FullCourt.com, which grew by merging with NMWE winner InsideWomen’sBasketball.com, has taken great strides towards becoming a leading web site for national news coverage of women’s basketball.
It recently hired a new editor and a three-person ad sales team to keep pace with its increased traffic and following on social media, and it’s is about to launch a new feature ranking the nation’s top 50 women’s basketball players, said co-founder and NMWE winner Kelly Kline.
The WNBA has also come to recognize the site as a reliable media source and has invited Kline and business partner Lee Michaelson to be part of its post-season awards panel.
Traffic for the site is averaging 12,500 unique viewers and 45,000 page views a month. In July, the busiest month for high school recruiting, the site had reporters covering major prep events around the country. Site traffic for the month hit an all-time high with 70,000 page views and 22,000 unique viewers and 10,000 video rolls. Twitter followers have passed 16,000.
Full Court has also been working on a new feature, “Full Court Fresh 50.” The Fresh 50 will rank the top 50 players of girls’ basketball in the nation for the 2013 and 2014 classes. Full Court has been coordinating with 10 scouts around the nation on the project.
Kline believes this will be a “huge draw” with the potential to double site traffic. ESPN is the only other site doing prep rankings for girls’ basketball.
Full Court hired Clay Kallam, a respected prep writer, as the main editor. He was one of the original founders of Full Court some 17 years ago and expressed interest in working for the site again.
This past summer, the site had a reporter in London covering Olympic women’s basketball.
Full Court has also recently partnered with Roundball Academy, one of the largest prep groups in the country. Full Court is the official media partner of Roundball’s national basketball tournaments.
Managing expectations and responsibilities has been tackled by dividing different sections of coverage between Kline, who manages high school prep, Kallam, who manage college basketball, and Michaelson, who manages WNBA.
In addition, Kline said she oversees video content, photography and the new sales team. Eventually, Kline said she hopes that the new three-person ad sales team will allow the site to bring in a second editor and a social-marketing person.
Kline credits her NMWE award with giving Full Court a chance to rebuild from the ground up. “We would not be here today if it wasn’t for the funds,” she said. “Many women’s basketball sites are very regional and ‘fan blogs.’ Our goal was to take it to the next level and create a site that truly is a nationwide news organization for women’s basketball.
“I believe we’ve been able to do that. It’s still a work in progress, but we have plans to taken it much further, thanks to building blocks that the grant helped us put in place.”