Inside Women's Basketball
InsideWomen’sBasketball Comes Full Court
Friday, November 02, 2012
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.”
• Posted by Kelly Kline on 11/02 at 01:57 PM
New Merger: Full Court will be the New Name
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
We are cruising along trying to do a mountain of work. And we've reached an agreement to merge two women's basketball sites, Inside Women's Basketball and Full Court, and are now building a new site for combined content.
Steve Yelvington, who consulted with us in August, has been hired to build out a new content management system for the new site using the Drupal platform. Having worked on website builds for several major newspapers, we felt his expertise would help get us past many of the hurdles and mistakes that plague many new sites. Steve is able to look at the big picture and help us prepare for future growth. He is also helping us maximize the tools of the internet which will be an asset when we launch.
So far, the biggest challenge has been trying to merge three basketball websites. After three months of trying to hammer out a three-way, equal-partner deal, Cheryl Coward of Hoopfeed decided not to move forward. We were uncertain about her ability to match the award funds, so better to happen now than later. It was a small setback, but ultimately, it has left the door open for us to partner with other people.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
When I found out that Inside Women's Basketball had been awarded the New Media grant.... I was thrilled, flattered, ecstatic and given a new sense of hope that the work I have been doing for the last two years was for a purpose. The next emotion was a mild sense of panic and a huge sense of responsibility that I now have to accomplish the goal my heart desired, to create the premiere web, mobile and social destination for women's basketball.
The first order of business was to bring on board colleagues in the business who I respect and believe would help accomplish the goals spelled out in the grant process. Prior to being awarded the grant I had begun talks with Cheryl Coward, the owner of Hoopfeed.com & Lee Michaelson the owner of Fullcourt.com, about the possibility of merging all three of our sites. The idea being to pool our resources and be able to have a more thorough nationwide coverage map of women's basketball. Also, by pooling our respective audiences, we would increase viewership and put the new product in a place to better reach advertising sales goals.
To get the ball rolling, I hosted a weekend retreat at my home in Atlanta. The three of us kicked off the weekend by attending an Atlanta Dream game, the Eastern Conference Champions in the WNBA.