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‘Bleacher Report’ Co-Founder Dave Finocchio Credits ‘Personalizing Sports,’ Short Blog Content for Company’s Success

All of a sudden, we had these technologies where we could give people experiences that were all of what they wanted and cut out the stuff they didn’t…”

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Former Bleacher Report Co-Founder Dave Finocchio
Courtesy: Variety

Bleacher Report co-founder Dave Finocchio recently sat down with Bill Simmons to discuss the way B/R revolutionized sports media. Among the many concepts Finocchio credits for the success of his former company was the idea of “personalizing sports” and short, stackable content — concepts that seem like a no-brainer today.

In the Mar. 20 edition of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons and Finocchio go through Bleacher Report’s history from a college project trying to break through to one of the most impactful sports media companies ever — to a relic of a time of the Internet that has now passed. Finocchio credits B/R’s rise to many factors, like listicles, increasing coverage for events like the NFL Draft, and focusing on audience growth, but maybe most importantly was the idea of “personalizing sports” through the website, app, and newsletters.

Finocchio tells the story of how he would watch SportsCenter and get stuck watching hockey highlights before he could get to basketball or other sports he enjoyed.

“I got a little turned off of hockey after a while…and I was just tired of having to watch hockey highlights for 30 minutes on SportsCenter to get the highlights I wanted,” Finocchio said. “So there was this inefficiency to be able to personalize sports who didn’t want to sit or read through the stuff they didn’t care about. All of a sudden, we had these technologies where we could give people experiences that were all of what they wanted and cut out the stuff they didn’t want as much.”

Another concept that Finocchio credits is the inception of Bleacher Report’s newsletters. The team took top content and content from other sites about a particular topic (Finocchio mentions the Boston Celtics as his example) and combined them into one, easy-to-read message that was delivered right to his readers.

“We were the first media company to really invest in curation,” Finocchio said. “And not curation as people think of it today…we’d have newsletters with links to a couple of articles from Bleacher Report and then we’d round up the best stuff from blogs, ESPN, and newspapers, and we did a really good job providing an experience for people where they could go to one place. We tried to be Google — we’ll be a portal to get you to the places you want to go.”

The former B/R founder mentions that the initial reaction from journalists was incredibly negative. Writers and other media companies accused Finocchio and B/R of stealing their content. The reality told a different story, where B/R newsletters were sending readers to these other sites to read articles and generate traffic. Finocchio says that at B/R‘s peak, it was sending 25 million visits a month.

Finocchio says his overarching goal with Bleacher Report was to circumvent the sports landscape at the time and deliver the a la carte options sports fans are used to these days.

“How do we solve problems for fans and make that experience better in a world where there’d been too much of, ‘God I have to sit through these highlights of stuff I don’t care about,’ or ESPN, because of their TV contracts, covers a bunch of stuff that’s right up my alley. I want what I want.”

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Report: Scott Van Pelt to Relaunch ‘SVPod’ with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions

This news comes on the heels of ESPN and Omaha Productions announcing a nine-year, multi-platform rights extension through 2034.

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Graphic for the SVPod and logos for ESPN and Omaha Productions

ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt is bringing his ‘SVPod’ podcast back after nine months off. According to Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy, Van Pelt has partnered with Peyton Manning and Omaha Productions and along with show co-host ‘Stanford’ Steve Coughlin, they will dop two shows per week. McCarthy also reports that as part of the deal, ESPN will air the video version of the show on their YouTube page.

This news comes on the heels of ESPN and Omaha Productions announcing a nine-year, multi-platform rights extension through 2034. As part of the deal, Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli will continue, which recently attained an average of 1.24 million viewers over its nine-game slate.

The series, which has been on the air for the last three seasons, features former NFL quarterbacks and Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli Manning who break down the game and welcome several special guests.

Van Pelt’s ‘SVPod’ debuted on January 14, 2020. At that time, Van Pelt was looking for more time to expound on various topics or have longer interviews with topical guests.

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Yahoo Sports Adds Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson East as Correspondent

“I’m excited to watch the world’s best athletes compete on the biggest stage and take fans behind the scenes along the way.”

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Photos of Shawn Johnson East
Courtesy: Brand-Innovators.com and Getty Images

Yahoo Sports announced is adding Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East as a correspondent for this summer’s games in Paris. Johnson East will be in France to deliver coverage of the gymnastics competition as well as additional moments such as the Opening Ceremony.

She’ll contribute analysis, athlete interviews, and features that bring fans closer to the games’ biggest stories. She’ll also provide reaction to the gymnastics U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June. Johnson East’s coverage will be available across Yahoo Sports platforms and via her social channels. 

“It’s such an honor to be able to return to the Olympics in 2024 with my family for the first time to be an official correspondent for Yahoo Sports,” Johnson East said. “I’m excited to watch the world’s best athletes compete on the biggest stage and take fans behind the scenes along the way.”

Johnson East won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympic balance beam event. She won silver in the team, all-around, and floor exercise events. After retiring from gymnastics in 2012, Shawn has gone on to write a New York Times best-selling book, win Dancing with the Stars, and start a YouTube channel with more than 405 million views and a popular podcast with her husband, Andrew.

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The Dan Patrick Podcast Network Adds Two Jomboy Media Shows

“I love entertainment that surprises and informs, which makes ‘Jimmy’s Three Things’ and ‘Wake N’ Jake’ great additions to my podcast network.”

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Logos for the Jimmy's 3 Things and Wake n JAke podcasts

iHeartPodcasts, Dan Patrick and Jomboy Media announced a partnership to add the “Jimmy’s Three Things” and “Wake N’ Jake” podcasts to The Dan Patrick Podcast Network, effective immediately.

Co-produced by Patrick, iHeartPodcasts, Workhouse Media and Jomboy Media, “Jimmy’s Three Things” and “Wake N’ Jake” — individually hosted by Jomboy Media co-founders Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien” and Jake Storiale, respectively — are available now on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere podcasts are heard.

In each episode of Jimmy’s Three Things, Jomboy reveals his “3 things” of the week. Wake N’ Jake covers the biggest storylines across the world of sports, including the latest trades, injuries, prospects, draft previews, predictions, and more.

“Dan Patrick’s an originator of the fun-first, fan-driven sports community that Jomboy Media is built upon,” said Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien in a release. “Partnering with his podcast network is a tremendous opportunity to take two of our most fun shows to the new level.”

“I grew up watching Dan Patrick and to be working with him now is a dream.” said Jake Storiale. “It’s really cool to see our company grow in so many organic and surprising ways, and now some of our shows will be hosted on one of the biggest podcast platforms in the country.”

“Moments with Jimmy ‘Jomboy’ O’Brien and Jake Storiale are rarely predictable,” shared Dan Patrick. “I love entertainment that surprises and informs, which makes ‘Jimmy’s Three Things’ and ‘Wake N’ Jake’ great additions to my podcast network.”

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