Looking for a job is very competitive. If you are only applying to jobs online you will encounter substantial competition. At MediaJobs.com our objective is to make it as easy as possible to find a job at a great company and with the least amount of competition.
At MediaJobs.com we have established our mission of Finding the Great Companies First. In keeping with our mission we have created this interview series with some of the newest startups in the New York City market area. We encourage you to learn about some of the newest companies and think about what might be a good fit for you.
What is the name and location of your company and who are the founders?
Sports Media 101 Inc located in NY, NY was founded by Dan Benton and Pieter Van Iperen.
How did the idea for your start-up come about?
Dan and I had worked together on Sports Media 101’s predecessor Giants 101. We saw first-hand how fans had stopped following general sports journalism and were craving specialized deep team and sport knowledge from a journalist who was also a fan. We saw the opportunity to take the neutrality out of sports articles and provide fans with a deeper dive into the teams they love. It was professional fan journalism. Early on we described it as sitting in a bar chatting with your favorite sports writer about the team they follow – not write about, but love the way their Dad taught them to.
Of the key people involved what is everyone’s experience and background?
Dan was a long time sports journalist/editor and publishing executive. I had run several tech related startups. Sharon our COO was a 15 year business executive.
How do you see your company creating value or disrupting an existing market?
Sports Media 101 has two critical points of disruption. We are the only sports journalism company out there that creates professional articles from journalists who truly love the teams they write about. Second, we are a tech company at heart and are disrupting the way journalists learn to write online, the way media makes money online and the way fans interact with journalists online.
When was the business founded and how are you being funded?
We officially launched in 2011 and incorporated in 2013. We have been bootstrapped through investments from our founders.
If so by whom are you currently funded by?
We are currently self-funded.
What is the current size of your business, number of employees?
That depends on how you count. We have a handful of full time employees. But we have 100’s of journalists writing for us.
If you are seeking further funding, how much and for what purpose will the new funds be applied?
We are seeking 1M in our first round to add to our full time staff and increase marketing efforts of the brand.
What is the product and or service you are providing?
We provide up to the minute obsessive in depth sports coverage on a team by team basis.
Explain how you are seeking entry into your marketplace.
We have grown by leaps and bounds through syndication deals, social media promotion and digital optimization. We are a sports news company with a tech company under the hood, which places us in a unique competitive position.
What seems to be the biggest strength of the team so far?
Our resilience. Having built other startups, it’s never a simple straight line. Pivots are necessary and change moves quickly. Our core team’s ability to adapt, adapt and adapt again while maintaining our underlying vision has got to be it. We are a tough bunch.
What was your greatest “Ah-Ha” moment to date?
I would say this is recent. We realized that the way online media functions and makes money today is dated and made sense 15 years ago around the time of the dot com bubble. But since then the industry has slid the way of newspapers and no one has cracked how to make ads effective coupled with online media. The digital spend is dominated by search. But we have cracked it and its working.
What was the funniest thing that has happened?
It has to be anytime I give Dan good news. Dan is a pragmatist so convincing him things didn’t go our way is a pretty simple task. So pretending to have bad news when we have good news gets a pretty good reaction out of him. I am sure he would disagree with my answer though.
If you can only do one thing in your industry what would that be?
I am torn at this point. We love sports — that is why we do what we do, but I think this new type of online media model may be the most important thing we do.