SBD/Issue 86/Sports Media

Puttin' On The Hits: Sees Big Traffic Growth In '09 Benefiting From Economic
Recession; Traffic More Than Doubles In '09
College recruiting hub last year generated 3.15 million visits to its site from high school student-athletes and 340,000 visits from college coaches, each more than double the traffic generated in '08, as interest in online recruiting continues to grow. Atlanta-based, like several other hubs it competes against, seeks to link prospective college student-athletes who are not elite prospects with college programs, similar to how a professional networking site such as LinkedIn operates. Among the factors that helped spur interest, from both sides, in the site over the past year was the economic recession. "Everybody is having to be a lot more efficient, which plays really well into what we’re doing,” said President Jeff Cravens. “There’s less money for recruiting, particularly going out on the road. Colleges’ discretionary spending is down, and parents aren’t spending what they used to either on taking their kids around. It was a slow evolution for us initially, but things are definitely picking up as more people continue to see how the Internet was tailor-made for this process.” The number of student-athlete visits to was up 131% compared to '08; the number of coaches’ visits was up 126%. Registrations also grew, by more than 50%. Nearly 7 million connections -- defined as a one-to-one contact between student-athlete and coach -- were recorded, up 128% percent from '08. In addition, student commitments to a particular school via, which relies on user self-reporting rather than Internet metrics measurement, surpassed 7,000 in '09, involving more than 1,500 different schools.

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