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Friday, September 05, 2008

Tour of Missouri Fan Zone

As of tonight, I am an authorized journalist for the Tour of Missouri Fan Zone.

You can be one, too

The Tour of Missouri -- which starts Monday afternoon with a stage between St. Joseph and Kansas CIty -- has partnered with Vitrue, a social media marketing company that provides fans, host partners and sponsors the opportunity to chronicle the 623-mile professional cycling event on the Fan Zone.

The site will enable fans to contribute their videos, photos and comments from the race. The site also provides channels devoted to host cities and sponsors. It is the first social site of its kind for this level of a professional cycling event, according to the press release about the Tour of Missouri Fan Zone.

Fan Zone participants will be:
  • Upload photos, video and comments on the site and also through their mobile devices.
  • Create their own profile and message other members within Fan Zone, creating a true community.
  • Feature content from host cities and sponsors as well as exclusive professional content.
The Tour of Missouri will provide video cameras to event personnel and each of the 15 teams in the race in order to capture behind-the-scenes footage, which is usually never seen by the public. Team footage could include views from caravan vehicles following the race or team strategy sessions, said Steve Brunner, president of KOM Sports, which markets the event.

It will be interesting to see how fully the army of journalists can cover the event. If you recall from last year, when Justin.tv provided live streaming video feeds from the race, the picture went black from time to time. Also, AVF Creations' efforts to track the race were spotty.

The reason for that? Some parts of Missouri are rather isolated, meaning reliable cell phone and satellite connections can be difficult to find. However, reliable connections should be available at all the start and finish cities, so people who want to upload videos, photos and other media from those places shouldn't have any problem.

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