Friday, August 22, 2008

"American Idol meets ESPN"... Fan Media Network

Fan Media Network has a good article on their startup from the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal:

American Idol meets ESPN

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
by Stephen Ellison

It’s not ESPN. Nor is it trying to be.

In fact, Fan Media Network isn’t even trying to emulate the most popular companies within its niche — fan-based sports Web sites and blogs such as Bleacher Report, Deadspin, Fandome and SB Nation.

So, what is the Bay Area-based startup trying to do?

“We want to enable talented, knowledgeable fans to report on their teams as professional media,” says Kirk Berridge, chief executive officer of Fan Media Network. “In sports, fans are the ones who drive the values, but you don’t see them in the media.”

Berridge knows a little about the value of sports teams, having worked in the sponsorship and Internet marketing departments for both the San Francisco 49ers and the San Jose Sharks. His goal for the company is to build a network of fan video reporters for every team in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and all the major college football conferences.

As lofty as that sounds, experts say, if done right, Fan Media Network’s focus on the fan by other well-versed and camera-friendly fans has prospects.

“That’s going to be the best thing about it. Sports fans aren’t relying just on ESPN anymore to follow their teams,” says Dexter Bustarde, director of new media strategy and fan engagement for Sports Media Challenge, a consulting firm. “And teams are going to like them because fans aren’t critical. I mean, they can be critical, but it’s more of a tough-love thing. People enjoy having that perspective.”... (full article)

As the article mentions, I've been advising Fan Media Network and Kirk Berridge, its Founder and CEO, since it was a concept. Kirk is a great guy, who knows the sports market, and is a very focused entrepreneur. Anyway, if you're a sports fan, check out Fan Media Network!

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