Big Lead Sports Adds Experts to Enhance Content
It has been a big month for the folks at Big Lead Sports. The combination of the end of the NFL Lockout, the aftermath of the NBA Draft, the MLB Trading Deadline, a content deal with NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire and some other robust sports business moved them to the fourth spot amongst all sports sites in July, with over 18.5 million visitors (more than SI.com). Being the number one Indy site is one thing, so the site, with Jason McIntyre leading on the edit side and Chris Russo on the business side, has a lot of momentum and they're seeking to build on it.
However the deal that could be even more of a game-changer in the digital space was announced last week, a greatly expanded partnership between The Experts Network (TXN.com), a consortium of digital rights by some of the biggest names in football, baseball and golf broadcasting, and The Big Lead. The partnership, an expansion of a one-off event done very successfully prior to the NFL Draft, could signal another shift by key “voices” away from the editorial controlled areas of media companies and more towards Indy sites like The Big Lead, who can offer a mire unencumbered platform for guys like Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason and Cal Ripken, who have lots of thoughts but are sometimes limited in their on-air roles. Why BLS? 16W Marketing Head Frank Vuono, who engineered the deal with Russo for TXN, gave some insight. “For one, BLS is the digital sports version of Switzerland. They are not affiliated with a major network and do not compete in the television space,” he said. “TXN members also own their digital rights. Naturally, we cannot have a FOX analyst providing content to CBS or NBC and vice versa. Since BLS is considered neutral ground, we avoid any conflicts.”
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That lack of conflict is key for the TXN crew, which also includes Cris Collinsworth, Howie Long and Nick Faldo, to effectively create a digital voice that is truly reflective of their thoughts and views... something which brands will find very attractive for all parties through the partnership. The content will not be contrived, though, cautions Vuono. It will be truly reflective of the talent and what they are or are not comfortable doing in the digital world. “Some (talent) more than others (are comfortable in the space),” Vuono added. “ Cris Collinsworth, Cal Ripken Jr. and Nick Faldo are on twitter and have developed pretty a significant following. Howie, Boomer and Phil are very engaged with the tech side of things but they haven’t made the move to TWITTER quite yet. The primary focus of any partnership TXN/BLS develops will be creating and providing unique and original content. This will be done through social media, blogs, articles, video and audio. Being a “tech expert” is not necessarily needed or required.”