Bleacher Report: A Sport Phenomenon
Erin Larsen and Mark Sherman
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people that little else has” (Carlin). Bleacher Report (B/R) is a unique social media application that connects society with sports. With over three million regular users, B/R is making strides in the sports information industry at a steady pace. B/R can credit its unique history and cultural impact to its success.
Bleacher Report was created by four aspiring sports journalists: Bryan Goldberg, Dave Finicchio, Dave Nemtez, and Alexander Fruend. The collective goal of each founder was to capitalize on fans’ passion and involvement in sport (Perell, 2020). They wanted to create a space where fans could come together and celebrate. As a result, Bleacher Report was created. The four friends founded B/R in 2007 and began to see continuous momentum. In 2012, B/R was bought by Turner Sports for $175 million. By that point, Bryan Goldberg, Dave Nemtez, and Alexander Fruend had left the company, leaving Dave Finocchio as CEO. He stepped down from his position in 2019, leaving Howard Mittman as the new CEO (Ourand & Wednesday, 2019).
B/R are masters at search engine optimization (SEO) and have taken advantage of internet promotion. However, in recent years, gamification formed to be a controversial issue within the company. Instead of raises and promotions journalists would earn “points” and “status” as their article received more views and interactions. This led to culture concerns with journalists. Many journalists felt cheated for not being promoted with a larger salary. This left a negative view and stigma of Bleacher Report (Ferrer-Conill, 2017). Nonetheless, B/R has strived to build a successful business and improve many difficult issues through new management (Strauss, 2020; Peterson, 2020).
Bleacher Report has had a large cultural impact, specifically within sports media. Bleacher Report has directed their efforts and content to social media, marketing to the many sports fans throughout the world, and inspiring fitness and sport activity. B/R has created a hub where fans can share and create content for their teams. Twitter is directly connected to Bleacher Report, and users can get instant updates of their players and teams. During games, fans are able to use the application to participate in live conversations about games, players, and share opinions. This facilitates conversation and returning users. Although this can often lead to controversial comments and arguments as opinions are high-strung, such comments facilitate engagement and consistent interactions. With a massive fan base to sell content to, B/R is able to create a remarkable energy throughout society by bringing the news to every sports fan. As a result, fitness and sport become more valued and common in our society. B/R has taken great advantage of a large cultural movement.
Bleacher Report has created a renewed energy for sports in the media. In fact the company states, “we capture and unleash the untapped power to deliver visceral, authentic moments at the intersection of sports and culture” (Sports). Although competitors such as ESPN have more followers, Bleacher Report has created a social phenomenon (Dupree, 2018). The users of Bleacher Report are excited to participate and let their opinions be heard. B/R has inspired many globally to be involved in sports, whether it’s playing the game, wearing a team jersey, or cheering on teams during live events. Bleacher Report has unified societies throughout the world to inspire and connect to sports far better than any other platform. The genius idea that will cause this platform to continue to expand, is that it’s organic, viral, and users themselves collectively create the synergy that powers Bleacher Report. No one person or team of individuals can compete with the ideas and energy of thousands of users. Bleacher Report will continue to score big in the world of sports because its appeal transcends culture and geography.
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