With the off weekend for the Hokies, it's a good time to talk about an important issue on TechSideline.com, one where we need to make you aware of what we're up to, and where we need your help: the state of advertising on TechSideline.com. Wait! Don't click over somewhere else! This is important. In this brief article, we'll cover the types of ads you see on the site, our types of advertisers, what to pay attention to, and how you can help us. PLEASE read.

We've asked for help over the years from you, our readers, in impressing and supporting our advertisers and sponsors, and you've been very generous. How we handle advertising and sponsorships has changed over the years, though, so we wanted to bring you up to speed on what's new and current, and how you can help.

How We Used to Do It: A few years ago, we had a good list of sponsors on the site, about 10-12 companies that we promoted heavily and that got great feedback from you. Remember Advance Auto Parts, Shenandoah Spring Water, Hilldrup Moving and Storage, Village Realty of the Outer Banks, and others? We asked you to let them know that you were supporting them because you saw them on TSL, and you did it. That worked out great, for a while.

What Happened Since Then: In the last couple of years, we lost our way on the advertising front and de-emphasized smaller local sponsors in favor of larger national brands. As we quit cultivating local/regional sponsors, they gradually fell off the site. We replaced them with a small handful of national advertisers -- remember Lowe's, Allstate, and TicketCity.com?

Third-Party Ads: We also started filling in with "third-party" ads. Third-party ads are sold by ad networks like Tribal Fusion, Burst, and AdFlex. Those companies sign advertisers to big contracts, then distribute the ads across a large number of sites.

The ads TSL receives from third-party ad networks aren't necessarily targeted to our Hokie audience, and we tend to get a lot of ads that are, well, unacceptable. You've seen those ads: the fat-burner ads, the Evony online ads, and the ads with food stuck in someone's braces. Gross. And how about those Subaru Outback ads that caused fake mud splotches to appear on your computer screen? We didn't sell those ads, and we don't like seeing those ads delivered to our readers. They all come from the third-party ad networks we use.

For the last few months, what you have seen on our site are mostly third-party ads. They have created some trouble, and are not good for the site overall, but they do generate important revenue for us, and we thank you for putting up with them.

What We're Doing Now: Our future is our past: we want to attract local/regional advertisers that want to cater specifically to Hokie fans. In the last couple of months, we have started looking for those types of sponsors and advertisers again, and have started signing them up to be on the site. They are divided up into two groups - sponsors and MarketPlace advertisers.

What You Can Do to Help: This part is simple. All advertising and sponsorship revenue is critical to us (even the third-party stuff), so here are your marching orders, if you want to help out TSL (and we hope you do!):

As we shift away from third party ads and back towards local/regional businesses that want to cater to Hokie fans like you, your support is critical. Attracting sponsors and advertisers to our site is a huge part of our business, and a huge part of keeping TechSideline.com alive and improving the site. Please help out.

Thanks, folks! We now resume your regularly scheduled web site ...

If you're interested being a TechSideline.com sponsor
or MarketPlace advertiser:

Please contact Trey Copeland of Captive Media Sales. Trey is our sales rep for TSL advertising and can be reached at trey_copeland@comcast.net. Trey knows our business inside and out and can put together a great advertising package for you.