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The network just received the following e-mail from CEO Shannon Terry, the man that built Rivals. We have been giving the option to share this info with the site as opposed to the normal confidentiality associated with information of this nature.
Shannon pulls back the curtain from a gameplan standpoint and technological one. Enjoy his transparency and let me know what you think ...
Since we have all eyes on us right now, it’s probably a good idea to go over some of our production plans for the next few months.
First, I want to continue to reiterate that we are in the final stage of releasing the last piece of our infrastructure rewrite. We are about 80% complete and will spend the next 2-3 months finishing this build so that we can move forward with our production plans that should form the basis of our platform for the next decade.
Once this final piece has been completed, we can easily roll out new products such as feeds, mobile apps and a few "Area 51" type products that will revolutionize our industry this year. The last piece of the infrastructure rewrite consists of message boards and will be the most complicated and time consuming. However, our engineers are highly motivated to complete this project so that we can take our next steps as a company.
During the next 2-3 months -- as we complete the board/infrastructure project -- it is our intentions/hopes to roll out a few smaller consumer-based projects. We have a long list of small adjustments to current products and a few smaller releases.
Following are a few "wins" we hope to release over the next few months.
*** Assistant Coach Recruiting Ranking: We are going to create a computer-generated Assistant Coach Recruiting Ranking tied to the Gaussian Distribution formula and the #247Composite ranking. Let the data determine who the nation’s top recruiter is for each class. Users will be able to keep up with coach rankings live with each commitment throughout the year.
*** Basketball Recruiting Ranking: Just like football recruiting, 247Sports will soon launch a computer-generated basketball recruiting ranking tied to the Gaussian Distribution formula. Will have versions for 247Sports rankings and the 247Composite. We can adjust the standard deviation to account for smaller class sizes.
*** Crystal Ball: 247Sports takes pride in building and managing the very best recruiting Player Database. We are taking it up a notch by launching a “Crystal Ball” section on the player page. The entire 247Sports recruiting staff (both national and team site reporters) will have the ability to predict where a recruit is going to sign. Users will be able to easily see predictions for each player as well as all predictions made by a specific recruiting analyst. The Crystal Ball will also give percentages and dates for each prediction. We will ultimately expand this project to allow other analysts in the industry to make predictions as well as 247Sports users.
*** Skill Ratings: We are adding a skills meter to each player profile in the 247Sports player database. Instead of using generic skills, such as size, speed, strength, etc, we have created skill categories based on the actual position. For example, for offensive lineman some of the skills rated would be (1) pass blocking, (2) run blocking, (3) size, (4) toughness, etc. ... just trying to be a little more detailed and thorough.
It is important to note that these upcoming releases are just the start. For the past two years, we have spent the bulk of our time and resources just getting off the ground and positioning the company to compete in the sports media space.
We are a customer-driven company and believe in people and technology. We are about to take a significant step forward in the development of products and services that we believe will shape our industry for the next decade. We appreciate your support and are extremely motivated to give you an unmatched product.
I would like to leave you with one last thought.
We have been discussing internally over the past 30-60 days the idea of changing the message board setup across the 247Sports network.
Here’s what we are considering:
#1. Users must be members of a "home site" to post on a message board. This is the way it is setup now for most sites in the network. (for example, only a Ohio State fan could post on the Ohio State site – Bucknuts).
#2. Users still have the option to check whether their posts are VIP or free. This is also the way it is setup currently. It gives our staff reporters and admins the flexibility to determine if content is free or premium (VIP).
Here’s the fundamental change:
#3A. All members of the 247Sports network can read VIP posts from ALL message boards (if they are a member to any site). Obviously, this is a major change from the current setup. It is the number one request we frequently receive regarding new products. It is common for users to take a free-trial for an opposing school to get the latest on a recruit or a rival school, so it is not uncommon for members of the network to visit/read multiple boards on the site. In reality, there’s no real “hidden” information or “super secret” inside scoop that is only shared among a fanbase.
#3B. Another variation of #3A would be to allow ALL members of the 247Sports network to read VIP posts (if they are a member) on all message boards from all admins/site reporters (only). This would give all subscribers to the network the ability to read all message board posts from 247Sports team site and 247Sports national reporters, but users would have to be a member of a specific site to read the posts from the various users on that specific message board. This idea is along the same concept, but slightly different. 247Sports is very team-based and most all of our staff reporters work in conjunction to bring users news and updates. So, to allow all VIP members to read all of the team site message boards would not alienate any of our team site reporters and publishers -- as they almost always work together.
To me the value of being able to read all of the boards in the 247Sports network is a huge Plus to the customer.
Our goal from the start is NOT to build a Rivals.com 2.0, but build something broader with more value to the consumer.
We have been researching this possibility and will continue to do so with our closest advisors over the next few weeks. Right now, we are heavily leaning in that direction.
Thanks for your attention and hope everyone has a wonderful National Signing Day.
I just saved 15% on my car insurance....
That is one helluva a plan... +1
Love the "Crystal Ball" feature, going to create quite a few arguments/discussions I bet!
3A or 3B would be awesome
i would love to read all the vip post i think that is a great idea
Very interesting. I like to hear stuff like this from the eyes in the sky. Good customer relations. I would especially like to see 3A or 3B implemented. It is unrealistic to expect people to sign up and pay for multiple team sites and I think it's more than fair to at a minimum allow admins' posts to be seen by all who have a paying membership somewhere. Can I make an unreasonable request and have another check box to let me decide whether or not I want my post to be seen by a TurkeyCoop member?
I like 3B. I think it is fair that all users of the 247 network have access to the reports by 247 reporters/admin but not to poster comments on specific boards. You would need to be a member of that particular board to read their comments.
I agree. I think this is fair, and creates value for the owners' of the sites (ie Jamie). If any Hokie can see ALL the VIP comments on here, that erodes the value of being a member of The Grounds. However, being able to read only what the reporters/admins write I think is fair. And, if an outsider decides that he really MUST know what the posters are saying, then they can pay for the right to that.
3A if you want to change the game. 3B if you want to be Rivals 2.0.
3A and 3B are big departures from Rivals.
What is this Rivals you speak of?? Sounds like a depressing sad little place to visit.... kinda like Cleveland.
That's pretty cool! The ability to read VIP posts on any school's board would lose some revenue for 247 but it would be a huge plus to the consumer.
The skill ratings and crystal ball sound like a lot of fun. It's sort of like playing the EA sports NCAA football game's recruiting aspect.
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As someone working on a tech startup myself, I love seeing this kind of disclosure on strategy and customer relations from the management team. Keep up the great work.
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