When Cowboys great Tony Dorsett made fiery comments about Tony Romo, I saw it first on a small independent Web site.
When Minnesota Vikings great Fran Tarkenton bashed Brett Favre, I saw it first on a small independent Web site.
How did this site get the scoop? Because its founder was listening when no one else was.
For years, sports radio interviews have broken news and created controversy but because journalists weren’t listening or were never provided with a transcript, the interviews over the airwaves didn’t make it into print. That meant that whatever was said fell into a black hole.
Enter sports public relations maven Jimmy Shapiro. One of Shapiro’s specialties is booking sports radio interviews for book tours and endorsement campaigns.
Being a former sports radio host and program director, Shapiro noticed that many great radio interviews were being posted on local radio Web sites, but there wasn’t a Web site that aggregated all these interviews and brought them out of their local markets.
This meant that unless something was said on a national show like ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike,” the world didn’t know if something juicy was said in a local market.
So in January, Shapiro created SportsRadioInterviews.com. The site gathers 10 to 15 of the best radio interviews of the day from around the country.
When ESPN aired Dorsett’s comments about Romo last night, I had already heard it because Shapiro’s site had it up on Tuesday afternoon. The Tarkenton comments – also linked by Shapiro’s site first.
“The sports radio stations obviously love us because we put some of their great interviews out there that could have just been forgotten about,” Shapiro said.
Despite the great execution of his unique site, there are two obstacles that seem to be in Shapiro’s way. The first obstacle is getting credit.
Shapiro often discovers these interviews that happen on local radio stations, but when ESPN or the Associated Press quote from them they just give the stations the credit. As a result, Shapiro’s site doesn’t get the buzz it should get from unearthing the spot.
“When it came out that Chad Ochocinco said he’d tweet during games, he said it on KGOW, which is like the fourth sports radio station in Houston,” Shapiro said. “If I didn’t put it out there, I don’t know if anyone would have seen it.”
KGOW, of course, got all the credit not Shapiro’s site, which he says has done about 550,000 unique hits in eight months.
Secondly, Shapiro admits his resources are limited. He’s busy doing his day job as a sports PR man and doesn’t have the time he ultimately needs to take it to the next level.
“This site has cost me money,” Shapiro said. “Ultimately I’d like to team up with a site so that this could be the best it could be.”
If ESPN or Yahoo wants to get the news happening on sports radio stations across the country days before everyone else has it, Shapiro’s site might be the next great acquisition.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com