Miami Dolphins get big promo on

Written by Adrian Holovaty on August 19, 2003

The Knight Ridder newspaper chain, which uses a centralized Web publishing system for more than 30 of its newspapers, is often criticized in the industry for giving those sites a cookie-cutter design.

Well, the design isn't all that's shared; banner ads are shared across the network, too. And that leads to inappropriate, embarassing mistakes such as this on, pointed out to me by Joel Mathis:

Screenshot of, with ad to 'Click here for [Miami] Dolphins updates'

For readers who don't keep up with American football: That's an ad for Miami Dolphins e-mail news updates. On a Kansas City news site.

Miami is about 1,500 miles from Kansas City, which has its own football team.

And I'll bet quite a few fans of the Kansas City football team saw that ad and wrinkled their noses. That's how a site loses readers' trust.

Guess that's what happens when corporate controls the Web site.

UPDATE, 12:22 a.m.: E-Media Tidbits reports a Knight Ridder spokesperson has said that this Dolphins ad was "deliberately scheduled" to run on the Kansas City news site because "there are many Dolphin fans all over the county."

Uh huh.


Posted by Keith on August 19, 2003, at 10:03 p.m.:

OMG - that is too funny. A bit sad, but funny. I could only imagine how I'd feel if a New York Yankees or a San Fancisco 49ers ad showed up on I don't think I'd just wrinkle my nose -- I'd be pretty hacked.

Sports can be a touchy subject with people and I'd consider this a pretty big mistake. Wow.

Posted by Jon Gales on August 19, 2003, at 10:35 p.m.:

Well maybe centralized isn't so bad. I just went and looked at my local paper's site... A double article [link to screen grab with the double print hi-lighted].

I wonder what the CTR for that Miami ad was :)

Posted by john engler on August 20, 2003, at 6:47 a.m.:

I kind of thought this was more likely to be a 'good job of selling the entire network' on the KR digital sales side, rather than a screw up on the trafficking side of the system... I'd think as we see more and more large national brands (which the Miami Dolphins are no matter how you cut it) using the internet to advertise, you'll see a lot more of this type of thing across all large media properties with national reach... good catch though adrian...

Posted by John Engler on August 20, 2003, at 6:48 a.m.:

oh, and I do agree that the KC readers seeing that ad will likely wonder why they're seeing it, but only if they're Chiefs fans. If they aren't then they're likely to be impressed that the Miami ad is running in KC, if they notice the ad at all that is...

Posted by Mr E on August 21, 2003, at 6:17 p.m.:

That's not the first time. Radio stations have tickets to give to clients and staff. They don't give all the tickets they receive out over the air. It seems the Dolphins mgmnt have believed for some time there are fans in KC since many tickets made it to a web promotion. September 29, 2002 was Dophins vs. Chiefs in KC. See img here: Me? I'm a fan of Flipper.

Posted by Cyggie on August 22, 2003, at 11:51 p.m.:

I live in a GM town. Does that mean we can't have Ford ads on our newspaper's site?

Posted by Adrian on August 23, 2003, at midnight:

Cyggie: That's a valid question, but there's quite a difference between regional football teams and national car manufacturers.

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