Almost every sports enthusiast has a deep, bordering-on-irrational loyalty to his or her geographic roots. This loyalty to location, not limited to one team, but instead encompassing teams of all sports representing a specific location, is the key to the heart of a sports fan — and the key to the success of sports website “Press Room Sports,” started by Cam Kerry ’16 and Pranav Tadikonda ’16 last spring.
“Basically, we were trying to solve a problem that we ourselves ran into as sports fans. There aren’t any sites that cover cities. Sure, there are plenty of sites that cover teams, but nobody else offers a full city’s worth of sports,” said Tadikonda.
In March 2013, Kerry and Tadikonda embarked on a journey to create a sports website for fans of sports native to a certain location that rivaled “Bleacher Report” in popularity and dwarfed it in quality. After six months of grueling work and discovering the pains of managing their own start-up, Tadikonda and Kerry are now the proud founders of a website with article views pushing 100 per day and covering three areas across the nation: New York, New England and the Bay Area.
“Pranav and I were the only writers for months. At the time, we were lucky if we got three reads a day on our articles,” said Kerry. “Looking back at that poorly created site and only having two writers for months, compared to how nice our site looks now, it’s really exciting.”
Their shared passion for sports fueled their perseverance and dedication throughout their rough beginnings. Both were Phillipian Sports Writers at the time, and the upwards of 40 articles that Tadikonda had written for “Bleacher Report” had already garnered over 80,000 views.
Originally called “Beantown Sports Online,” the website’s purpose was to provide analytical articles for all sports fans curious about the state of sports, but only in their shared of home of Massachusetts. Their recent expansion, however, with a writer increase from two to 15 and the inclusion of cities beyond Boston, prompted the name change to “Press Room Sports.”
“It was a natural thing to [expand], once we saw how we could write articles for one city and how that worked for us, we reached out to people in other cities,” said Tadikonda.
Kerry and Tadikonda’s days of struggling to write articles are long over. They currently manage a hierarchical system of writers that has proven to be extremely efficient, assigning articles and enforcing deadlines. A Head of Branch in each city takes responsibility for a team of writers, some of whom hold the status of Senior Writer.
Recognizing that game recaps convey no significant information to the avid sports fan, “Press Room” articles lean heavily toward analytical pieces. A reader is far more likely to run into predictions and argumentative articles than game recaps.
Despite the clear success of their innovative approach, Tadikonda and Kerry are far from finished. They both know that they need to keep aggressively pursuing markets and have already set their sights on Washington D.C., Chicago and Detroit as future locations. They are ready to focus on competing with other sites and making a name for “Press Room Sports,” next year and beyond.