Startup sees good news as good business
At a time when sports are saturated with emotionally charged headlines, digital media veteran Paul Bremer is starting to strike deals for his new outlet GoodSport that focuses on positive news.
Bremer founded GoodSport last year, thinking many people are interested in seeing more positive stories about sports and athletes in society. Bremer said he’s finding an increasingly receptive audience among executives of leagues, teams and their sponsors interested in partnering with the site.
“When you speak to people about the nature of the internet and the positive aspects of the sports world, there has almost universally been acceptance of the premise,” Bremer said. “We look at sports as somewhat of a metaphor for life: the things you learn at the youth and recreational level can be very positive, and a lot of that has been drowned out by a few people who are not necessarily exemplifying that.”
So far, the Norwalk, Conn.-based outlet has produced 350 pieces of content and has been hired by the NBA to work with an unidentified WNBA team. Other assignments have included work with the Positive Coaching Alliance, educational technology company Everfi, and a recent assignment with NASCAR’s “Troops to the Track” program.
Interestingly, Bremer got his spark for the idea when watching the 2016 NFL draft with his sons. Bremer had hyped his kids up about watching the draft all day, he said, only to turn the channel on early when footage appeared showing now-Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil smoking through a gas mask.
Bremer raised a low seven-figure amount in one angel round of funding. He said the aim now is to earn a profit and accomplish wider societal goals. The network has a staff of 15 — five full-timers, including Bremer, and 10 freelancers.
The site creates custom content for partners to use on off-site channels and has its own properties on its website, Goodsport.me. GoodSport writes, shoots and produces the videos, and charges an upfront fee based on the scope of the project. In some cases, GoodSport has the right to sell additional sponsorship or help distribute the content while sharing revenue with the partner. Some entities GoodSport works with own the content and use it for their own purposes, while in other cases, rights and distribution are shared.
“GoodSport was conceived long before the last election cycle and everything that has happened since then,” Bremer said. “But increasingly, with all the stories out there that talking heads on sports networks are talking about, they are not the stories that people truly have an emotive response to.”