TrueHoop founder and creator Henry Abbott has relaunched his NBA coverage brand this week as a subscription newsletter service. TrueHoop was acquired by ESPN in 2007, but in 2017 Abbot was one of the many to be laid off by the company and so too the TrueHoop brand.
TrueHoop began as one of the first successful basketball blogs when it started in 2005. Abbott told Awful Announcing he could see TrueHoop branching beyond a subscription newsletter format, but a traditional blog may not be the solution.
“If you were advising anyone on a new media venture in 2019, would you say ‘start a blog?’ I used to tell everyone that! But, you know, 2005 called. It wants its media strategy back,” he said.
It is all up to Abbott at this point. ESPN gave the brand back to him in full after his departure.
Abbott said he is embracing new digital media metrics and analytics to further the TrueHoop brand by targeting audiences that love basketball and quality sports journalism.
“We are here for people who love the truth,” he said. “If people read for the next week and a bit, and feel like it’s worth some money to keep going … well, those are the people we envision having. They will self-identify, and we will be very thankful to have them.”
Abbott added he is relying on his readers and consumers rather than advertising to get TrueHoop back to form.
“And then there’s the reality that when journalists work directly for readers, I think the content gets better,” he said. “Everyone high-fives the truth.”
Women In Sports Media Ask People Not To Share Zac Stacy Video
“Various women took to social media to discourage people from sharing the video in an effort to protect the victim.”
A few women in sports media are asking that people not share the horrifying video involving former NFL player Zac Stacy. The video explicitly shows the running back assaulting his ex-girlfriend in front of their infant son.
TMZ reports that the assault took place this past Saturday and that the woman has since filed a restraining order against Stacy for her and her son.
“He punched me several times in the head! I begged him to stop because the baby was on the couch just a few feet from where he punched me,” the woman wrote in the restraining order application. “He then picked me up and threw me into my TV. The TV began to fall and he turned to make sure I wasn’t getting up. As I laid on the floor he began to yell at me, telling me I’m destructive. He then picked me up off the floor and off my feet and body slammed me into our son’s bouncy seat.”
Stacy’s attorneys did not respond to TMZ’s comment request. The woman said Stacy told their son he loved them after the assault and immediately left.
Various women took to social media to discourage people from sharing the video in an effort to protect the victim.
“Difficult being on Twitter today,” Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks tweeted. “Please don’t share or retweet the Zac Stacy video. His actions are horrifying, inexcusable, and triggering for so many women. Domestic violence is never okay. The video is so disturbing – he deserves the worst of what comes.”
Meanwhile, Fox Sports personality Joy Taylor believes it’s “ok” to share the video for people who haven’t been exposed to these horrors before.
Florida police are currently searching for Stacy, who they believe fled the state in wake of the attack.
If you or anyone you know is a survivor of domestic violence and needs help, click here for information from the Urban Resource Institute.
Philadelphia Inquirer Hopes To Expand Sports Video Content
“Things took a while to get rolling, but the Inquirer believes in live video and is executing it in a way that doesn’t burn out their staff.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer is pivoting harder into video content during the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles season. Digiday spoke with the paper about how they are revitalizing and monetizing live video.
The Inquirer brought back live video this season in the form of Gameday Central. The live streaming show is recorded in front of Lincoln Financial Field with Eagles beat reporter EJ Smith and columnist David Murphy. The two break down the ins and outs of the Eagles opponent that week on top of what fans can expect from birds.
So far, the project is a success. Things took a while to get rolling, but the Inquirer believes in live video and is executing it in a way that doesn’t burn out their staff.
“Our future vision for this is that we can do this for all of our sports,” Michael Huang, the Inquirer’s managing editor of sports, told Digiday. “For all of our pro teams, I fully intend on having a robust, gameday central activity.”
Huang came over from ESPN and has been integral in the Inquirer’s push to fund and produce more than just written content consumers usually go to them for.
“You have to have more than text-based content,” Huang added. “We have to establish products, both based on all of our content and creating [new] content, that goes across multiple platforms.”
Inquirer director of special projects and editorial events Evan Benn told Digiday that the paper’s hosted close to 200 virtual live events since the world changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initial Gameday Central stream amassed around 2,400 views and has since grown enough to warrant sponsorship. Comcast Xfinity is currently the stream’s title sponsor. Hyper-localized broadcasts like these could be here to stay as media entities all over the country to meet consumers on their turf.
Caesars Signs Partnership To Bring New Series To MSG Networks
“We are privileged in that our home base sits atop the largest commuter hub in North America in Penn Station and that New York state is projected to be the largest gaming market in the country.”
Caesars sportsbook was recently selected as one of the nine sportsbooks to receive a sports betting license in New York. Now they’re revealing some big plans for operating in the state.
Caesars Sportsbook will enter the soon-to-open New York betting market behind a sweeping MSG deal that includes sponsorship of both the Knicks and Rangers.
There will also be an MSG Network series featuring comic JB Smoove, who plays Caesar in the company’s familiar ad campaign.
“When we looked around and said who’s the best partner we could choose, this seemed like a fairly obvious outcome, actually,” said Caesars Digital co-President Eric Hession. “When you looked at the assets that they have, you end up with a really great package that can all be used in different ways. And it’s in the most populous city in the most populous state where we can have sports betting.” he added.
BetMGM is the only other sportsbook out of the nine with licenses that has landed a deal in MSG to date.
“We are privileged in that our home base sits atop the largest commuter hub in North America in Penn Station and that New York state is projected to be the largest gaming market in the country,” said MSG Entertainment Exec VP/Marketing Partnerships Ron Skotarczak.
The move also involves some changes within the Garden. Their premium club, now known as the Madison Club, will get a makeover at the end of this season. Upon re-opening, it will have Caesars branding and boards posting lines and odds in time for ’22-23 NBA and NHL season.
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