It's almost time to go Taste.
I've been to all seven of the Jets' Taste of the NFL events, the first four because I thought it would be a great opportunity as a newspaper beatwriter to mingle with the players at a unique event, the last three as an employee of the Jets.
This year's event is tonight, so I'll be leaving the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J., in a few hours for the ride to New York and to Cipriani and its the elegant and spacious grand ballroom right on Wall Street — the same venue at which the Jets held their kickoff luncheon last August.
The idea, if you're not aware of the format, is to mingle with current Jets players — this year's list is headed up by three Pro Bowlers, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis and Leon Washington — savor exquisite cuisines and fine wines from New York's finest restaurants, and bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
All the while, the participants are teaming up with the Jets and A&P to help fight hunger in the community.
This year's event is sold out, but to give you a flavor of what you can get involved in next May, I'll be sending out tweets all evening on the Jets' Twitter account. See you at Cipriani.
Blowing Away Last Year's Draft
I just wanted to share a few "metrics" from our draft coverage on newyorkjets.com. My intent is not to bore you but rather to show the growing strength of the visitors to our Website and Jets fans in general.
The stats for April 25-27, the two days of the draft plus the wrapup day Monday, blew away last year's Saturday-Monday draft period. This year we had 165,000 unique visitors come to the site, a 26 percent increase over '08. And those visitors registered more than 1.2 million pageviews, a 76 percent increase over the previous draft.
As for our multimedia assets (videos, radio shows, news conferences), they received more than 164,000 views, a 51 percent boost.
As mentioned in the above item on the Taste, Twitter has become a player in our coverage of the Jets for the fans. More than 700 people followed the live draft announcements and news coverage as offered on owner Woody Johnson's account and on the twitter.com/nyjets account that I was sending tweets to all day. We are at 849 followers now and I'm seeking to reach the (Nick Man-)gold standard of 1,000 followers by the end of this week.
One more interesting fact: Our Mark Sanchez introductory news conference on April 26 is the third-most-watched video on newyorkjets.com in the three years since we began tracking our videos. Sanchez moved into third ahead of Brett Favre's introductory news conference on Aug. 7, 2008. First remains head coach Rex Ryan's introductory "presser" on Jan. 21 and second is the Dec. 29, 2008, Johnson/Tannenbaum news conference to announce Eric Mangini's departure.
Finally, a merchandising note: Reebok reports that its Sanchez jersey is the No. 1 NFL seller coming out of the draft, selling better than even Detroit top-pick-of-the-draft Matt Stafford.