Affinity sites aren’t dead – at least not yet. Despite the shuttering of Grantland and Fox Sports’ JABO earlier this year, Yahoo has gone forward with the creation of their own affinity site for NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski. Entitled “The Vertical”, Wojnarowski’s new site features a new podcast and talented, diverse staff of writers.
And this is just the beginning as Woj is launching a new basketball site, “The Vertical,” as a part of Yahoo Sports in early 2016, bringing together an elite group of NBA journalists, insiders and experts to create the internet’s hub of basketball information and storytelling.
The site will feature Michael Lee, one of the elite writers and reporters on the NBA, Shams Charania, the 21-year old wunderkind insider and writer, front office insider Bobby Marks, a 20-year NBA front office executive, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of Draft Express, the industry leaders in global information and content revolving around the NBA Draft, Nick DePaula of NiceKicks.com, the pre-eminent journalist on the basketball shoe industry, Tim Grover, longtime trainer of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant who will provide content centered around the players’ mind and body, and former NBA player Brian Scalabrine who will provide video content. Stay tuned for more information!
The Vertical hasn’t officially launched yet, but Wojnarowski’s debut podcast has been released, and his first guest is a doozy – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
The concept of an affinity (or vanity, or whatever we’re calling these writer-specific sites nowadays) site for Wojnarowski has been simmering since the summer. In June, we explored the idea of a Wojnarowski affinity site and discussed affinity sites as a whole and which other personalities could thrive with one of their own. In July, Wojnarowski re-signed with Yahoo after nearly jumping to Sports Illustrated, which runs the Peter King MMQB affinity site, so it seemed like this was going to end up happening no matter where he landed.
Will we start seeing more affinity sites being launched in 2016, or is Wojnarowski’s new site essentially going to be the end of an era? If I had to put money on it, I’d assume we don’t see many more get launched this coming year if only because I can’t think of any writers untied to a venture that could thrive in that sort of atmosphere.