SB Nation Gets More Funding, Acquires SportsRadioInterviews
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
SB Nation, a sports blog network,said Monday it completed its third round of institutional funding with a $10.5 million investment in its company. That brings the total raised by SBNation up to $23.5 million.
When asked how he’ll spend the money, SB Nation CEO Jim Bankoff said he’ll continue to invest in the over 400 writers that writerfor the company’s 290 different blogs, as well as its 21 regional sports sites. Bankoff also said SB Nation has been spending money on building its own infrastructure that will make it easier for bloggers to run a more complex page centered on greater social interaction with the site’s readers.
Bankoff also told CNBC that he’s also looking at acquisitions and just recently purchased SportsRadioInterviews.comfor an undisclosed sum.
The unique site takes the best radio interviews from across the country, posts them on one site and transcribes the best scoop.
“One of the reasons we’re so excited about this is that our mission is to provide sports fans with all the information no matter where that information happens,” Bankoff said. “There’s so much great content on the radio and before this site, it just got lost.”
The site is the brainchild of PR guys Jimmy Shapiro and Dan Zucker of Zucker Media Group. Having specialized in booking radio interviews for athletes, they knew that some of the best lines and trash talking happened on the radio, yet only those listening at the time knew. This hardly changed even as radio stations streamed on the Web.
“Sports radio certainly is an underappreciated medium,” said Shapiro, who started the site with Zucker a week before the Super Bowl in 2009. “Guys are much more comfortable and less on guard when they’re not being asked questions while naked in the locker room.”
Shapiro said he loves when something is mentioned on a local radio station and, without his posting the interview, what just went down might never see the light of day.
“I knew we had something when we got the interview when (Green Bay Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers ripped Tony Kornheiser for being totally unprepared for the pre-game meetings and that he didn’t know one thing about football,” Shapiro said. “That was on ESPN Radio Milwaukee, but thanks to us, it went everywhere.”
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com