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Start your own sports site?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Vinny Chase, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Vinny Chase

    Vinny Chase New Member

    How possible is it to start your own sports site?

    Pros? Cons?
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    It's VERY possible.
    But, wow, you are a bit vague.
    What are you trying to do with this site?
  3. Vinny Chase

    Vinny Chase New Member

    My apologies. didn't mean to be vague, just wanted to get the idea out there.

    Would SIDs/media relations credential the site? How much would it be? Smarter to learn how to do it yourself or hire someone to do it? How to earn ad revenue?

    The more I think about it, the more small things come up that deter the idea...
  4. Vinny Chase

    Vinny Chase New Member

    A regional college football or baskeball site. Not a blog. something legit...with stories, photos, maybe video, scores, etc.
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    If you don't have any access ... which you won't unless you already have connections/credentials ... then it's essentially a blog. (Or, you know, a "personal Web site.")

    A blog with objective reporting, but a blog nonetheless.

    But yes, you can start one. Just don't count on credentials anytime soon. You'll have to pay your way in and do your work from the stands, most likely. Which is possible, but not recommended.

    And you'll have to build an audience before you'll get ad revenue or make the site into any sort of viable income source. Do good work, and you might overcome all those factors to gain access.

    But be prepared to take a loss for a while, maybe a long while. It's a lot more work than you might think.
  6. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I didn't start it, but I worked for a Web site covering MLS that was created by fans for fans. I actually applied for -- and got -- credentials to cover D.C. United during the Web site's second year. During its third year, I was listed in the media guide.

    The first year of existence, I did match reports after sitting in the stands. The second year, I was in the press box and at post game pressers and in the locker rooms. I took it seriously and I put a lot of pressure on myself to prove I belonged there. And no, I didn't cheer in the press box. I knew better without being told. At the opener the next year, they had to explain to my replacement that you don't cheer in the press box.

    I think the reason things worked as well as they did for that Web site was the organizers took it seriously. They wanted to ensure that we did our jobs as best we could. In our second year, they brought on editors. I still vividly remember working with my editor.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    There's hardly any college or pro organization out there that doesn't have specific guidelines for credentialing Web sites. Check out some of the team's you are interested in online, most have their media guides there.

    VCU has 2-3 Web sites that cover games regularly.
  8. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    The biggest problem will be in needing to clone yourself to wear all the hats you'll need to wear: reporter, photographer, IT guy, and, the one which brings in the money: ad salesman. If you can figure how how to do it, let me know.
  9. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    it probably also worked because MLS was starved for media coverage, willing to innovate, and understood that it needed to reach its fans in non-traditional ways.

    college sports sites are a dime a dozen. no leagues or schools will be clamoring for that kind of coverage.

    with that said, more power to you if you can successfully start a legitimate site with real reporters and photographers, not another conglomeration of links to other sites' articles and pictures. i hope you and your investors have deep pockets.
  10. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member


    I'd love to start up a local niche sports site if I thought it could even kinda sorta support itself through ads.

    But I don't have the energy to even start talking with potential advertisers. Just a lot of work -- too much work -- involved outside providing content.
  11. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    I figured it up: If I could get the bare-minimum cooperation from area coaches, I could do a pretty nice local sports site -- an espn.com-style site with stats and standings and columns and stuff -- for about $1 million for the first year. But there'd be no second year. There's just not $1 million of local ad revenue available, anywhere, for an online-only product.
  12. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Yeah. In my dreams, after a few drinks, I've thought many times about quitting my job and launching a local online paper covering my neighborhood (or, more accurately, my section of the city where I live, an area with about 200,000 people). Something more local and niche-y than the metro, but better quality than the weekly neighborhood rag.
    But I always stumble in the same spot: I can handle the content, no problem. But the rest of it? I don't have the drive. I'd rather write and let someone else worry about paying the bills.
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