January 6, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in Livewire, News with 0 comments
High Release is out with a new issue on the business of ultimate, featuring some very insightful articles from leaders across the small, but growing, ultimate industry. I was lucky enough to be asked to put something together about Ultiworld.
Here’s an excerpt of my piece:
[quote]Imagine that you want start a company whose prospective users are dispersed all throughout the country. Those users are interested in your product, but only if it is customized, personalized, and local. Understand that there is no way to get any local information without providing it yourself – there is no Wikipedia, no expert, no archive.
Welcome to Ultiworld.
Everything we do at Ultiworld is primary sourced: stories bubble up naturally from interviews with players and coaches, all of our tournament reporting is done on the ground, and all the news we report comes straight from our work. There are no news wires, and press releases are rare. That makes the work we do everyday fun and interesting, but it also makes it extremely challenging. It’s hard to bring readers the comprehensive coverage we want to because there are so many teams, tournaments, and local stories out there.
Consider the ideal in sports journalism: outfitting every top team with a beat reporter. When you read major sports coverage on, say, ESPN, every major market team has its own dedicated reporter. That gives unparelled depth to reporting and allows fans to form close connections with their favorite teams.
Now think about ultimate, where it’s just not financially sustainable for us to achieve that level of coverage. We know our website stands to grow only if we can find ways to bring better local coverage to areas outside the Northeast Corridor, where we’re based, but we face the same challenges as small businesses in any industry: need capital to expand, but to get capital, we need to be bigger.[/quote]
Read the rest of the piece on High Release and be sure to read the rest of the contributions. It’s a fascinating look at the inside of a fast-growing industry.