Nine years ago I launched Outkick at SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Alabama.
The first day we launched, the site crashed because we had too much traffic for our servers to handle. In retrospect, it was not very much traffic, but on that day it felt monumental. And frustrating. How was our site going to make it if we couldn’t even stay up on the first day.
For anyone who has ever started a business from nothing, lain awake in your bed late at night unable to sleep as all the responsibilities cascade over you, woken up and worked furiously in the dead of night because you feel like you’re chasing something you can never catch, it’s an all encompassing experience, full of tremendous highs and lows, the race that never ends.
I had no idea what the future would bring for Outkick on that day nine summers ago, but I poured every ounce of my ability into the site for years, running the entire content and business strategy entirely by myself, hoping to carve out a niche in a competitive sports marketplace.
Today we regularly produce millions of readers, listeners, and viewers a week across Outkick content on the web, social, video, and radio. For someone who started writing online with an audience of zero, that’s a tremendous feeling of success, but in many ways I still feel like we are just beginning.
March, April and May have been our three largest audience months in succession, each building upon the high set the month before. And I’m confident June will be our biggest month yet as well.
Because today we have a huge announcement, the biggest talent acquisition in the history of the site, and one of the biggest talent acquisitions in the history of sports media on the Internet — welcome Jason Whitlock to Outkick as a full time partner.
Needless to say, I’m ecstatic about the addition. Indeed, if you told me I could draft anyone in sports media to work alongside at Outkick, Jason Whitlock would be my top pick. He’s a perfect fit for Outkick as we stride into the 2020’s — a fearless voice unconcerned with upsetting anyone with his intelligent fact-based opinions.
I know many of you share my concern about our country today, a place where feelings are prized over facts, where emotion and anger have replaced logic and reason. A place where if your opinions make someone uncomfortable you are encouraged to stay quiet lest you offend the delicate sensibilities of others.
That will not ever be the case at Outkick.
We represent the free speech wing of the free speech party.
And I’m confident there has never been a more important time for our site to be expanding aggressively across the country. We need to have honest conversations in this country, we need real debate, we don’t need artificial banalities, we need fearless content rooted in intelligence and fact-based data.
In the weeks and months ahead Outkick will be rapidly expanding our footprint in all forms of video and audio.
I’m more confident than I’ve ever been that Outkick is necessary.
And I’m also more confident than ever that we’re going to win our fair share of battles with the blue checkmark brigades on social media and that we’re going to advance the first amendment marketplace of ideas in a fearless and intelligent manner.
Bookmark the site and grab your popcorn, we’re about to have a lot of fun.