FanSided

FanSided is a fandom-focused sports, lifestyle and entertainment network of more than 300 websites. It was co-founded and launched in 2009 by brothers Zach Best and Adam Best.[1] FanSided is owned by Minute Media and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.[2]

FanSided
Type of site
Sports and entertainment
Available inEnglish
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois, United States
OwnerMinute Media
Founder(s)Zach Best, Adam Best
URLfansided.com
CommercialYes
Launched2009 (2009)

About

The FanSided network consists of more than 300 websites, and also has a dedicated mobile app and daily newsletters.[3] As of June 2016, FanSided was the fastest-growing among the top 15 digital sports networks.[2]

History

The idea of FanSided was born in 2007 when brothers Adam and Zach Best co-founded a Kansas City Chiefs blog called Arrowhead Addict. The FanSided network was officially launched in 2009.[3]

Over time, the site expanded to include other professional sports, as well as more topics, including general news, entertainment, lifestyle and fandoms like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Star Wars.[1]

Matt Blake joined the company as a partner and chief product officer in 2011.[4] Both Matt Blake and Zach Best serve as co-CEOs of FanSided.[5]

FanSided, including its mobile app and newsletter, was acquired by Time Inc. on May 26, 2015.[6] The acquisition was intended to expand Sports Illustrated's local sports coverage and financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.[7] Under Time Inc.’s ownership, founders Adam and Zach Best continued to oversee FanSided as a division of the Sports Illustrated Group.[8]

On March 2, 2017, Adam Best announced his departure from the company.[9]

On January 31, 2018, Time Inc. was acquired by Meredith Corporation, which assumed ownership of all of Time Inc.’s media brands, including FanSided.[10]

In January 2020, FanSided was sold to Minute Media by Meredith Corporation.[11] The acquisition was intended to allow Minute Media to target fans of specific teams.[12]

Burt Gertson/Mia Khalifa controversy

On September 29, 2016, FanSided columnist Burt Gertson and former adult film actress Mia Khalifa, who was writing for FanSided at the time, engaged in a Twitter argument. After initially claiming via email that Gertson was a real person, FanSided later tweeted that the Gertson account was a fictional person aimed at providing satire.[13] On October 1, 2016, FanSided issued a statement on the termination of those involved, including editor-in-chief Jim Cavan.[14][15]

Partnerships

In August 2012, FanSided partnered with Sports Illustrated.[16] The partnership offered Sports Illustrated an opportunity to expand its local sports coverage and reach new customers via FanSided's digital network. As part of the partnership, Sports Illustrated's website featured links to content on FanSided websites. Time Inc. also sold ads on the FanSided websites with revenue shared between the two entities.[1]

Projects

FanSided Fan of the Year

On November 6, 2015, in conjunction with Sports Illustrated, FanSided announced the FanSided Fan of the Year contest. The annual contest is aimed at recognizing the most dedicated sports fans. The five finalists are interviewed and profiled on FanSided.com and receive a one-year subscription to Sports Illustrated. The grand prize winner is featured in Sports Illustrated.[17]

FanSided Fandom of the Year

On November 1, 2016, FanSided announced Fandom 250, a subjective ranking of the best 250 fandoms in the world.[18] The yearly ranking is assembled by a panel of experts who evaluate more than 500 fandoms across multiple categories, including sports, technology, entertainment, lifestyle and more. The fandoms are evaluated based on their size, longevity, economic and media impact, as well as the passion of its fans.[19][20] In 2021, FanSided renamed the project the FanSided Fandom of the Year.[21]

FanSiders of the Year

On February 7, 2020, FanSided announced its first annual FanSider of the Year Awards, recognizing the best of the best at FanSided. The inaugural FanSiders of the Year for 2019[22] included:

  • NFL Expert (Editor) of the Year Brad Weiss[23]
  • NCAA Experts (Editors) of the Year Jacob Lane[24] and Presley Meyer[25]
  • NFL Contributor (Writer) of the Year Chris Wilson[26]
  • NCAA Contributor (Writer) of the Year Zach Bigalke[27]

Traffic

As of December 2019, comScore put FanSided traffic at 23.5 million unique visitors per month.[28]

References

  1. Gounley, Thomas "Fan-focused websites started by Hillcrest grads acquired by publisher of Sports Illustrated", Springfield News-Leader, June 9, 2015.
  2. Lazare, Lewis "How Time Inc.'s FanSided.com network is putting down roots in Chicago", Chicago Business Journal, September 9, 2016.
  3. Steigrad, Alexandra "Time Inc. Buys FanSided, Talks Future Deals", Women's Wear Daily, May 26, 2015.
  4. Marthis, Rose "Nine Questions with Zach and Adam Best", 417 Magazine, October, 2105.
  5. Executive Leadership page, FanSided. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  6. Barris, Michael. "Time Inc.'s FanSided acquisition adds weight to Sports Illustrated's mobile customization". Marketing Dive. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  7. Zacks Equity Research "Time Inc. Expands Media Coverage with FanSided Acquisition", Nasdaq, May 27, 2015.
  8. "Time Inc. acquires FanSided, a sports and entertainment digital network", Sports Illustrated, May 26, 2016.
  9. Bucholtz, Andrew "FanSided CEO/GM/co-founder Adam Best announces his departure", Awful Announcing, March 2, 2017.
  10. "Meredith Corporation Announces Completion Of Time Inc. Acquisition And Reports Fiscal 2018 Second Quarter And First Half Results", Meredith Corporation, January 31, 2018.
  11. Marcus, Daniel. "Minute Media Doubles Down On Sports Media With FanSided Acquisition". Forbes. Retrieved 2022-08-10.
  12. Willens, Max (January 27, 2020). "Minute Media expects to churn out more than $100m in revenue and profits in 2020". Digiday. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  13. Laird, Sam "The strange saga of the ex-porn star and the fake sports columnist", Mashable, September 30, 2016.
  14. Lombardi, Matt "FanSided Announces It’s Fired Its Editor-In-Chief After Mia Khalifa Controversy", The Spun, October 1, 2016.
  15. "To Our Fans:", FanSided, October 1, 2016. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  16. Lopez, Freddy "FanSided: An Oral History of the Next Big Sports Media Network", Sports Techie, December 2, 2013.
  17. Tirado, Luis Jr. "FanSided Fan of the Year contest, get on Sports Illustrated!", FanSided, November 6, 2015. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  18. "Time Inc’s FanSided announces inaugural 'Fandom 250'”, FanSided, November 1, 2016. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  19. Quinn, Dave "Which Star Beat the Kardashians for the Best Celebrity Fanbase of 2017? (Hint: He Rocks!)", People, December 12, 2017.
  20. Burgess, Janita "This Week in Fandom, Volume 66", Organization for Transformative Works, November 14, 2017.
  21. "About Fandoms | Biggest Fandoms in the World 2021 | FanSided". fansided.com. Retrieved 2022-09-08.
  22. Michael Collins [@MCFansided] (7 February 2020). "Congrats to the 2019 @FanSided FanSiders of the Year from my divisions: NFL expert @BWeiss2330 from @JustBlogBaby NCAA experts @JacobLane_BRL and @meyer_presley from @TheBigRedLouie NFL contributor @cgawilson from @SFNinerNoise NCAA contributor @zbigalke from @SaturdayBlitz" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  23. "Author Profile: Brad Weiss". Just Blog Baby. FanSided. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  24. "Author Profile: Jacob Lane". Big Red Louie. FanSided. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  25. "Author Profile: Presley Meyer". Big Red Louie. FanSided. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  26. "Author Profile: Chris Wilson". Niner Noise. FanSided. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  27. "Author Profile: Zach Bigalke". Saturday Blitz. FanSided. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  28. Milani, Jerry (December 11, 2019). "Six Sports Fanbases Among Top 10 In 2019: Report". Sportsmediareport. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
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