Phoenix, AZ – (UPTICK Newswire – January 3, 2016) – At the end of October ESPN announced the closing of Grantland, leaving readers and writers alike in a lurch. ESPN’s reasoning in closing down the site was revenue. Grantland, despite the positives, was deemed unprofitable, thereby expendable. However, it can be argued that what the site brought to ESPN’s brand, which is struggling under the need for change due to streaming services and the like, was an eager viewership ready for content. Just what any brand needs, content to bring in the masses.
Had ESPN sold off Grantland, the buyer could have gained the site with all of its content and a loyal following. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi brought up a few companies that could have benefited from the purchase of Grantland: Under Armour, Nike and Puma. Nike spent over 3 billion on marketing in 2014. Under Armor spent $330 million in 2014. A site like Grantland with content, writers and readership could have given a company significant traffic and subscribers. Grantland writers could have become part of the in-house team, further building a brand such as Under Armour through their continuing relationships with readers.
It makes sense for companies to acquire media brands. Why attempt to build in-house content marketing when a ready-made fit can be purchased. A site like Grantland had day-to-day expertise and readership following. A media company has spent time building connections with their followers, something that takes diligence and patience. What a buyer could have done with a site like Grantland will never be known. Too bad, such an acquisition looks like it would have been a winning situation for all parties. It should prove interesting to see if companies take a lesson from the loss of Grantland and look for media companies that fit into their niche. With the right fit, a buyer could have respected and established in-house content marketing.