Bleacher Report UK launch: B/R with a British accent
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When I was initially approached about the possibility of joining Bleacher Report, I came with an open mind and no real expectations. As I delved deeper into both the front- and back-end technology and spoke to the key stakeholders involved I became more and more excited about the opportunity.
No one in the U.K. does what Bleacher Report can offer. The norm in Britain is to own most of or all of the content within your space. But that does not offer the best experience.
The analogy I have been using is that if you are an Arsenal fan and want to watch the game live on TV you will switch the channel. IF you want news about the Gunners, you’ll go wherever that news is.
While other sports news outlets are like TV channels, hoping you’ll stick around to take in whatever they’re offering, B/R’s Team Stream app is like a remote control, helping you find what you want to see, whether it was created by Bleacher Report or someone else.
Bleacher Report’s wide-ranging mobile model makes perfect sense and I’m confident when more people are exposed to it, it will become the same monster hit in the U.K. that it is in the U.S.
More and more, news finds people rather than people finding news. Whether that be on their Facebook page, their Twitter feeds or via mobile. Very few major media companies send media alerts to their users. B/R does, not to be intrusive, but because the audience demands it.
The web space is also pretty stagnant in the U.K. Digital natives have made little impact and so a hegemony exists of traditional media presenting digital content via traditional methods. If you had to describe the landscape in one word, it would be “safe.”
There is clearly space in the market for digital natives, and this is where Bleacher Report fits in.
No one can match Bleacher Report’s entertaining, engaging, visually compelling content, no one curates news like B/R does, and no one else presents content in B/R’s style. Bleacher Report stories are laden with rich media: Videos, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vines, etc. etc.
The web is a wonderful place and we organise it for users, give people what they really want, rather than what editors think they should want.
B/R has the product and the infrastructure to be a big player in the U.K. My job is to extend the content to give people in the U.K. the entertaining and engaging sports content they crave and to leverage that infrastructure to make it work in our timezone and for our local needs.
Bleacher Report is a young company, but the site is not brand new. In just a few short years, B/R has already become the third-largest sports website in the U.S., the second largest on mobile.
Still, we’re new to many on this side of the Atlantic. We’re sure that as soon as they get a look at our coverage of the teams, leagues and topics they’re most interested in, U.K. sports fans will have a new favourite.
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Lee Walker is the Managing Editor of Bleacher Report UK.