pumpkin from the outset, in addition to the advice and counsel that Shane Roese has offered me as we take this next step together as a community.
Roese Bros. Paving originally stepped up when we founded Sporting Pumpkin to sponsor the Pickaway County player of the year trophies that go to the best senior in football, boys and girls basketball and the best overall wrestler. Roese Bros. Paving helped to restore these awards that had fallen into various stages of despair, provided for their continued maintenance and have also provided a plaque for each winner to keep in honor of their achievement.
Roese Bros. Paving has now stepped up to become our first major sponsor. I hope to have some additional announcements in the coming week(s), but we still have some spots available in our starting lineup for businesses to partner with us and help turn this vision into a sustainable reality.
Sporting Pumpkin is a locally owned, locally operated website that is dedicated to serving our community and not beholden to out-of-town business interests.
Once again, I thank you for your continued support and ask for your help in taking Sporting Pumpkin to the next level.
Editor, Sporting Pumpkin