TigerRag.com launches premium service

The time has come for Tiger Rag to start its premium Web site subscription service. You can still expect a great deal of free information from us, but there's much more in store for those who subscribe.

The premium content stories will have red stars next to them, and you will see more and more of them appearing on the site over the next few days. We'll start with a preview the 2001 LSU football season and profiles of LSU recruits

To answer some of the questions you might have about whether or not to subscribe, we've posted an amended version of the original Q&A that announced the debut of our new Web site.

Q: How do I get to your new site?

A: You're already here. You won't have to memorize or save any new URLs or add a whole bunch of dot-net backslashes. Our address, www.tigerrag.com, has not and will not change.

Q: Do I have to pay to play on TigerRag.com?

A: Tiger Rag will continue to offer a free portion of its Web site with all of the vital information on LSU sports. Chances are you'll find more info here for free than some sites charge you to see.

TigerRag.com will feature a premium subscription service that will entitle you to complete access to our newly enhanced Web site. That includes the information and reports from Scout.com Network, featuring some of the premiere names in recruiting coverage – more on that later.

Some sites have complicated fee structures with varying levels of access to their information. TigerRag.com is keeping it simple for you – one low, low price ($4.95 per month) for total access to the entire college section of the network – and we will deliver more for that one price than any of the competition.

You can renew or cancel from month-to-month. So if you're only interested in our football coverage, you only need subscribe during football season. But keep in mind that football news happens year-round at LSU, so a 12-month subscription will be well worth the cost.

Q: There are other premium LSU Web sites out there. What makes TigerRag.com better?

A: For starters, Tiger Rag has been around for nearly 25 years – everyone knows us as "The Bible of LSU Sports." We are journalists and business people who are committed to providing a quality product to our customers. This isn't a hobby, a part-time pursuit or last-resort career move for us; it's what we do for a living, so we intend to do it well and for a long, long time.  

We have a solid reputation for complete coverage of LSU sports, and not just recruiting. We proudly put our logo on our product and stand by our information. The rumors that are fostered elsewhere on the Internet come to die on TigerRag.com – we go straight to the source and verify our facts. Our opinions are based upon what we witness or hear first-hand and not swayed by second-hand information.

We're also the only Web-based source for LSU sports that is based in Baton Rouge. Our staff attends the games, the practices and news conferences and often obtains exclusive interviews with the people involved in LSU sports and recruiting.

Q: I'm already familiar with Tiger Rag magazine. Are you just going to put your issues on the Internet and call your site "new and improved"?

A: No, that's the easy way out. Even if we took that approach and decided to update our site once a week, we would still be denying you information on all of the events that take place between issues.

You'll get access to our feature interviews, expert analysis and editorial opinion, but the beauty of the Internet is the ability to get information out as soon as it happens.

We LIVE to break stories and post information FIRST on the Internet – it's an unhealthy obsession for the Tiger Rag staff.

Who told you first about the LSU-Virginia Tech series? TigerRag.com.

Who broke the story when All-American Marcus Spears committed to LSU? TigerRag.com

Who had an exclusive interview with Chancellor Mark Emmert at the inception of the LSU AD search? TigerRag.com

The list goes on…

We're like sharks circling with blood in the water looking for the next breaking story. So as a subscriber to the site, this means you will be the first to learn when news happens with the Tigers. We won't force you to follow an updating schedule; you'll get the story the same day that it happens.

Q: You kind of brushed over recruiting a moment ago, but that's why I'm on the Internet. What do you have planned as far as recruiting coverage on TigerRag.com?

A: If you are familiar with Tiger Rag Magazine, then you know that we have extensive contacts throughout Louisiana. While some recruiting sources feel second-hand information and phone call analysis is the way to cover recruiting, the Tiger Rag staff gets out on the road and meets the coaches and players face to face.

You wouldn't buy a car based upon what someone told you about it over the phone; you'd want to see it for yourself. It just makes sense to us that this is how you cover recruiting.

That's why Perryn Keys and I venture outward in all directions from Baton Rouge to see the athletes in person. It's why we work with writers like David Whitmore in New Orleans, Erick Fayard in north Louisiana and Deke Bellavia in Southeast Louisiana. These guys are getting out to see the players in action.     

THIS is why our new relationship with Scout.com Network is such a beautiful thing. The recruiting experts in the network subscribe to our coverage philosophy. They've established relationships with high school coaches. They drive across the country to watch the combines. Like us, they're professionals who do this for a living – not just fans with a job on the side like you'll find on some Web sites.

With LSU repeatedly going outside the state for their recruiting needs, TigerRag.com will have turn regularly to established recruiting experts like Tom Culpepper (Alabama, Mississippi), Jamie Newberg (Georgia, Florida, the Southeast) Dave Garvin (Texas), Chris Pool (the Midwest) Gary Paskwietz, Tracy Pierson (California), Gary Biggins (West Coast) and Max Emfinger (national).

These guys have been around recruiting all their lives and have established a solid reputation in the business. They're familiar with their turf – and not working a phone line from Seattle trying to track down a kid in Plano, Texas.

If you're like me, you're tired of so-called recruiting experts throwing together four paragraphs and calling it an update. TigerRag.com, like our magazine, goes in depth to tell you why an athlete is or isn't considering LSU. You can expect in-depth recruiting coverage without hype, misleading headlines or unsubstantiated information.

Q: OK, I'll admit you've got my interest. But what are you going to do to make it worth my $4.95 per month?

A: We know you can spend your money elsewhere on the Internet, so we're committed to working harder, longer and more effectively to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.

For instance, one premium Web site didn't think the last fall scrimmage was important enough to provide you with an original report. Tiger Rag burned the midnight oil and posted its story that same night.

Tiger Rag didn't ask for readers to pay for its practice reports and still posted in-depth information on a same-day basis. Imagine how hard we'll work when we know you're paying for the product. 

The premium features we think you'll enjoy on the new TigerRag.com include structured weekly chats with staff members with new and exclusive information – not just a rehash of what you already know.

We'll also feature a message board for our premium subscribers. What makes the TigerRag.com message board better than the competition's is the personal touch of our staff – not just one person promising to get back with the information you're looking for. As the only independent LSU sports Web site based in Baton Rouge, we have direct access to the people, events and information you want to know about. There's also the TigerRag.com network of freelance reporters and recruiting experts who can be easily accessed to answer your questions.

Yes, we will do what the other guys are doing – only we'll do it better.

But that's where they stop and where TigerRag.com keeps going.

Your $4.95 gets you premium access to all of the college sites that are part of Scout.com Network. For those of you interested in following recruiting only on a nationwide basis, an extra $5.95 per month gets you access to TheInsiders recruiting network.

Q: I'm already subscribing to Tiger Rag Magazine. It sounds like the Web site might be a better deal.

A: That's a tough one to call. Price-wise, the magazine does cost less, and studies show that even serious Internet users like to have something tangible, like a magazine, that they can hold in their hands and reference easily.

I could sit here and tell you should subscribe to our magazine and our Web site, but it's a decision you will have to make based on which one of our products appeals to you. What I can promise you is that subscribers of Tiger Rag, the magazine, will not see a diminished product because of our added emphasis on the new TigerRag.com Web site. In turn, subscribers of the Web site will also receive the highest standards of customer service.

Whether it's the magazine or the Web site, we have to provide you, the customer, with a quality product. If the Tiger Rag staff is doing the job it's capable of, you may very well want to subscribe to both.

Q: Well, you've sold me. How do I get access to the premium services of the new TigerRag.com?

A: Look to the left side of the page and click on the premium services link. It should explain everything we've discussed here, but feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

As editor, I want to thank you for picking the new TigerRag.com as your source for news, insight and analysis on LSU sports. If there's ever anything that I can do to improve your experience with the Tiger Rag products, don't hesitate to contact me – Greg LaRose, or any member of our staff.

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