Bleacher Report has made a significant impact on the sports media landscape. Bleacher Report is an innovative next-generation sports publishing brand that was built on a user-generated content model. The company, also known as B/R, specializes in creating and curating content about trending sports news topics, with an emphasis on delivering opinion-oriented analysis and multimedia programming via varied content formats and mobile technologies.
Bleacher Report was founded in 2007 by David Finocchio, Alexander Freund, Bryan Goldberg, and David Nemetz—four friends and sports fans who had been high school classmates at Menlo School in Atherton, California. Their goal was to create a more enticing online experience that provided an outlet for writers with unique voices, a localized network for readers whose favorite teams were under-covered by national sports companies and a civilized community for intelligent debates.
The group shared a belief that mainstream sports media didn’t offer the range or depth of coverage to satisfy diehards, and that some of the most insightful analysis comes from the fans who know their teams best. With Bleacher Report, they created a platform to empower all fans to become fan-journalists, producing high-quality content and sharing it with a built-in readership. The original vision was to capitalize on the “Wisdom of the Fans”.
Bleacher Report has experienced rapid growth to become one of the nation’s most popular websites and one of the most-visited sports sites. In January 2013, the site generated over 14 million unique visitors. Bleacher Report is as polarizing as it is popular. Bleacher Report has been criticized for valuing site growth over journalistic quality or even readability. Many of the original site contributors were poor writers.The site churns out around 800 articles written by 2,000 core contributors. The sites use of search engine optimization has placed it on equal footing with original work created by established journalistic outlets.
The site avoids seeking out and breaking news. It is instead designed to engage in the far more lucrative practice of pouncing on news broken by others, deploying its writers to craft articles or multi-page slideshows — linking to its own archives, and supplanting original stories on the Google rankings. Breaking a story is “no longer valuable: owning it is.”
The site in the last two years has worked to improve its image. Would-be writers must gain admittance via a process that rejects 17 out of every 20 applicants. Lead writers and knowledgeable feature columnists have been added to the site. Many of the site’s early contributors “have been bounced.” They have invested a lot of time and energy in efforts such as Bleacher Report University, where young writers were coached in how to produce professional-level content. In 2011, Adweek, selected Bleacher Report as the “Best Sports Media Brand”.
I use the mobile app Team Stream to track the latest news on my favorite teams. It has replaced ESPN.com as my primary source of sport’s news.
Bleacher Report was acquired last year by Turner Broadcasting for $175 Million. This validated the user-generated content model.
Do you use Bleacher Report?