SAN FRANCISCO: Bleacher Report, the digital sports property, has shifted its focus away from news and in doing so has become a successful brand for millennial men that is attracting more advertisers.
Almost a year ago owner Turner Broadcasting announced it was investing $100m in Bleacher Report to increase staff numbers and produce more video content that could be shared via social media.
The title's chequered past – it was once accused of "dumbing down of the web" with "custom-manufactured garbage" – has been firmly consigned to history thanks to Turner's efforts to revamp its image and strategy.
Those have included recruiting experienced writers to bring intelligent analysis to sports, while extending the editorial content beyond sports to embrace related areas and cross-promoting the brand on Turner sports broadcasts.
"The culture of sports includes talking about it," Dan Finocchio, founder and CEO of Bleacher Report, told Adweek, "and our transition from a news media brand into an influencer brand has been really cool."
The site currently claims 50m unique monthly users, 80% of whom are under the age of 34 – an attractive demographic for a wide range of brands.
"A lot of our audience is in that phase of life where they're ready to make big purchasing decisions," Finocchio noted. "They're ready to learn more about products or services that will make their lives better."
Accordingly, the site has developed its own in-house creative studio, which is able to create branded content that mirrors the tone of the editorial.
"Brands want people in the room that know their business," said Finocchio. "Members of our team will be specialists in different fields. The future of advertising has to be about moving the needle for the brands."
Data sourced from Adweek, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff