laws has been kind of shocking for me. We’ve essentially gone three months without any “hot stove” football talk and even the draft was a far lighter version of its former self.
And no matter how you feel about the Washington Capitals, they have been the best story going over the past two months as they attempt to bring a Stanley Cup to the region (and most certainly into the Inner Harbor if they actually win it).
But I do have far more good news to report than bad news about our direction at WNST. And this is our way of making our message clear to Baltimore sports fans: we’re growing and we need the help of the people who care about WNST the most, the local sports fans.
I’ve been promising for weeks in social media and telling many of my business associates about our metamorphosis as the world of social media and mobile begin to collide.
And this might seem like a “small” or trivial move if you’re not connected to the advertising and media world but it’s a major diversion for any traditional media company to move it’s business and revenue model in a unique way.
Beginning this week we’re going to begin offering group coupons – not unlike what you get in your morning email inbox from Groupon, Living Social or a number of other conglomerates like CBS Local, who offer “1/2 price specials” for local establishments.
I’ll explain more about the business ramifications of group coupons – ours will be called the WNST Community Coupon — and what it’s done to the business marketplace later in the week. But, what I really need you to know is that if you love WNST.net, we really hope you shop at our online store early and often and support our company by supporting our partners, sponsors and neighbors with LOCAL commerce.
And with zero marketing budget for the endeavor, what I’d like to personally ask is that you share this with your friends who love Baltimore sports on Facebook, Twitter and into the water cool conversations that always happen in Smalltimore. When we give you a great value, please tell your friends. If you think we do Baltimore sports information better than anyone else, please tell your friends that as well.
One other thing we NEVER brag about but we really should: Brian Billick’s involvement at WNST.net as an owner, investor and partner ensures that 5% of all future profit will go directly back to the community via The Living Classrooms Foundations. So, essentially, once the bills are paid, the more money we make the more money the community makes to help kids find a better education and life here in Baltimore.
Ask what percentage of local profit WBAL or The Baltimore Sun or CBS Radio gives back to local Baltimore community services? It ain’t 5% of profit, I’ll assure you of that!
I love the growth I see and feel in my business and the daily challenge of finding new ways to bring you Baltimore’s best sports coverage and finding new ways to make our business better. And I know bringing it to your mobile device is the answer.
And tough times make winners. Make no mistake about it, the last four years have been “tough times” for almost every person I know in America who isn’t an athlete. It’s been particularly hard on small business owners like myself and specifically in the state of Maryland, where there’s no relief from Annapolis.
But through it all, we’ve remained the proud market leader in Baltimore sports and media and that won’t change as long as I’m making decisions.
Sure, the Orioles still ban me from having a press pass – this is my fifth season unlawfully “locked out” after 21 years of having the access to ask tough questions — and the only way to get it is to sue Peter Angelos and find the $200,000 in legal fees necessary to do it.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are effectively “out of business” for the time being and as a PSL holder and guy who’s pretty fully “all in” dedicated personally and professionally to the football business, my business in the fall stands to be damaged more significantly if they somehow royally screw this whole thing up and don’t play in 2011.
But don’t cry for me just yet.
My partners and I are building the best new media business in the city and later in the week I’m going to be appealing to anyone who’s ever known me or touched WNST