Youth Sports Now: A league of its own
Eric Lund was having a hard time figuring out in which of the many baseball leagues his athletically inclined offspring should play. From that frustration was born YouthSportsNow.com, a content aggregator for the myriad sports available in the area for kids age five to college.
"We're covering 23 sports," says Lund, including squash, rowing and cheerleading.
For content, he relies on parents and coaches to report scores–- and on other media. "Instead of a reporter, we'll link to a story on the Daily Progress or on Scrimmage Play," says Lund. "We linked to a Hook story on the ice park."
In 2007, Lund launched a shelter mag called Charlottesville House and Home and Garden, and followed that in 2008 with the Next 50, a glossy for aging baby boomers. Both quietly folded later that year. "I'm out of the print business," declares Lund.
He teamed up with Jerry Miller, who does a local sports show called Varsity Lights on NBC29, and Lund says they're counting on peer pressure and social networking to get parents to cover all those kids' games.
The youth sports niche suddenly seems crowded. Last fall, a glossy devoted to area high school sports, Scrimmage Play, started publication.
"There's a major difference," says Scrimmage Play co-publisher Bart Isley. "Ours is journalistically based. Theirs is user-generated. We're putting high school sports coverage in the hands of experienced journalists."
And Isley doesn't see too much overlap. 'There's usually a place for a voice for everyone," he notes. "That's for readers to decide."