20 Year Anniversary Note

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Tomorrow, June 4, 2016 marks my 20th year in digital media.

Through this adventure, I’ve had the privilege to meet some extraordinary people, build amazing companies and push myself beyond limits I never thought were possible.

I hope to author a book about my experiences and what I’ve learned through this journey, but Lord-willing I have another 20 years ahead with chapters not yet written.

Every success and every failure has defined me. The imperfections and the screw-ups have been just as valuable as the accomplishments. The cumulative collection of these experiences is why I am most excited about the future.

This morning as I reflect on these past two decades, I’ll share a few thoughts that are on my mind.

  • HUMAN CAPITAL: There is no greater resource than human capital. Your success and/or failure will ultimately be determined by the people you surround yourself with – their intelligence, moral compass, loyalty and character are requirements to success. Once you have great people in your organization, it is just as difficult to position them in the right seat on the bus.
  • INVESTORS: All investor capital is not created equal. Look for situations where you are spending your time managing down and not up. I believe that 247Sports’ resounding success was 100% attributed to our ability to assemble a great Board and investor group that provided wisdom, supported my strategic plan and adequately funded the company from start to finish. I will forever be indebted to William “Bill” King, Stuart McWhorter, Lee Schear, Bobby Burton and Greg Gough.
  • COMPETITION: If you plan to be a business leader and/or entrepreneur you better embrace competition. The greater the stakes — and with each round of success — competition increases. I’ve been around a lot of people over the years that are scared to compete because they are scared of failure. Competition pushes us to be our best and is great for the consumer. For whatever reason, I have always loved to compete, and competition has been my primary draw to this industry.
  • DATA: First, managers do not spend enough time collecting and studying crucial operating data. I’ve been guilty of this for years. Even when I made data analysis a high priority, I didn’t set up the processes so that division heads where required to understand their respective analytics with the same scrutiny. This is changing. Second, I’ve been in too many organizations where leaders use data to tell the story their selling. Data analysis can only transform an organization when negative data trends are at the forefront of discussions with the same passion and conversation as the data trends that justify actions and make us feel as though we are on the right path.
  • ASSHOLES: Just a friendly remainder that there are a lot of them out there in the world. You aren’t going to change them, and they serve a purpose. Your ability to recognize an asshole early in a business relationship can save you a lot of pain and money down the road. Always be on guard. Conversely, there’s a lot of great people and you should do everything you can to keep them in your organization by empowering them and rewarding them with career growth and financial incentives.

Finally … don’t start or run a business trying to “build a legacy.” When its done it’s done. Your lasting legacy is your family. The balance between the two has always been my greatest struggle and temptation – and probably always will be. At least I know it …

To be continued >>>



photo courtesy Nathan Morgan of Nashville Business Journal.


ComicBook.com is hot!

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 5.07.41 PM This is starting to feel a lot like the early growth days of Rivals.com!

There isn’t a hotter category in media and ComicBook.com is quickly carving out a significant market share.

In April 2015, ComicBook.com set all time highs in unique users and views, and is poised to break through previous comScore unique user high of 6.112 million (March 2015).

Here’s a snapshot of April 2015.

— CB set an all-time company high of 12.869 million unique users and 47.8 million page views, surpassing our previous highs of 11.492 million users (March 2015) and 38.0 million page views (Feb 2015). (According to google analytics)

— CB registered sequential unique user growth of 12.0% and page views growth of 29.1% in April 2015 vs March 2015.

— CB registered YOY unique user growth of 550% and page views growth of 1,005% in April 2015 vs. April 2014.

— Note: 12.869 million unique users from google analytics should produce a > 7.0 million comScore total (comScore reports by the 15th of May)

— Launched the Daily Email Newsletter product in April.

—  Revenue increased 720% YOY and the company recorded its 8th consecutive month of profitability.

— Release new look and feel to closely resemble 247Sports in 2 weeks.

— Launching first database driven product in 2 weeks.

ComicBook.com & 247Sports traffic growth continues

ComicBook.com set a new company high of 6.112 million comScore unique users in March 2015 and 247Sports continues its prolific growth trajectory.


— 247Sports and ComicBook.com combined for 17.227 million comScore unique users in March 2015, just below the combined high of 19.337 million unique users registered in January 2015, the seasonal high point of the year.


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— 247Sports registered 11.115 million comScore unique users in March 2015. (Company High: 14.399 million January 2015).

— For comparison purposes, 247Sports reached more than four times the unique users of Rivals.com in March 2015, according to comScore.

247Sports — 11.115 million unique users
Scout.com — 4.450 million unique users
Rivals.com — 2.422 million unique users

— There’s no signs of growth slowing in 2015. Through 14 days of April 2015, 247Sports’ unique users are tracking +424.07% and page views +95.23%, compared to the same period in April 2014.


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— ComicBook.com set a company best 6.112 million comScore unique users in March 2015, reaching 2.4% of the total United States digital population.

— According to comScore traffic data, ComicBook.com had over triple the unique users of its nearest direct competitors and also placed among the top entertainment sites in the U.S.

Comic Related:

ComicBook.com — 6.112 million unique users
Marvel — 2.474
ComicBookResources.com — 1.830
ComicVine.com — 1.429

Entertainment Related:

Entertainment Weekly — 14.501 million unique users
HollywoodReporter.com — 13.870
Variety Media — 9.631
ComicBook.com — 6.112

— According to internal data provided by Google Analytics, ComicBook.com registered 11.482 million unique users in March 2015. Approximately one third of the 11.482 million users are outside of the United States and are not included in the comScore total of 6.112 million unique users. We do not have worldwide audience data from comScore.

— ComicBook.com is pacing toward another traffic record in April 2015. Through 14 days, unique users are tracking +534.62% and page views +760.05%, compared to the same period in April 2014.

— On Monday, April 13, 2015, ComicBook.com set a new company best of 1.509 million unique users in a single day (according to internal data Google Analytics), surpassing the company’s previous high of 1.372 million unique users on October, 28, 2014.

New 247Sports Branding Promo

247Sports — Your Team. All The Time.

Attached is the new 247Sports branding graphic — team based coverage, through multiple distribution platforms.

printad_new3Excellent work marketing, product and creative services staffers Loni Polk, Ted Hyman and Dave Lester.

247Sports & ComicBook.com set traffic highs in Jan 2015


247Sports and ComicBook.com set company bests for unique visitors according to third-party internet analytics company comScore in January 2015.

247Sports and ComicBook.com combined for 19.337 million comScore unique users in January 2015, surpassing the previous combined high of 16.370 million, registered in December 2014.


247Sports registered an all-time company high of 14.399 million unique users in January 2015, according to comScore, reaching 5.6% of the total United States digital population.

While comScore reported a modest sequential gain in January 2015 vs. December 2014 of 14.399 million unique users compared to 14.293 million, internal data gathered from google analytics, Splunk and Quantcast revealed another month of significant sequential growth.

According to google analytics, 247Sports reached a company best of 26.877 million unique users, a 33.4% increase over December 2014 totals of 20.007 million unique users. Total pages viewed in January 2015 also topped previous highs, reaching 269 million in the month.

For comparison purposes, 247Sports reached more than four times the unique users of Rivals.com in January 2015, according to comScore.

247Sports — 14.399 million unique users
Scout.com — 6.150
Rivals.com — 3.344


Since launch in October 2012, ComicBook.com has quickly established its position as the leader in the comic book and pop culture category.

According to comScore, ComicBook.com registered a company high of 4.938 million unique users in January 2015, reaching 1.9% of the total United States digital population.

According to comScore traffic data, ComicBook.com had over triple the unique visitors of its nearest direct competitor.

ComicBook.com — 4.938 million
ComicVine — 1.418 million
Comic Book Resources — 1.331 million

ComicBook.com also placed among the top entertainment sites in the U.S., as evidenced by the traffic numbers below, placing above such sites as TVLine, TheWrap, Hitfix, and Collider.

Entertainment Weekly — 14.888 million
TVGuide.com — 12.993 million
Hollywood Reporter — 12.674 million
Variety – 8.277 million
Deadline – 7.01 million
Vulture – 6.008 million
ComicBook.com – 4.938 million
TVLine.com – 4.165 million
TheWrap.com – 4.04 million
Hitfix – 2.475 million
Collider 1.63 million

247Sports sets new highs on National Signing Day 2015

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247Sports set a single day company high of 3.2 million unique users on National Signing Day 2015, surpassing the company’s previous best of 3.075 million users on January 22, 2015. (according to internal data: google analytics & Splunk)

Interest in National Signing Day 2015  was elevated, with broadcasts from ESPN, CBS and other digital media driving more attention than ever to the category. 247Sports’ 3.2 million unique users were an impressive 238% higher than NSD 2014, providing additional evidence that 247Sports continues to take a significant share of the National Signing Day audience.

Additional Highlights:

*** Traffic totals: (NSD 2015 vs. NSD 2014)

— Sessions: 5,512,249 vs. 1,716,015
— Users: 3,200,360 vs. 946,739
— Page Views: 24,710,840 vs. 12,896,362

*** Reached an all-time high of 63,595 active concurrent users per second at 10:47 AM, the high of the day.

*** Surpassed previous high of 48,111 active concurrent users per second by 8:17 AM.

*** Surpassed NSD 2014 (34,803) active concurrent users at 7:35 AM.

*** After peaking at 63,595 active concurrent users at 10:47 AM, 247Sports remained at 62,000 by 2:00 PM.

*** Reached a company high of 981,417 total 247Sports Newsletter subscribers on National Signing Day.

Kudos to the entire 247Sports media team, engineering, sales and marketing on a flawless execution of this landmark day. Also, thanks to our partners at CBSSports.com for hosting a terrific NSD broadcast featuring 247Sports analysts Ryan Bartow and Steve Wiltfong, and a big thanks to everyone that sourced the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings, Ratings and Crystal Ball.

Additional Highlights from January 2015, leading up to NSD

*** 247Sports registered a company record 26.9 million unique users and 269 million page views (source: google analytics & Splunk) in January 2015, surpassing our previous best of 19.877 million unique users and 183 million page views (Dec 2014). Note: 19.877 million users in December resulted in 14.293 million unique users according to comScore.

*** Unique Users of 26.9 million were 35.17% higher sequentially over December 2014 totals, and 483.71% higher YOY compared to January 2014.

*** Page Views of 269 million were up 47.3% sequentially over December 2014, and 81.94% higher YOY compared to January 2014.

*** Traffic growth across all distribution platforms, highlighted by a significant increase from direct (endemic) to 247Sports users:

— Direct traffic: +104.1%
— Twitter: +94.7%
— Google: +31%

— We eagerly await the release of January 2015 comScore totals, expecting 247Sports to easily finish in the top 10 of all of sports, surpassing our December unique user high of 14.293 million.

247Sports ranks 12th largest sports site according to comScore

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As we close the books on 2014, we would like to provide a final thought on the significance of 247Sports December 2014 comScore unique user total of 14.293 million.

In order to set goals, we wanted to know where 247Sports ranked among digital sports media properties according to comScore.

It is a common practice in the industry to roll-up traffic through content and advertising partnerships. For example, Yahoo Sports Network and NBC Sports Network have a combined roll-up total of 66.547 million in December 2014, which ranks them second in sports, only behind ESPN.com.

Also worth noting is that 247Sports’ traffic is currently rolled-up under CBS Sports, which ranks No. 5 in sports, with 51.806 million unique users.

By removing the roll-up data and looking solely at the reach of the single media properties, 247Sports would rank No. 12 overall in sports in December 2014.

1. ESPN 88.384 million unique users
2. NFL.com 57.706
3. Bleacher Report 35.818
4. Yahoo Sports 35.694
5. CBS Sports  27.018
6. SB Nation 26.454
7. NBCSports 21.354
8. FOXSPORTS.com 16.128
9. MLB.com 15.469
10. NBA.com 14.886
11. DEADSPIN.com 14,380
12. 247Sports 14,293
13. MSN Sports 14,266
14. SI.com 13,030
15. NHL Network 10.277

While we are excited about ranking in the top 15 in sports, we have much loftier goals and will continue to focus on expanding our reach and depth of products and voice in 2015.