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NY Times texts Olympics fans personal sports news updates

NY Times

NY Time's messaging program

The New York Times has launched a program in a bid to become the go-to authority on sports information related to the Olympics, with a special SMS experience that shares up-to-date news from an editor. 

With the Summer Games in full swing, and publications are fighting for visibility regarding Olympics coverage with an onslaught of news coming out everyday. The New York Times is creating a personal two-way conversation to stand out and really drive home its stories with users via SMS. 

“Our aim is to connect with the reader in a very personal way that hopefully brings him or her to our core platforms to experience more our journalism,” said Marc Lavallee, executive director of technology for The New York Times. “It is a two-way conversation between The New York Times and readers.”

“People who get the texts will be able to talk back to Sam Manchester and he will be able to read and respond to them,” Mr. Layallee said. 

Conversing real news
Mobile device users can now opt in to receive updates from NY Times sports editor Sam Manchester regarding all-things Olympics coverage. Readers can text RIO to 63937 to engage with Sam and tailor their personalized news experience. 

The interactive experience gives subscribers an inside look the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with text information as well as content such as picture, video, GIFs and memes. Users are invited to send questions and opinions back within the message thread to Mr. Manchester. 

Mr. Manchester is located on-site at the games, which will allow him to give a more in-depth look at the news as well as provide personal information and dispatches. The SMS program and message thread will run until the ending ceremonies of this year’s Olympics. 

NY Times is pairing the SMS program with a daily newsletter that focuses specifically on sports and Olympics coverage within its mobile applications. The experience is a highly personal news format that allows the publication to stand out from the crowd, as well as form a strong bond with the consumer. 

The program also benefits from the ease of the user experience. Users do not need to learn a new interface or experience, and do not need to change their behavior because the SMS program operates the same way as texting with another user. 

NY mobile minute
The New York Times has been innovating with mobile and digital technology to help advertisers and connect more with readers. 

General Electric was one of the brands demanding consumer attention within New York Times mobile articles via advertisements in the form of 360-degree videos that allow users to explore the ad space by moving their smartphones (see more). 

The New York Times’ virtual reality app had more downloads in its first days of availability than any other app from the publisher at launch, pointing to the technology's significant potential for publishers (see more). 

“It is the same experience as texting with a family member - a text conversation that show up on your lock screen,” Mr. Lavallee said. “We think it has the potential to create a powerful relationship with readers.”

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Messaging, mobile messaging, mobile marketing, ny times, sports news, olympic games, rio 2016, new york times, ny times, sports news

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