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Travis Builds Multi-Media Brand

Jason Barrett

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For roughly 20 straight weekends last fall, Travis made the cross-country trip from Nashville, Tennessee to the FOX Sports 1 studios in Los Angeles.

Even as FSI’s newest college football analyst for the network’s Saturday pre-game show, he still managed his widely regarded blog, Outkick The Coverage, and also performed radio for 15 hours a week on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone. On Saturday’s, he jumped over to NBC Sports for his weekend three-hour radio spot as well.

And yet, the erratic schedule — which he still maintains — is in part what drives the 35-year-old Nashville native. It’s a 180-degree change of pace from his former days as a litigator during the mid-2000s.

“It’s pretty wild sometimes,” said Travis, who had just returned from a week-long stay out in Los Angeles. “…It’s why sometimes I almost flip out when the Wi-Fi isn’t working well on my Southwest flights. I feel like I have to be able to use those four hours that I spend in the air to work. I’m kind of always on the go, but there are a lot of people that do that. It’s like anything else — it’s a balancing act.”

In 2006, Travis finally gave up his legal practice and turned his full attention to writing, earning just $100 for three articles a week on CBS Sports. In the same year, he traveled to all 12 SEC stadiums on his “Dixieland Delight” tour, with the end result being a comprehensive book from the fan’s perspective. He’s since become a one-man sports media personality following the launch ofOutkick The Coverage in 2011. Some may even call him his own “brand,” if you will.

While sitting in a Birmingham hotel room, Travis channeled his inner Jerry Maguire and drafted a mission statement for Outkick, the foundation for his continued success.

“I’ve always been fearless,” he said to his readers. “That’s why I can promise you this, at (Outkick) we will be smarter, faster and more entertaining than any of the major sports sites on the Internet. We’ll also be 10 billion % funnier. And we’re going to break news, lots of news.…But most importantly, we’re going to have fun.”

Through a combination of pop culture pieces, Johnny Manziel briefings, breaking news regarding SEC conference expansion, and the weekly mailbag distraction, Travis has turned Outkick, and in turn himself, into a multi-million dollar business that not only offers gear for its supporters but also continuing education (CLE) online sports credit for lawyers. The site garners upwards of two million unique readers a month as the ‘Official College Football Blog’ of FOX Sports. Needless to say, through the SEC corridor and even more so now after three years running, Outkick is one of the most visited college football sites on the web.

With writing, radio and now, television, Travis’ plate is pretty full. He credits his wife, Lara, for not only her career support, but arguably more importantly, for raising two sons while he’s on the road.

“I have an incredible wife,” Travis said. “She does what I could never do and handle a six-year-old and a three-year-old boy all day in addition to being pregnant. …That’s a tougher job than anything I do.”

While Travis admitted that he is “probably doing too much” in the sports media industry, he said he’d “rather be doing too much than not enough.”

“I’d just hate to have to choose to give up writing, radio or television,” he added. “They’re all different challenges, and I enjoy them all for different reasons. The only way to not work as much would be to give one of them up, and I’m not willing to do that.”

They’re three separate entities, but as Travis said, they all “feed off each other,” which makes his life easier when he transitions from one to the other throughout his workweek. With the assistance of Twitter and the 24-7 online news cycle, there is probably rarely a time when Travis doesn’t have a finger on the pulse of the happenings within the sports world.

“While I’m writing, I’m paying attention to all of the news of the day, which keeps me plugged in for radio,” he explained. “I can try out arguments or opinions on radio and see what kind of response I get, so that maybe I can turn a few things into articles. And then on television, it’s all about synthesizing that information.”

For the rest of this article check out Forbes where it was originally published

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16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.

The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets

The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.

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Sports Radio News

New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend

More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

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MLB Radio

When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.

In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.

Radio Listeners to MLB

Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.

Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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