SportTechie Taylor Bloom

SportTechie has been making plenty of waves recently, including partnering with Sports Illustrated to launch a SI Tech And Media vertical in June and receiving a lead investment from famed sports executive Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group this week. Following that investment, SportTechie CEO and co-founder Taylor Bloom took the time to answer some questions from AA’s Ben Koo via e-mail. Here’s that transcript.

Awful Announcing: When did you guys start thinking about raising some investment and how long was that process?

With the help from our friends at – we started talking to investors earlier in the spring when our audience really started to grow and the overall momentum of operations just felt like it was at a tipping point. We could tell we needed to start to scale. In June we finalized our partnership with Sports Illustrated and that really kicked investor talks into high gear. Later in August and September we started having serious talks with investors and are thrilled to have closed with Oak View Group and Vintage Capital. They are the ideal strategic investors for how we want to grow SportTechie.

AA: Can you share metrics about the site’s popularity/traction?

TB: We create our content with sports industry influencers in mind. We are thrilled to say practically every major professional sports league and team subscribes to our newsletter and reads our content daily. Additionally, we have covered hundreds of sports technology startups and have many new ones reach out to us every month from all over the world. As the intersection of tech and sports continues to heat up, it’s been extremely motivating to have the audience we produce content for continue to consume our work at an increasing rate.

AA: You’ve added some recent hires? Is that where the investment will be headed mostly (editorial staffing)? Or are there are other areas we should look for?

TB: Absolutely. Content is our engine and that is driven from a talented editorial team. We have already added two very talented journalists to our team in Diamond Leung and Mark Burns. Their work has enhanced the quality of our content immediately and we will continue to invest resources into building out our editorial team around them. That being said, we are also building out our sales and creative side (we are hiring!) so we can continue to position brands in front of our audience in meaningful and important ways.

AA: A lot of tech sites brought in the bulk of their revenue from pricey and flashy conferences. I know Chat Sports has a conference series. Is that something you are targeting?

TB: Events and conferences are certainly something we plan to explore. Obviously with the doors that OVG can open in the events and venues space there is a really exciting array of possibilities in front of us now. The sports industry is currently inundated with conferences and events so whatever we do we would make sure it is unique and relevant to our specific sports technology audience and expertise.

AA: Will you be looking at becoming a subscription site?

TB: As of now we do not have plans to put our content behind a paywall.

AA: What can you share about how much you raised and valuation?

TB: I won’t share specific numbers but suffice it to say the team is very excited about the runway and overall opportunity we now have to significantly build out our operations.

AA: Is there a site/company that you are modeling yourself after in terms of business plan?

TB: Great question. There’s honestly so many quality sites out there right now. I don’t think there is one specific site we model ourselves after but instead we try to emulate components of many different ones that we like. In setting the bar very high, I’d say we really want to emulate a mashup of Bleacher Report meets Bloomberg meets TechCrunch with a little Vice sprinkled on top.

Thanks to Taylor for taking the time to talk to AA. You can follow him on Twitter here.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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