A Triple-Hitter Business Model Shaking Up Sports News

photo of Greg Bobolo, CEO of Send2News, whose online business model is shaking up sports reporting

Greg Bobolo, CEO of Send2News

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My interview with SendToNews CEO, Greg Bobolo, almost didn’t happen because fog kept him stuck in Vancouver for two days. Not exactly a hardship, I know!

This fast-growing Canadian company has massively disrupted how video from sports events is made and distributed. Their radical business model makes everyone a winner … except for sports reporters, whose jobs are disappearing. (Although he did point out that by giving them video to wrap their story around, it might actually be preserving some jobs.)

Magic Mix of Global & Hyperlocal

This digital news company cut its teeth on the Olympics, feeding coverage to small news outlets that could not afford to send a reporter. By syndicating the coverage all across North America the company earns enough revenue to justify buying the rights to big sporting events.

On the flipside, it helps small teams earn money by distributing clips from their games to a wide enough audience that it makes sense for advertisers to sponsor them.

Although SendtoNews does have a few competitors, we discuss in the interview how each has a different focus and approach to the business. SendtoNews realized that people want to know more about their local heros than is normally covered. So the company researches the backgrounds of the athletes and teams and helps local media tailor the videos to local interests.

Key Online Marketing Lessons

  1. Find ways to blend group buying power with super-local content. That’s what made Groupon and the other group-buying sites take off, and it is basically what these folks are doing too. 
  2. Sometimes your competitors can also be great partners. Find areas where you are strong and they are weak and vice versa. Sometimes you’ll both be better off cooperating than competing on those areas, even if you still compete in others.
  3. Combining video with relevant written content is more powerful than either on their own. If people are really interested in the topic, they’ll be drawn in by the video but delighted by the additional context you can give in the story that surrounds it.
  4. Find ways to make your remote staff feel like they are part of the team. If you have staff in many locations, prepare to spend money on travel, and be sure to include them in celebrations. Apart from that “overcommunicate”.

No time to listen to the whole interview? Check out these clips!

Can including video on their websites help newspapers survive?

What do you think? Please comment below. And share the love… tell your friends and colleagues about the Frank Online Marketing Show! Thanks!

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