USA Today Sports Media Group’s For the Win hits the green

After launching For the Win, dubbed “the first mainstream sports media property focused exclusively on social news, USA Today Sports Media Group is poised to climb the next rung, launching a spinoff entitled Fore! The Win, devoted to golf content. The newly-launched platform marks the first sport-specific vertical to develop from FTW, taking that same social news approach to golf-centric stories. The editorial team, managed by Mark Pesavento and Jamie Mottram, includes Chris Chase, Chris Strauss, Nick Schwartz, Nina Mandell, Laken Litman, Ted Berg, and Nate Scott, with Mike Foss serving as editor.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Mottram, who serves as Director of Content Development for the company, about the For the Win franchise and launching the new brand.

Mottram on FTW growth: Since launching last April, FTW increased from 5 million monthly unique users, with most users coming from USA TODAY, to as many as 15 million monthly uniques, with most users coming from organic sources. In July, for example, year-over-year viral traffic was up over 300%.

On categories: The NFL is always out in front, but World Cup was huge for us and opened our eyes to the appetite for excellent digital soccer coverage. The same goes for Olympics and those sports that are a bit off the beaten path. Some of our biggest successes come from less obvious source material. Generally speaking, subjects that cross over into the mainstream (i.e., sports stories that you see on the TODAY show), do very well for us. FTW is always looking for stories with universal appeal, and we’ve gotten really good at telling them in a social- and mobile-friendly way.

On golf: We’ve found a lot of this material from the world of golf, probably because golf has a healthy star system (e.g., Tiger, Rory, Phil) that lots of people are interested in without needing much context or backstory. It’s also a sport that, unlike, say, football, many adults actually play as a lifelong pursuit.

On Fore! The Win: Without paying golf any extra attention, FTW golf content finds a steady and sizable audience. Now we’re going to cater to those fans, creating a sub-brand within FTW that’s all golf all the time. This new vertical, Fore! The Win (ftwgolf.com), is where you’ll find what golf fans are talking about, like a cool visualization of the evolution of Tiger’s swing or that buzzy moment when Rory had a heckler ejected. It only traffics in golf material that’s either going viral or, as is often the case, golf material that hasn’t gone viral yet.We’ll ramp up from here, integrating Fore! across FTW and further reconfiguring the experience to cater towards golf fans and sponsors. As part of that, we’re likely to increase Fore!’s content production, too.

What’s most interesting is that this approach serves as a test for developing other verticals/sub-brands within FTW, which is to date a one-stop shop for social sports news. The brand can, however, develop as a hub for many different social content experiences.

Related Stories

Ross Kauffman, Fisher Stevens get behind new Discovery doc

Ross Kauffman, Fisher Stevens get behind new Discovery doc

Discovery Channel and Science Channel group chief Rich Ross said at Sundance over the weekend that Oscar-winning filmmakers Fisher Stevens and Ross Kauffman are behind a new documentary for the network, Taken by the Tiger, about the rapidly diminishing population of tigers in the wild.

Good news in syndication for Steve

Good news in syndication for ‘Steve'

Steve Harvey’s daytime series Steve got a second season renewal in national syndication. The series already been sold in 90 percent of the US on NBC-owned stations and station groups including Sinclair and Hearst.

CBS Sports Digital prepares for evolution

CBS Sports Digital prepares for evolution

Amid a landmark year for CBS Sports Digital in 2017, where the outlet’s platforms ranked second in comScore’s sports category for the fifth consecutive month in December and saw 9% year-over-year growth in 2017, the group kicked off 2018 with the announcement that it had promoted Jeff Gerttula to Executive Vice President and General Manager […]

Pringles stacks up Super Bowl plans

Pringles stacks up Super Bowl plans

Pringles is making its maiden voyage for the Super Bowl, announcing that the brand will launch its first-ever Super Bowl advertisement. Bill Hader will star in the 30-second spot, which will showcase ‘flavor stacking’, where consumers blend different flavors to create new ones. “The Pringles Super Bowl advertisement is an opportunity to show people a […]

More jobs right HERE!

More jobs right HERE!

Job of the Week CREATIVE DIRECTOR ESP GAMING Las Vegas Own the front-to-end design process for ESP Gaming’s prod projects. Deep TV design exp, world class creative vision, passion for sports and competitive gaming, 7+ yrs in creating TV brdcst packages (sports or esports). Full description HERE Resume HERE CynopsisJOBS […]

CynCity

Cynsiders

Instagram