Stack.com Breaks Into Top 10 Sports Sites on Web
Traffic surges to 3.5 million unique visitors per month.
A distributed content strategy has paid off for Stack Media, a company targeting the high school athlete. In July, comScore Media Metrix pegged Stack.com’s monthly uniques at 3.5 million, high enough to register the site 10th on the list of top Web sports properties, which includes Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports and AOL Sports. That reach exploded from 300,000 monthly uniques just six months ago, says Stack co-CEO Nick Palazzo, who co-founded the company three years ago with the launch of the eponymous print magazine.
Key to that traffic spike is a content partnership with three properties: sports retailer Eastbay.com, Footlocker.com (Footlocker owns East Bay) and BeRecruited.com, an online recruiting tool for high school athletes. “We focused on executing against a distributed media strategy where we take our content and distribute it to partner sites. In exchange for distribution of the content we’re also selling all of the advertising inventory on those sites. The tagline ‘Content is king, but distribution brings the bling’ is definitely a motto here,” Palazzo said.
But before Stack could effectively enter into distribution partnerships, the company had to prove the worth of its content. “Our content is the glue that is making these partnerships function because it’s unique in the sports space. It’s not news coverage, it’s sports lifestyle and performance. They’re the who’s who and we’re the how-to. That differentiates us and gives us the ability to create these types of partnerships,” he said.
Despite the initial focus on the high school athlete, the company has found that sports training, especially when it’s presented by professional athletes, is appealing to a broader audience of 12- to 24-year-olds. “We’re focused on a new market. Our competitors now are ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports, and AOL Sports and Fox Sports—people that are in the top five that blue chip marketers are using. We may not have 20 million uniques, but the uniques we have are definitely [the marketers’] target.”
The distribution strategy is one where Stack goes after its audience, rather than simply baiting the hook. The younger demographic gets their content from a multitude of sites, so Palazzo is bringing his content to them, and along with that go the marketers. “In the past we had a lot of success with branded entertainment—we created channels for marketers that featured videos in conjunction with their assets, whether athletes or product designers, and then populated a channel that previously only lived on Stack.com. Now it lives throughout all our Stack Media properties.”