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SBJ/20100308/Forty Under 40
Published March 8, 2010
Less than two years after a radical corporate reorganization, Citizen Sports Network and its chief executive, Mike Kerns, are now part of the conversation among major digital sports media properties.
The former operator of the stock market-inspired fantasy operation ProTrade reconstituted itself in 2008 as a large-scale purveyor of fan communities and fantasy gaming via social-networking portals and through mobile devices.
As a result, Citizen Sports Network was among the vanguard of creating a distributed content strategy in which it leveraged the power of external networks such as Facebook as opposed to trying to draw users to the single destination site it operates.
The new operating model paid big dividends during 2009, a year in which Kerns and Citizen Sports struck a sales and content partnership with MLB Advanced Media, more than doubled its revenue and its aggregate audience to more than 3 million unique users per month, and achieved intermittent profitability. It launched fantasy games for the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga, and a large suite of iPhone and Android applications through its Sportacular unit that drew more than 2.5 million total installations.
An expanded sales force has paved the way for major advertising deals with top corporate clients such as Burger King, AT&T, Marriott, Miller Lite and Finish Line.
“People are turning to our services. We feel like we’ve definitely connected with a segment of the market,” Kerns said. “We staked out a position where we can successfully compete and coexist with the traditional operators.”