As print and digital news outlets have backed off the plate when it comes to professional baseball coverage, “The Athletic’ is coming on strong.
The startup online sports publication, formed in January 2016 and launched in Philadelphia last September, was co-founded by Philadelphia native Alex Mather. It is betting on the subscription-based site filling a content void for serious sports fans. After raising more than $8 million before Labor Day of last year, The Athletic gobbled up a bushel of journalists to create national and local verticals on its main site and expanded into several new cities, writes Jeff Blumenthal in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
“The Athletic is a subscription-based site for diehard fans,” company spokeswoman Taylor Patterson said. “And they still want coverage that offers analysis and an understanding of scouting and information from front offices. As others scale back, we are investing. Journalism needs to be accompanied by a business model that is sustainable and we think the subscriptions will support it.”
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