In honor of Minute Media’s 10th Anniversary, we would like to take a look at the last ten years through the lens of our unique content brands, highlighting some of their key milestones throughout the last decade. This blog is dedicated to our sports media brand, The Big Lead.
In 2006, The Big Lead was co-founded by former sports writer Jason McIntyre and his close friend David Lessa, creating a blog site dedicated to sports media. Since its creation, The Big Lead has become a digital destination for all things sports media-focused, from breaking news to in-depth interviews with sports media insiders to industry accolades.
With this popularity came attention from the sports industry itself - including some of the biggest names in sports media at the time. In 2007, sports radio host Colin Cowherd mentioned The Big Lead on his show, calling on his listeners to ‘swarm’ the site. The traffic influx was so great that The Big Lead site had to shut down for a period of time in order to recover. While this incident was unexpected, the mention ended up helping The Big Lead gain traction within a very saturated industry.
In 2010, The Big Lead was purchased by Fantasy Sports Ventures, a holding company that owns and operates leading web properties across all major sports. With Fantasy Sports Ventures’ commercial and marketing resources, The Big Lead was able to further grow its audience and influence within the industry.
Two years later, The Big Lead was sold to publishing giant Gannett, becoming a part of the USA Today digital network. This was a very important milestone for the brand because it proved that The Big Lead was a valuable asset to large digital publishing companies.
In 2018, The Big Lead hit another important milestone by launching their Sports Media Awards, a comprehensive list celebrating the best of the best in sports media. The awards, which include accolades for ‘Sports Personality of the Year’, ‘Best Play-by-Play Announcer’, ‘Best Radio Show’, ‘Best Podcast’ and more, have become one of the most anticipated announcements in the sports media industry.
In 2019, The Big Lead was acquired by Minute Media, joining one of the fastest-growing technology and content companies in the industry. With Minute Media’s proprietary technology platform and expansive commercial teams, The Big Lead has been able to expand even further, creating new content formats and editorial franchises to further connect with its audience.
After joining Minute Media, The Big Lead decided to undergo a rebrand, getting a new look inclusive of a new logo, new color scheme and branding guidelines, and a newly designed site powered by Minute Media’s publishing platform, Voltax. The rebrand not only elevated the brand’s visual identity, but also gave the team access to new widgets and engagement tools enabling them to create new experiences for their users.
In 2020, The Big Lead accomplished another important milestone by launching a new editorial series entitled ‘Voices’. This new series features in-depth interviews with the industry’s most well-known sports media personalities, allowing fans to get to know them and their journeys from their own perspective.
Also in 2020, the brand decided to further their audio presence by launching three new podcasts - Press Pass, Best of 7 and The Kyle Koster Show. These podcasts dive deeper into sports and culture news, share the ‘best-of’ lists and give fans another path to enjoy The Big Lead’s unique content.
This past year, The Big Lead hit another important milestone by having their best year yet in terms of their Sports Media Awards. The 2021 award listing was shared by some of the biggest podcast/YouTube shows, including The Pat McAfee Show, the Dan Le Batard Show and Pardon My Take. Additionally. ESPN's Around The Horn discussed the awards on social media, as did NFL’s RedZone. These impactful mentions are a proof point of The Big Lead’s growing influence in the sports media industry and shows that they are seen as a reputable award provider as well as a sports news destination.
While The Big Lead may not have been around for the full ten-year journey, their contributions to the growth of Minute Media cannot be overstated. The unique perspective and community around The Big Lead make it a great addition to Minute Media’s sports portfolio and we’re excited to see what else is in store for the brand.