Nine years ago, in July of 2011, I launched Outkick at SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Alabama.
That first day our server crashed.
Which was incredibly frustrating, but also a good sign as well.
For multiple years I wrote every article on here and sold every ad. Not only did I sell every ad, I also directly pitched advertisers to advertise their products here. Like anyone who starts a small business, it was an incredible grind, filled with tremendous highs and tremendous lows.
And the hours were never ending.
My initial goal was to make $60k in the first year. We did that and more, growing into a multi-million dollar business encompassing this site, radio, TV, podcasts, Periscope, Facebook, YouTube and more. Last month was our biggest total audience ever.
I suspect April will be even bigger.
And we haven’t even had a real sporting event since March 11.
Along the way I’ve been asked a lot about why I haven’t hired more people to work for the site. The answer was pretty simple, I wanted to keep this site lean because I’d seen so many media companies hire a ton of people, grow fast, and then collapse. But over the years I continued to bank the Outkick profits and wait for the right time and the right people to come available.
And I believe the time is now to grow Outkick.
That’s why I’m excited to announce that we have hired three new employees for the site — Ryan Glasspiegel, Bobby Burack and Michael Shamburger. All three guys have previously worked at The Big Lead and I believe will be ready to hit the ground running here.
Ryan actually wrote two articles for Outkick back when we were regularly running reader submissions on the site. One about Bret Bielema leaving Wisconsin, which featured this opening and turned out to be 100% correct:
“My first reaction to the news that Bret Bielema was leaving Wisconsin for Arkansas?
Pure, unbridled joy.
My second reaction?
More of the same.
I attended over 40 games in the Bret Bielema era. I’m aware that his teams went 68-24 and made three straight Rose Bowls. In fact, that’s precisely why I’m so ecstatic: we were never getting rid of him unless he left.”
So let this be a lesson for everyone out there who wants to make a living in sports media, you have to start somewhere. And now Ryan is coming back to one of the places he first wrote online.
But this time I’ll actually be paying him.
Bobby is young, but he’s done fantastic work at The Big Lead. The same is true for Mike.
We’ll be adding more people in the near future and I’m excited about where Outkick is heading. One early addition that I can tell you is coming is we’re going to be streaming the Outkick radio show live every day come summer. So if you are desperately in need of seeing my face to start off your day, you’re in luck.
For those of you who have liked our content, we aren’t changing, there will just be more of it. For those of you who have hated our content, condolences, there’s about to be far more.
The goal of the site will be the same as always: be smart, original, funny and authentic.
I still own all of Outkick and haven’t taken any venture capital money. I’ll still be doing all of the things I was already doing, we’ll just have a lot more people producing a lot more content on here.
More details to come in the days and weeks ahead, but in the meantime, welcome to Ryan, Bobby and Mike.
And thanks as always for those of you supporting Outkick.