David Mastovich | The Athletic approach to sports coverage might produce winning formula | News

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, you’ve been impacted by sports throughout your life.

One example for generations has been how media and news organizations were created and managed as a result of the games people play.

Sports coverage has been one of the main drivers of sales, both advertising and circulation, of newspapers for, like, ever, especially local sports in small to midsize communities.

Historically, mid- to small-market newspapers were built by sports coverage combined with local news.

Think coverage of the school board meetings, controversial news about local government, etc.

Then the internet hit, and newspapers struggled to adapt and survive.

Sports and news talk exploded. Social media took off. Opinions were everywhere, leading to a glut of outlets and commentators, or whatever you want to call them.

When such a shift occurs, it also brings the inevitable reductions. To put this in sports jargon, when there are winners, there also are losers.

This year big name sports news outlets like ESPN, FOX Sports, Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report all cut staff.

Local sports coverage in small and mid-size markets has suffered from budget cuts for years.

Well, Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann saw that as an opportunity for their sports news site The Athletic, a San Francisco startup positioned as an alternative to the clutter.

No ads because it’s a subscription based model priced at $40 per year.

Their coverage and service is focused on super sports fans of which there are many.

The Athletic currently focuses on four markets: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Toronto, but you can bet that they’ll be trying to branch out to other sports crazed markets like Pittsburgh.

Mather and Hansmann have NO journalism experience but both understand business, specifically marketing.

They believe the demand for…

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