SBJ/20100816/This Week's News founders launching new site

The founding executives of, Shannon Terry and Bobby Burton, are returning to digital sports media with the creation of, an independent entity that will seek to blend local and team-based affinity sites with social media and mobile technology.

There are some key similarities between, now a Yahoo!-owned market leader in college sports and recruiting content, and The new site, like, is launching with a focus on college sports, with more than 30 individual sites devoted to specific programs. Also similarly, will operate with a mix of ad-supported and subscription-based content.

But intends to take its operational model to pro sports as well, beginning this fall. And unlike the Rivals network, which leaned primarily on affiliate relationships, is focusing more on an owned-and-operated model. Plans call for hiring experienced, known talent in local communities — in many cases, veteran newspaper writers — and using that talent to start sites from scratch.

Yahoo! bought in 2007 for $98 million. Chief executive Terry and COO Burton left the company last year. Since then, the two have quietly waited out various non-compete and non-solicitation clauses.

The creation of brings Terry back to his primary love of developing startup companies. In the late 1990s, he founded and ran forerunner AllianceSports. is being launched with about 30 employees and with $6 million in startup funds — all from company executives, with Terry providing the largest individual piece. Terry serves as CEO; Burton is president.

“This is about creating something that as a fan I would want to consume myself,” Terry said. “This is not a re-creation of Rivals. Instead, this is a very different editorial and technology platform, and an evolution of where I believe the industry should be going.”

A gradual rollout will begin this week, with message boards for several major college football programs that integrate directly with social media channels. A full battery of team sites, a recruiting database and news feeds are slated for release by November.

The planned mobile elements include availability for consumers via wireless applications and, internally, programs that will allow for quicker and easier publishing by the site operators at any place or time.

Among the individual properties aligning with are, which covers Ohio State, and, which covers Oklahoma. is operating out of the same Brentwood, Tenn., office park where Rivals is headquartered. Terry acknowledged odd feelings of being so near and now competing with his prior creation.

“I guess we’re competitors now,” he said, “but what we’re doing now is very different, and I want to take the next step.”

Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug