Fan Fests, Playoff Parties & Tweets...Oh My!

April and May were exciting months for Ohio sports fans as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Columbus Blue Jackets participated in the 2009 NBA and NHL playoffs. FOX Sports Ohio joined as a co-sponsor of the Cavaliers Fan Fests and Blue Jackets Playoff Parties – events that gave fans an opportunity to have fun and show support for their teams.

For each and every home playoff game, Cavs fans of all ages flocked to the Gateway Plaza located between Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field to participate in various games and activities. Family-friendly and free to the public, Fan Fest included everything from dance competitions to shooting contests. At the FOX Sports Ohio tent, fans played cornhole and made signs to cheer on the team and root for their favorite players.

Crowds gathered on the plaza just outside Nationwide Arena prior to home playoff games to participate in the Blue Jackets Playoff Parties. Free and open to the public, the event included many activities including face painting and ticket raffles. At the FOX Sports Ohio tent, fans had a free chance to spin the “Prize Wheel” to win various prizes – no one walked away empty handed.
Both events were extremely successful in involving fans in the post-season action. Congratulations to the Cavaliers and Blue Jackets!
Cavs Playoff Twitter

When TNT picked up the NBA playoffs, FOX Sports Ohio continued to cover Cavs Playoffs with pre- and post-game Cavaliers Live shows, presented by KIA Motors, and in-game Twitter commentary. When the Cavs played at home, the Cavaliers Live shows were anchored from the FOX Sports Ohio Aaron’s Studio in Broadview Heights.

When the Cavs played at Orlando in round three, the network broadcasted the live pre- and post-game shows from Quicken Loans Arena at the Cavs Watch Parties. Fans attending the events were able to watch our announcers on “Q-Tube,” the arena’s center-hung HD quality video scoreboard.

At the conclusion of the pre-game show, Cavaliers announcers Austin Carr, Campy Russell and Jeff Phelps went from TV to Twitter, where they posted their in-game reactions. Fans who wanted to know what their hometown announcers were saying throughout the game could follow their “tweets” beginning at tip off.

Two Sports Networks, Two Ohio Teams, One Challenge.

FOX Sports Ohio and the Reds win in reality AND fantasy!
As the TV home of the Cincinnati Reds, FOX Sports Ohio recently faced off against SportsTime Ohio (STO), the cable network that carries the Cleveland Indians, in the first ever I-71 Challenge, a fun fantasy baseball competition.

The Reds visited the Indians at Progressive Field for a three-game series beginning Friday, June 26. During both networks' pre-game shows of the Saturday game, viewers texted in their votes to select the players who would represent their network's fantasy team. FSO fans selected Reds Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Ryan Hanigan to battle Indians Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez and Shin-Soo Choo, selected by STO viewers.The teams were scored based on each selected player's at-bat statistics and overall game score.

While viewers at home played along in the I-71 Challenge, scoring updates were given throughout the game. Votto lead the way with a single, a double, and an RBI. While the Reds defeated the Indians 7-3, FOX Sports Ohio beat STO in the I-71 Challenge 11-5.
The broadcaster teams additionally swapped during the 3rd inning. Indians color analyst Rick Manning visited Reds play-by-play announcer George Grande in the FOX Sports Ohio booth while Reds color analyst Chris Welsh paired up with STO’s play-by-play man Al Pawlowski.

Special Tribute to Civil Rights and Independence

Major League Baseball’s third annual Gillette Civil Rights Game was Saturday, June 20 when the Cincinnati Reds hosted the Chicago White Sox in the first ever regular season match-up in this annual event. FOX Sports Ohio partnered with MLB and the Reds to provide a special telecast, presented by Farmers Insurance, with limited commercial breaks paying tribute to racial equality and diversity in baseball.

Throughout the game, the network provided live interviews with various dignitaries who made special booth visits as well as showed a series of recorded vignettes highlighting the history of the Civil Rights Movement, the Negro Leagues, and various heroes that took steps to achieve equality and diversity in baseball.

Here's a glimpse of the special events that took place throughout the spectacular weekend.
For more video clips, visit our facebook page at

The network also provided viewers a special game telecast on July 4th, presented by Marathon, when the Reds hosted the St. Louis Cardinals. From live in-game interviews with military leaders to recorded vignettes featuring patriotic Reds players and veteran baseball players, FOX Sports Ohio honored the men and women that fought to achieve and continue to fight for our freedom. The game also aired on AFN (American Forces Network) which is broadcast overseas to troops stationed abroad. Fans were able text message the troops by texting FSO and the messages were displayed throughout the game.

"Thank You, Fans! Love, FOX Sports Ohio"

Fans have always been the heart of FOX Sports Ohio and throughout the 2008–2009 Cavaliers and Blue Jackets’ seasons they showed their love for our teams by giving us some of the best ratings in our 20-year history. So in April, FOX Sports Ohio decided to give back, hosting our first ever “Viewer Appreciation Nights.” Viewers had the opportunity to watch and win fabulous prizes during the Blue Jackets game on Saturday, April 11, presented by Your Central Ohio Toyota Dealers, and during the Cavaliers game on Wednesday, April 15, sponsored by KIA.

How did it work? Each period/quarter, the FOX Sports Ohio broadcasters gave an on-air cue to enter to win. And on cue, viewers flooded the contest via text message or through our MySpace page. The results were amazing—over 16,000 text messages received during the Jackets game and 71,000 during the Cavs. The best part? Three lucky hockey and four stellar basketball fans walked away with some awesome prizes that included autographed jerseys and equipment, playoff tickets, and FOX Sports Ohio gear.

“As a network, we were thrilled with the response to our Viewer Appreciation Nights for the Cavaliers and Blue Jackets,” said FOX Sports Ohio Marketing and Communications Director, Alex Slemc. “We received over 100,000 entries combined for both nights—this shows the immense popularity of the Cavs and Jackets, our network, and the ‘text-to-win’ marketing platform. Those promotions established a high level of success which will allow us to do more creative and fun text-to-win promotions in the future.”

Ultimate Rec Room Designed On Our Dime

The ultimate Cleveland sports fan deserves what FOX Sports Ohio deems the ultimate recreation room decked out with the most essential equipment and tools to fully enjoy Cleveland sports. That’s why FOX Sports Ohio teamed up with Danny Vegh’s Billiard & Home and Acme to offer “Design On Our Dime.”

Throughout this past March, viewers could visit any participating Acme or Danny Vegh’s location to obtain an official entry form and mail in to win a grand prize including a new television, Cleveland sports related artwork, a Bud Light Neon and refrigerator as well as a $5,000 certificate to Danny’s Vegh’s.

We’re thrilled to award Bob and Kelly Mintz, this year’s “Design On Our Dime” winners! Bob obtained an entry form from Acme but never anticipated winning. The happy couple from Hudson is thrilled with the prize and has big plans for their new rec room.

They are especially excited to share their prizes with their children, Samantha, 11, and Adam, 9. The family recently finished their basement and now anticipates opening it up even more to fit their new TV, refrigerator, and pool table! “My honey-do list just got a bit longer,” Bob chuckled when picking up the prize. Kelly was quick to chime in, “but it’s a fun one!”

In The News

The CAVS on FOX Sports Ohio
FOX Sports Ohio and the Cavs share a record-breaking season with historic ratings.

The Sports Business Journal reported:
"The Cavaliers’ run to the NBA’s best record brought Cleveland the highest local regular-season TV ratings for any NBA team in more than a decade. Paced by the Cavs’ 116 percent increase from last year, leaguewide viewership across all regional sports networks increased by 8 percent this season. Half the 26 RSNs monitored saw their ratings rise during the regular season.

But the biggest success story came from LeBron James and his Cleveland teammates, who set a regular-season ratings record for Fox Sports Ohio with an 8.76 rating/134,000 homes. The Cavs posted the highest rating number since the Chicago Bulls averaged an 8.9 rating in Chicago for the 1997-98 season, Michael Jordan’s final season with that club.

Even more stunning is the fact that an average of 134,000 Cleveland-area homes tuned in for each Cavs game, second only to the Lakers’ 250,000 average on Fox Sports West. Cleveland is the country’s 17th-largest TV market."

Click on Mo to see what Inside Business Magazine had to say about the Cavs ratings on FOX Sports Ohio.

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The BLUE JACKETS on FOX Sports Ohio

In making their playoff debut, the Columbus Blue Jackets scored big ratings!