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SB Nation (originally known as SportsBlogs Nation) is a sports blogging network owned by Vox Media. It was co-founded by Tyler Bleszinski and Markos Moulitsas in 2005. The blog from which the network formed was started by Bleszinski as Athletics Nation in 2003, and focused solely on the Oakland Athletics. It has since expanded to cover sports franchises on a national scale, including all Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, and National Hockey League teams, as well as college and soccer teams, mixed martial arts and professional wrestling, totaling over 300 community sites. In 2011, the network expanded into technology content with The Verge , leading to the parent company Sports Blogs Inc. being rebranded as Vox Media. SB Nation operates from Vox Media's offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.
From 2005 to 2011, the sports blog network SB Nation (originally known as SportsBlogs Nation) operated under the parent company SportsBlogs Inc., which was headquartered in Washington, D.C..Since Sports Blogs was rebranded as Vox Media, the network has also operated from the digital media company's offices in Manhattan.
Vox Media's chief executive officer, Jim Bankoff, has served as SB Nation's CEO since 2009. Elena Bergeron serves as editor-in-chief.
Many contributors to SB Nation work as part-time contractors,and are paid a stipend each month. The network generates revenue through advertising.
SB Nation was co-founded by friends Tyler Bleszinski and Markos Moulitsas in 2005. The single blog from which the network formed was launched by Bleszinski as Athletics Nation in November 2003, and covered only the Oakland Athletics baseball team.Athletics Nation quickly became Blogads's second largest website, following Daily Kos, where Moulitsas served as an editor. Following the blog network's creation, six additional writers were hired to join Bleszinski in creating content, and Daily Kos' platform was implemented to encourage online community growth. Established bloggers were selected to contribute articles, and sports fans could leave comments. After sites were created for all Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL) franchises, along with some college and other teams, Bleszinski focused on company growth and making money.
In 2008, SB Nation raised $5 million in a Series A round of financing with Accel Partners, Allen & Company, and Ted Leonsis contributing. 's CEO in January 2009. The network had approximately 1 million unique users, and nearly 185 blogs by February. The NHL sanctioned and began linking to SB Nation content on its official website in April, when the network was averaging 5 million unique monthly visitors across nearly 200 sites. In July, Comcast's venture capital branch, Comcast Interactive Capital, spearheaded a nearly $8 million second round of financing. In September 2009, SB Nation was re-launched to serve as a nationally focused portal for the network's blogs. Revenue generated by the network increased by four times in 2009.Jim Bankoff, who was advising the company during the venture round, became SB Nation
In 2010, the network launched 20 regional sites, bringing the total number of sites to nearly 275. SB Nation had 31 full-time employees and was receiving 40 million monthly page views by approximately 8 million unique users, as of mid 2010. 's parent company, SportsBlogs Inc., rebranded as Vox Media in October, and The Verge launched in November. In late 2011, MMAFighting.com was integrated into SB Nation after Vox Media acquired the mixed martial arts site from AOL. MMA Fighting produces The MMA Hour and The MMA Beat, which continue to stream on SB Nation and social media outlets, as of 2017.Comcast SportsNet and SB Nation agreed to a content sharing partnership in shared markets in June 2010. In November, Khosla Ventures led a third round of funding for SB Nation. The $10.5 million received brought the company's total funding to approximately $23 million. SB Nation acquired the blog networks FanTake and The Offside in March 2011, expanding its coverage of college sports and soccer, respectively. The network hired several Engadget employees to launch its first major expansion outside sports. SB Nation
In September 2012, SB Nation introduced a major redesign codenamed "SB United", which introduced a new "magazine-style" layout with a larger focus on long-form content and digital media, and redesigned logos for each of the network's approximately 300 blogs. The redesign was overseen by Spencer Hall, the site's first editorial director.The LGBT sports website Outsports was acquired by Vox Media and integrated into SB Nation in March 2013. The site's founders retained editorial control, and the purchase marked the first time a major sports media company acquired an LGBT-focused website. SB Nation was averaging approximately 50 million unique visitors by mid 2013, and had approximately 800 contributing bloggers by the end of the year.
Elena Bergeron was named SB Nation's editor-in-chief in 2017. In mid 2017, the sports and culture website The Ringer transferred its publishing platform from Medium to Vox Media's Chorus platform. The site's founder, Bill Simmons, retained ownership and editorial control. The Ringer's parent company, Bill Simmons Media Group, and Vox Media agreed to share revenue generated by advertisements sold by Vox Media. Vox Media began sharing audience traffic between SB Nation and The Ringer. In February 2018, Vox Media laid off 50 employees, including some members of the SB Nation social video team.
In August 2019, after closing its national college football blog Every Day Should Be Saturday (which joined the platform in 2010 after originally being established in 2005 as an independent website), SB Nation announced a new college football vertical known as Banner Society, which will aim to " keep expanding, warping, and sharpening the conversation around college football in all its bizarre, corrupt, colorful elements", and "find new and different ways to connect with our audience directly, all over the internet".
In December 2019, Vox Media announced that in order to comply with California Assembly Bill 5, SB Nation would "end our contracts with most contractors at California brands" over the coming months, and transfer their roles to a new group of employees. The company stated that this would be an extension of investments that have seen more full-time employees working for the network's largest sites, and that former contractors would be able to contribute as unpaid "community insiders".
On April 17, 2020, in response to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic, parent company Vox Media announced it would furlough 9% of its workforce starting May 1, 2020, including SB Nation.
In May 2016, SB Nation created an online video series for NBC Sports around NBC Sunday Night Football . ' go90, in September. The network was averaging approximately 70 million unique monthly visitors at this time. Foul Play premiered in May 2018.The network expanded into radio programming in mid-2016 through a partnership with Gow Media. SB Nation sold its first original television program, Foul Play, to Verizon Communications
In January 2018, SB Nation and Eater aired an online three-episode celebrity cooking competition series sponsored by PepsiCo. The show featured National Football League players Greg Jennings, Rashad Jennings, and Nick Mangold as competitors, as well as chefs Anne Burrell and Josh Capon.
SB Nation also maintains a YouTube channel which publishes regular web series by a variety of online hosts and content editors including Jon Bois, Will Buikema, Ryan Simmons, Seth Rosensthal, Kofie Yeboah, Mike Imhoff, and many others. The series produced on the channel include:
In August 2020 SB Nation's YouTube channel was renamed to Secret Base.
In February 2016, the site published a lengthy profile of Daniel Holtzclaw, a former police officer convicted of multiple accounts of rape and other charges, focusing on his college football career. The piece, which was seen as sympathetic to Holtzclaw, was heavily criticized and was taken down within hours of publication. SB Nation's editorial director Spencer Hall apologized for "a complete breakdown" of SB Nation's editorial process, and described the story and its publication as a "complete failure" of site standards. SB Nation subsequently cut ties with the story's author, freelance journalist Jeff Arnold, and put its longform program on hiatus pending a peer review of the editorial process that led to the Holtzclaw piece being published. The head of the longform program, veteran sportswriter Glenn Stout, was suspended and later fired.
In May 2016, Vox Media published the results of the peer review. It found that the longform program was isolated from the rest of SB Nation in a way that made it impossible for stories to be properly vetted. It also harshly criticized SB Nation for not giving individual editors the authority to review stories about sensitive topics. At the time, sensitive stories were reviewed by the newsroom's two most senior women, senior editor Elena Bergeron and senior content producer Sarah Kogod. The reviewers found that this practice made it appear that an individual editor did not have the responsibility to "care to the fullest extent about matters of ethics, integrity, and accuracy." It also raised concerns about the lack of diversity in the newsroom.Based on the review, SB Nation permanently shelved the longform program, replacing it with a features program. SB Nation also announced it would take steps to diversify its newsroom. In a statement, SB Nation said that the Holtzclaw situation revealed that "an organization cannot afford to wait to be diverse, particularly if that organization is one that wants to tell stories."
In 2011, Time included SB Nation in their list of "50 Websites That Make the Web Great". ' "fansite" category (2015), and received a National Magazine Award (or Ellie Award) in the "Digital Innovation" category in 2018 as the publisher of Jon Bois ' narrative, 17776 . A sequel to 17776, 20020, was released in September–October 2020, with a third edition, 20021, set to be released in 2021.SB Nation was a finalist in the seventh annual Shorty Awards
Letterboxd named Jon Bois' and Alex Rubenstein's collaborative documentary on the history of the Seattle Mariners the highest rated documentary miniseries of 2020,and The New York Times listed its first episode, "This is not an endorsement of arson," as one of the best episodes of TV of 2020.
Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, often known by his username and former military nickname "Kos", is an American blogger who is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos, a blog focusing on liberal and Democratic Party politics in the United States. He co-founded SB Nation, a collection of sports blogs, which is now a part of Vox Media.
William John Simmons III is an American sports analyst, author, podcaster, and former sports writer who is the founder and CEO of the sports and pop culture website The Ringer. Simmons first gained attention with his website as "The Boston Sports Guy" and was recruited by ESPN in 2001, where he eventually operated the website Grantland and worked until 2015. At ESPN, he wrote for ESPN.com, hosted his own podcast on ESPN.com titled The B.S. Report, and was an analyst for two years on NBA Countdown.
Jerome Armstrong is an American political strategist. In 2001, he founded MyDD, a blog which covered politics, making him one of the first political bloggers. Armstrong coined the term netroots, and was referred to as "The Blogfather" for having mentored many other famous bloggers such as Markos Moulitsas in their early years. He is credited as one of the architects of Howard Dean's 2004 grassroots presidential campaign, and bringing those tactics to campaigns globally. In 2005, Armstrong co-founded Vox Media with Markos Moulitsas and Tyler Bleszinski.
SportsMap is a sports radio network that is distributed by Gow Media.
Yahoo Sports is a sports news website launched by Yahoo! on December 8, 1997. It receives a majority of its information from STATS, Inc. It employs numerous writers, and has team pages for teams in almost every North American major sport. Before the launch of Yahoo Sports, certain elements of the site were known as Yahoo! Scoreboard.
Outsports is a sports news website focusing on LGBT issues and personalities in amateur and professional sports. The company was founded in 1999 by Cyd Zeigler, Jr. and Jim Buzinski.
The Verge is an American technology news website operated by Vox Media, publishing news, feature stories, guidebooks, product reviews, and podcasts.
James Philip Bankoff is an American businessman who serves as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Vox Media, and its predecessor SB Nation. Prior to joining SB Nation/Vox in 2011, he worked for AOL.
Vox Media, Inc. is an American mass media company based in Washington, D.C., and New York City. The company was established in November 2011 by Jim Bankoff and Trei Brundrett to encompass SB Nation, a sports blog network founded in 2005, and The Verge, a technology news website launched alongside Vox Media.
Grantland was a sports and pop-culture blog owned and operated by ESPN. The blog was started in 2011 by veteran writer and sports journalist Bill Simmons, who remained as editor-in-chief until May 2015. Grantland was named after famed early-20th-century sportswriter Grantland Rice (1880–1954).
Polygon is an American video game website that publishes blogs, reviews, guides, videos, and news. At its October 2012 launch as Vox Media's third property, Polygon sought to distinguish itself from competitors by focusing on the stories of the people behind the games instead of the games themselves. It also produced long-form magazine-style feature articles, invested in video content, and chose to let their review scores be updated as the game changed.
Medium is an American online publishing platform developed by Evan Williams and launched in August 2012. It is owned by A Medium Corporation. The platform is an example of social journalism, having a hybrid collection of amateur and professional people and publications, or exclusive blogs or publishers on Medium, and is regularly regarded as a blog host.
Vox is an American news website owned by Vox Media. The website was founded in April 2014 by Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and Melissa Bell, and is noted for its concept of explanatory journalism. Vox's media presence also includes a YouTube channel, several podcasts, and a show presented on Netflix. Vox has been described as left-of-center and progressive.
Uproxx is an entertainment and popular culture news website. It was founded in 2008 by Jarret Myer and Brian Brater, and acquired by Woven Digital in 2014. The site's target audience is men aged 18–34. It was acquired by Warner Music Group in August 2018, with Myer and CEO Benjamin Blank remaining in control of the company's operations.
Grant Brisbee is an American sports writer and editor. He is the founder of McCovey Chronicles, a San Francisco Giants-focused site, and served as its lead writer from 2005 until 2018. From 2011–19, he served as a national baseball writer for SB Nation. Since 2019, he is a staff writer covering the Giants for The Athletic. He graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in English/Career Writing in 2009.
The Ringer is a sports and pop culture website and podcast network, founded by sportswriter Bill Simmons in 2016 and owned by Spotify since 2020.
Luke Thomas is an American combat sport analyst. As of October 2020 Thomas works for CBS Sports.
MMA Fighting is a news website that covers the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). Founded in 2001, the site is notable for its breaking news coverage. Additionally, the site hosts the popular MMA interview show The MMA Hour and commentary show The MMA Beat.
Eater is a food and dining network of sites and brand of Vox Media. The network was co-founded by Lockhart Steele and Ben Leventhal in 2005, and originally focused on dining and nightlife in New York City. Eater launched a national site in 2009, and covered nearly 20 cities by 2012. Vox Media acquired Eater, along with two others comprising the Curbed Network, in late 2013. In 2017, Eater had around 25 local sites in the United States, Canada, and England. The site has been recognized four times by the James Beard Foundation Awards.