Centering Sponsorship Around Innovation

Aug 14, 2013
Originally published on August 14, 2013 10:34 am

With the launch of the new NPR home page, we are introducing a new sponsorship opportunity that aims to engage with you, our audience, provide value to NPR's supporting sponsors and reflect our high visual and content standards.

The world of digital sponsorship is changing rapidly, and many publishers are choosing to blur the lines between editorial and advertising. At NPR, we fundamentally think it is critical for our audience, our sponsors, and our editorial integrity that this distinction remains completely clear.

Several times a month, a new space, we are calling 'Center Stage,' will replace our standard sponsorship banners and display just below our top news stories on the home page. Unlike on other news sites, this larger style of sponsorship will never overlap editorial content, and we will always clearly note the sponsorship nature of the space.

The organization that manages NPR sponsorship, National Public Media (NPM), will work with each sponsor to develop a custom, video-focused approach to the space. We will never automatically play video – a long-time NPR policy. Instead, NPM and sponsors will collaborate to go beyond standard commercials and offer videos that are longer-form in nature, appealing to the common interests between the NPR audience and our sponsors.

Similar to how the new home page works, the sponsorship unit will appear across platforms. Users on phones, tablets and desktops will receive variations of the same content, optimized for their different devices.

Center Stage is the latest example of our ability to innovate with our sponsors while staying true to our long-held values. The right mix of engaging content, technology and transparency allows our journalists, our sponsors and our users to move forward together.

Erica Osher is the ad products manager for National Public Media. In addition to creating new sponsorship opportunities for NPR, she spends her time cooking, traveling and seeing live music.

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