Transforming the Sports Media Landscape
In 2006, my brother Mark and I reached our boiling point with the typical coverage that our favorite sports — wrestling and track — received in mainstream media.
Although these are sports with ancient lineages that attract significant audiences, they are disrespected by dumbed-down and incomplete Olympics coverage that leave die-hard fans frustrated and unsatisfied. Between Olympics, finding any consistent news or live events in these sports on major TV networks is an exceedingly difficult task.
We realized there was no way wrestling and track could sustain themselves (let alone grow) without the depth and breadth of coverage afforded to sports such as football, basketball, baseball and hockey (i.e. the Big 4).
So we launched FloSports with the mission to grow the sports, the athletes, the events and the fans. You could say our company grew out of necessity.
A Coverage Gap
Networks like ESPN and NBC are a mile wide and an inch deep.
For instance, you can watch the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on ESPN, but it essentially exists in a vacuum. There’s otherwise scarce wrestling programming on ESPN leading up to the event. Without context, a sense of the rivalries and other compelling information in the buildup to the event, it is difficult for casual fans to find relevance or get hooked. How popular would the NFL be if you saw only the Super Bowl each year and no other games, or news on training camps, the draft, free agency, etc.?
Meanwhile, avid wrestling fans, whose interests are an inch wide and a mile deep, become apoplectic with ESPN’s coverage because of cuts in the action, missing mats during the prelim rounds, and overlooked storylines.
Fast Forward to 2017
FloSports is now a growing network of 20+ dedicated sports sites, and we have learned that our initial thesis applies to so many other incredible sports that lack consistent media exposure.
A significant obstacle that prevents these sports from enjoying the coverage the athletes and fans deserve is that there historically has been no economic model that leagues, national governing bodies and event rights holders outside the Big 4 can use to monetize their events. Also, TV networks are not accommodating, and time buys and production are expensive.
But the idea that TV coverage is the end-all, be-all for these sports and events to grow is a fallacy. We have proven that with our 100 percent digital, direct-to-consumer platform, as well as an economic model that works for all stakeholders.
How It Works
Across each sport in our network, we offer live and on-demand coverage, original storytelling, breaking news, technique videos and more. Approximately 80 percent of our content is free, while the rest is accessible via a monthly or annual FloPRO subscription.
By building 24/7 newsrooms for these sports and shining a light on the best teams, athletes and coaches, we feed fans’ insatiable demand for content and build media equity for event rights holders. That is to say, we create awareness, reach and value for events in each sport, which results in more participation, increased sponsorship opportunities and ticket sales.
We also turn live production from a liability into a growing asset for rights holders, who benefit from our economies of scale and our expertise.
Adapt and Evolve
You have probably read the research: Consumer media habits are rapidly shifting. Cord-cutters and cord-nevers are flipping the old media model on its head, and cable companies like ESPN are bleeding subscribers as eyeballs shift to over-the-top content providers such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and, yes, FloSports.
These cord-cutting trends apply most strongly to millennials, who are the next generation of sports fans. Only senior citizens watch more TV today than they did five years ago.
As Mark and I look back at our motivation for launching FloSports, the opportunity to grow our sports and many others is larger today than it has ever been.
We have a business model that works, and millions of sports fans to serve.
We’re just getting started.
CEO and Co-Founder, FloSports
Contact Tori Howard to learn more!