The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Professional T&F Website?

Something I missed earlier this week was a post by Scott Bush at his US Distance Runner blog titled Wanted: A Professional Track and Field Website.
From October 2008 until two weeks ago, I was working for Trackshark. As you know, Trackshark shut down a few weeks ago due to the company that owned the site, Wassmerman Media Group, pulling all of its funding, as well as laying off head honcho Tom Borish and myself. While I was incredibly disappointed in what transpired, the loss of Trackshark opened up a gaping hole in the coverage the sport receives.
We have some great media sources in our sport. Dyestat and MileSplit do an excellent job at covering the high school realm. FloTrack and LetsRun do a great job at covering the distance running side of things. There are many other websites that do the best job they can, but there is now no place for sprinters, jumpers, throwers and hurdlers to be covered at the collegiate and professional ranks. That's what Trackshark did and now it's gone.

I've heard rumblings around the sport for the past two weeks of potential new sites being developed, but I doubt any of them actually happen.
Our sport needs an ESPN. One centralized news source that covers all sides of the sport. In a perfect world sites like LetsRun and FloTrack would merge, creating one supersite that would be all the sport needed, but that's not going to happen. A constant stream of information is needed on all the different track and field events, in all different forms (video, audio, text), 24/7/365. That's what our sport needs, more than anything, because no one else cares enough to do it.

I've shared ideas on this blog for the past many months, but none has ever been more important to me than this one. EVERY other sport that has any type of hold in this country has a website that covers all sides of it.
So if I read this right, the problem is not a lack of content, but a lack of centralization. Is Scott looking for something like Google News for track & field? If so, that's doable. Not easily--Google is a massive and amazing company--but if it could be done, it would be every track fan's home page.

I imagine a central page with headlines linking to articles, organized by subject (much like Google News), with sidebars for schedules/results, stats lists, etc. It could be personalized for your locality and/or personal interests. You could limit high school news to your state, collegiate news to a certain conference or region, pro coverage to certain events, and so on.

I'm not the person to do this -- I have too many other things. But I have a dream.

1 comment:

Reddy said...

First congrats on a highly readable T&F blog. As relates to this post I think an ESPN for T&F would be a highly worthwhile endeavor. Unfortunately I doubt that corporate interests are going to seriously invest dollars in a T&F web property in today's economic environment. The fans of the sport will have to do it and the collaborative tools available today allow people who follow the sport to cover T&F in a more cost efficient way than any centralized corporate entity could.

As a fan of the sport I have to agree with Scott Bush and I too am surprised at how little there is out there on the web for T&F fans and for the sport itself. I am actually developing an idea that involves the web and getting fans more involved in the sport and hope to have something soon that may fill some of the gaps in the T&F coverage. I hope my idea pans out.