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The Shadow League is connecting Brands with Multicultural Sports Fans.

Look­ing for a job is very com­pet­i­tive. If you are only apply­ing to jobs online you will encounter sub­stan­tial com­pe­ti­tion. At 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 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?

We are The Shad­ow League and we are based in New York City. We were found­ed by media vet­er­an, Kei­th Clinkscales.

How did the idea for your start-up come about?

After work­ing in sports for many years, we rec­og­nized that there was a void in the world of sports jour­nal­ism- that of the cul­tur­al per­spec­tive. Race and cul­ture is a major part of sports that wasn’t being prop­er­ly addressed and we con­sid­er our­selves to be at the inter­sec­tion of sports and culture.

Of the key peo­ple involved what is everyone’s expe­ri­ence and background?

Kei­th Clinkscales, founder and CEO, is a suc­cess­ful entre­pre­neur and award win­ning pro­duc­er with a lengthy back­ground in media. Some of his suc­cess­es include cre­at­ing Vibe Mag­a­zine and Savoy Media and devel­op­ing ESP­N’s high­ly suc­cess­ful “30 for 30” series. Yus­suf Khan, GM and SVP, is an expe­ri­enced media exec­u­tive who got his start at ESPN and went on to hold senior sales roles at suc­cess­ful start-up ven­tures includ­ing CSTV, Inter­ac­tive One and Big Lead Sports.

How do you see your com­pa­ny cre­at­ing val­ue or dis­rupt­ing an exist­ing market?

Our val­ue comes in our unique posi­tion and voice. We are hon­est and inde­pen­dent and the first, and only, com­pa­ny in the space focus­ing on sports and cul­ture. Our con­cen­tra­tion is on per­spec­tive, com­men­tary and opin­ion as opposed to scores and sta­tis­tics, all through a cul­tur­al per­spec­tive and we stand alone in the mar­ket through our posi­tion. As no oth­er com­pa­ny has this con­cen­tra­tion as their pri­ma­ry focus, we have been able to stand out and estab­lish a posi­tion for our­selves where we are respect­ed and trust­ed by ath­letes, teams, pub­li­cists, con­fer­ences, leagues, fans, jour­nal­ists and oth­er publishers.

When was the busi­ness found­ed and how are you being funded?

We were found­ed in 2012. We are self-fund­ed and fund­ed through pre­mi­um brand advertising.

What is the cur­rent size of your busi­ness, num­ber of employees?

We have 7 employees

If you are seek­ing fur­ther fund­ing, how much and for what pur­pose will the new funds be applied?

We are look­ing to work with investors inter­est­ed in work­ing with us to expand our staff (sales, edi­to­r­i­al, and audi­ence devel­op­ment), prod­uct offer­ings (con­tent and tech­nol­o­gy based) and pres­ence in the mar­ket­place. We look to expand our operations/offerings in these areas, par­tic­u­lar­ly in our orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming series, events and Shad­ow League Films divi­sion. These areas have pro­duced the great­est ROI for us and we look to con­tin­ue and grow the great suc­cess we’ve expe­ri­enced in these areas so far. We are look­ing for part­ners with a long-term out­look who under­stand the direc­tion of the com­pa­ny, the val­ue of our propo­si­tion, the impor­tance of our posi­tion and neces­si­ty in the mar­ket­place, and how our long-term strat­e­gy will cre­ate great val­ue for their investment.

What is the prod­uct and or ser­vice you are providing?

We offer brand part­ners the abil­i­ty to inter­act with sports fans, par­tic­u­lar­ly mul­ti­cul­tur­al fans, through cul­tur­al­ly infused sports con­tent, con­tent which is pro­fes­sion­al, pos­i­tive, infor­ma­tive and inspi­ra­tional. We pro­vide fans with a new per­spec­tive on sports; not news, but rather com­men­tary, opin­ion and nar­ra­tives that bring them clos­er to their favorite sports, teams and ath­letes. We are a mul­ti-media com­pa­ny with dig­i­tal, video, radio/podcasting, event and film offer­ings, all of which retain our unique voice and per­spec­tive. We also devel­op con­tent for oth­er pub­lish­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly orig­i­nal video content.

Explain how you are seek­ing entry into your marketplace.

Through our expe­ri­ence, mis­sion and suc­cess, we have already entered the mar­ket­place. Now we look to strength­en and expand our posi­tion in the world of sports.

What seems to be the biggest strength of the team so far?
Our abil­i­ty to cre­ate suc­cess­ful orig­i­nal con­tent spon­sor­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties for pre­mi­um brand part­ners with­out com­pro­mis­ing our unique voice or mis­sion. We have suc­cess­ful­ly cre­at­ed orig­i­nal con­tent series and pro­gram­ming that pro­vides great val­ue and return for our brand part­ners while also pro­vid­ing a trust­ed plat­form for ath­letes, teams and orga­ni­za­tions, one that they feel very com­fort­able work­ing with on a con­tin­u­al basis. To date we have cre­at­ed four fea­tures con­tent series and two video pro­gram­ming series, three of which have been spon­sored, two of which have seen spon­sor invest­ment triple from 2014 to 2015.

What was your great­est “Ah-Ha” moment to date?

We knew we had a pow­er­ful con­cept that could be suc­cess­ful, but when we had mul­ti­ple brand part­ners work­ing with us and expand­ing their part­ner­ships with us, we real­ized that we had some­thing spe­cial that we could devel­op into a suc­cess­ful, long-term business.

What was the fun­ni­est thing that has happened?

Not sure about the fun­ni­est thing, but the most reward­ing thing is see­ing us exist and grow over three years, prov­ing those that doubt­ed us, and those who said we wouldn’t be able to suc­ceed, so very wrong.

If you can only do one thing in your indus­try what would that be? 

Become the pre­mier, inde­pen­dent, minor­i­ty owned and oper­at­ed, and mul­ti-media com­pa­ny in the sports marketplace.

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