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Old 07-17-2018, 02:36 PM   #81
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I am not a subscriber. If you hired Darren Haynes, I would subscribe. Easily. He's great.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:08 PM   #82
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Ha, the first post suggesting Darren Haynes now has 100 thanks. That's gotta mean something to James Mirtle. The guy has HUGE support from this fan base.

Sounds like he thought he may not have the time to commit to it, but with the support he has it may be worth it for the Athletic to up the offer a little. Personally, I wouldn't even need full time Haynes to make the subscription worth it, just some articles here and there, mixed in with Eric Duha.

That's enough for me.

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Old 07-17-2018, 03:16 PM   #83
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Hi everyone. I hope this is okay with the mods.

I run the Canadian operations of The Athletic, the new sports site which at this point includes coverage of the seven NHL teams in this country and 25 of the 31 teams overall. We're hiring more writers in Calgary and Edmonton for coverage of the Flames and Oilers for the 2018-19 season.

Here's the job post.

I know CP is the home for diehard Flames fans. This is a great community, one I used to lurk on ages ago before I joined the media. So I wanted to post here quickly and ask what folks think we could do to provide next level coverage of the team and win you over enough that you would subscribe? (Subscriptions typically cost about $48 for the year.) How do we become the best sports media outlet in the city?

I know a lot of you feel you may never pay for a site like ours, and that's totally fine. I get it. But, theoretically, what would it take to give you a product good enough that made it worthwhile, for around $4 a month?

(For those unaware, we currently have Eric Duhatschek, Kent Wilson and Scott Cruickshank writing out of Calgary, as well as our group of national writers led by Pierre LeBrun who weigh in on the Flames once in a while.)

Thanks for the feedback
Would the beat writers travel? That would be an important factor for me. Otherwise, your primary beat writer isn't even with the team half the time.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:20 PM   #84
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Would the beat writers travel? That would be an important factor for me. Otherwise, your primary beat writer isn't even with the team half the time.
I don't think most sports reporting services can afford that now a days. People just aren't willing to pay for it.

Consumers laughed years ago when bloggers started taking spotlight from traditional media saying "welp, that's how it's going, I can get the same **** online for free, adapt or die!!!, to which people in the industry had to respond to stay alive. Here we are with our cake.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:22 PM   #85
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I don't think most sports reporting services can afford that now a days. People just aren't willing to pay for it.

Consumers laughed years ago when bloggers started taking spotlight from traditional media saying "welp, that's how it's going, I can get the same **** online for free, adapt or die!!!, to which people in the industry had to respond to stay alive. Here we are with our cake.
The Athletic travels Mike Russo in Minnesota and Aaron Portzline in Columbus, though. If those markets can support it, why not Calgary?
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:30 PM   #86
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The Athletic travels Mike Russo in Minnesota and Aaron Portzline in Columbus, though. If those markets can support it, why not Calgary?
Well, if we can I stand corrected, but I doubt it. What was our last reported subscription count in Calgary? Maybe in the future when more hop on board/

And to be clear that last post wasn't a shot at the Athletic, I think they're actually in the early, difficult stages of nailing a niche. We had major media outlets that could no longer keep quality talent and we had free online content that was mostly garbage, with some gold sprinkled in.

The Athletic appears to be taking as much gold as they can, and free of the burden major media/papers have to deal with (operation costs of a medium that is dying) charge a very small amount for great content.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:31 PM   #87
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The barrier they now face is the same as so many other subscription services.....There's a million subscription services for everything you can think of that only want $4-20/mth.

If you took advantage of every good online subscription service that offers really great value, you could be paying hundreds a month. I think they've got this, though, as many many sports fans are starting to turn to something better online for a few bucks a month as all of our go to's get let go from mainstream media.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:32 PM   #88
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Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on any of that James.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:37 PM   #89
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Just subscribed. Now, to thank me James, please get Darren Haynes signed on.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:22 PM   #90
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Own your channels, build a mailing list of true fans that will buy whatever product you decide to launch outside of the regular subscription content.

Put free content on the funded platforms like YouTube, Instagram TV, etc. But dont depend on this as it can be defunded out of your control.

Play with long form. So many more people can listen to great spoken content than can read great written content. Podcasts, live speaking events, toasts & roasts are great examples of how huge of an appetite there is for these things.

Avoid sponsors. They end up dictating what is said and water down the unique offerings of various writers and their styles. People are dying for gritty, adult, realistic coverage in any subject - why is sport any different? It is also what killed traditional print and TV media.

Grant more in depth or early release versions of the content to supporters.

Create access to rare experiences for the users.

Have higher price corporate products that no one would suspect you sell but allow you to leverage organizational strengths.

Basically offer a spectrum of offerings that increase in both value given and cost of access - a value ecosystem.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:26 PM   #91
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Avoid sponsors. They end up dictating what is said and water down the unique offerings of various writers and their styles. People are dying for gritty, adult, realistic coverage in any subject - why is sport any different? It is also what killed traditional print and TV media.
What killed traditional media was not that they watered down their product to appeal to sponsors. What killed newspapers was the death of print classified ads. Commercial TV is still with us, but suffered heavily once advertisers got access to hard data showing just how little value they were getting for their ad buys.

There's nothing wrong with having sponsors. However, it's not going to pay the bills like it used to.
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:31 AM   #92
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We'll be doing some travel with the Flames. And that'll increase as the subscriber base does.

We currently travel extensively with the Leafs and Canadiens and did every single Jets playoff game too.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:01 PM   #93
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I've been a subscriber for just about a year now. The growth i've seen is amazing and truly think that adding someone like Haynes would be a huge addition.

I probably only read 10 articles a week, but I find that they are very well written.

Between Haynes and Duhachuk the flames coverage would be unreal and easily among the best in the app.

Only knock on it right now is that most teams are getting multiple articles a week while duha is only putting out 1 or maybe 2 flames articles and they are often a couple days after something hits.

Todays coverage of the Raptors trade was exemplary and should be the standard set for each market
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:03 PM   #94
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Hire Darren Haynes. Give him a platform, please. He deserves it endlessly after losing his sponsorship at Flames From 80 Feet. In my opinion, he's far-and-away the best and most thoughtful sports writer in the entire city.
On the contrary, please don't put my favourite Calgary Flames sports writer behind a paywall. That's why I don't read KW anymore.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:39 PM   #95
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On the contrary, please don't put my favourite Calgary Flames sports writer behind a paywall. That's why I don't read KW anymore.
FF80F lost its sponsorship. Outside of putting up a paywall and sponsorship or using ad revenue, he has nothing in terms of compensation for a service that obviously has a huge followership and audience. It takes a lot of time to perform the research, look up the stats, phone interviews, and on top of that there are web hosting fees too.

I get that disposable income is not easy nowadays, but $50 a year isn't too bad, especially for the quality of the writing you get along with the ever-increasing coverage.

You want Haynes to do that for free? He's willing, he put up an article just this week. But it will just mean much less frequent articles. The good news is that it sounds like the ball is in his court if the entire Flames fanbase are strong supporters and would consider renewing/subscribing just for him. It's just a matter of if he has the time for it.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:37 PM   #96
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You want Haynes to do that for free? He's willing, he put up an article just this week. But it will just mean much less frequent articles. The good news is that it sounds like the ball is in his court if the entire Flames fanbase are strong supporters and would consider renewing/subscribing just for him. It's just a matter of if he has the time for it.
If his fanbase is strong enough, maybe a site like Patreon would be an option. He could set up a subscription service.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:05 AM   #97
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The Athletic travels Mike Russo in Minnesota and Aaron Portzline in Columbus, though. If those markets can support it, why not Calgary?
Duha always seems to find some angle that sends him to Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose for weeks at a time.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:51 AM   #98
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I am not a Athletic subscriber and I definitely miss reading Duhatschek articles because he is great. But like many here I still had access to Darren Haynes so that kept me happy. I didn't realize he lost his sponsorship which is so unfortunate! If the athletic hired Haynes that would be my tipping point and I would definitely get a subscription. I'm glad that these guys have this as an option as they deserve to make lots of money for the great work they do.
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:52 PM   #99
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I just subscribed through the 50% discount on Facebook today. With the expanded coverage I’m willing to give it a try. Here’s hoping that something can be worked out with Darren Haynes to make it even better.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:27 PM   #100
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If his fanbase is strong enough, maybe a site like Patreon would be an option. He could set up a subscription service.
He has enough support where it could be a sustainable endeavor. I already support one cause through Patreon and wouldn't mind pitching a few more bucks a month to Haynes. Either way, I think it is safe to say you will see a swell of new subscriptions if he gets to join The Athletic staff.
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I am not a Athletic subscriber and I definitely miss reading Duhatschek articles because he is great. But like many here I still had access to Darren Haynes so that kept me happy. I didn't realize he lost his sponsorship which is so unfortunate! If the athletic hired Haynes that would be my tipping point and I would definitely get a subscription. I'm glad that these guys have this as an option as they deserve to make lots of money for the great work they do.
He's still a pretty good follow on Twitter, but he did indeed lose the funding that was making it worthwhile. Made a post about it the week of the holidays.

https://twitter.com/statuses/1013778377608556544
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