SportsGrid Debuts With A Robust Offering

Sports fans love lists and that means that a new offshoot of Dan Abrams’ Mediaite site called SportsGrid has a pretty good chance of being a highly trafficked site.

Sportsgrid, which will launch Wednesday morning, borrows the PowerGrid system built for its sites like Mediaite, the main site that includes rankings of media members and Styleite, a fashion and beauty culture site, and translates it to the sports world.

“Sports is actually the first one of the offshoots we wanted to do, but we knew it was going to be the most robust,” said Colby Hall, managing editor of Mediaite and SportsGrid.

Hall and his employees noticed early on that the sports media culture -- which is included in the Mediaite Power Grid -- seemed to be the most interested in where they stood in the rankings, which takes into account air time, blog traffic, news hits and Twitter followers, among other metrics.

The categories on the site are quite extensive. In order to analyze an athlete’s power, SportsGrid has partnered with Rotowire to make sure that an athlete’s ranking was somewhat contingent on performance on the playing field.

Athletes in Major League Baseball, the NBA, college football and basketball, golf and NASCAR are ranked, as well as executives, owners and athletic directors.

Also included in the SportsGrid rankings is a hype index, which measures how much a sports figure is being talked about online.

The sports media section is broken down into TV analysts and hosts, writers, radio hosts, TV and radio announcers and sports anchors.

Hall said the rankings are constantly evolving daily, like the Mediaite site, which is now generating 1.5 million uniques a month –- a quarter of which come from visitors clicking on the rankings.

While the site launches tomorrow morning, we’ve been given a sneak peek. So here are a few rankings that we thought were interesting.

New New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is already the 12th most powerful NBA owner having just essentially sat at the draft lottery last week.

Phil Mickelson might not be the world’s No. 1 golfer yet, but he has already beat out Tiger Woods to take the No. 1 spot on the golfer SportsGrid ranking.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., long called the most popular driver in NASCAR, is the ninth most powerful NASCAR driver in the debut of SportsGrid. That’s three spots behind 51-year-old Mark Martin.

Tim Tebow appears as the 17th most powerful NFL player despite having not taken a snap. That’s one spot behind Brett Favre and one spot ahead of the Titans’ Chris Johnson.

ESPN’s Steve Levy debuts as the most powerful sports anchor, perhaps aided by his past mispronunciation of a bulging disk, which got a lot of play thanks to Tiger Woods over the past couple weeks. And Erin Andrews, now of Dancing With The Stars fame, will debut at No. 1 on the TV analysts and hosts ranking.

“What’s different about SportsGrid as compared to something like a Q Rating is that this is a real objective look at what fans are doing and saying on the Internet about a sports personality at any given moment,” Hall said. “It’s not an editorial pick. It’s not a focus group. It’s what the Internet is telling us about what people are searching about, who they are hyping up, what they are tweeting about. It’s really a fluid process.”

Questions? Comments?