Evolution of Data Skrive
BennettRank - HERO Sports - Data Skrive
BennettRank Is Born
Seattle area angel investor, Gregg Bennett, uses his experience developing algorithms for ranking hospitals to create a system for ranking college women’s soccer. He was frustrated with the subjective nature of voting polls that relied on hunches and guessing to rank teams.
Gregg’s solution was a completely impartial computer ranking system. He pulled in various data points (scores, records, field location, streaks, and strength of schedule) to create an equation for ranking teams and predicting game results. Compared to all other ranking systems, BennettRank did a better job of anticipating post-season success.
BennettRank Rebranded As HERO Sports
In February of 2014, Jordan Nilsen was hired to transition BennettRank into a viable business venture. Over the next several months BennettRank hired its first two writers and rebranded as HERO Sports to align with the company’s new mission of “elevating under-served schools, teams, and athletes” through content.
Over the next year the small team combined the rankings with an aggressive content strategy to create one of the most popular websites for college sports news.
Expanded To All NCAA Sports
By 2015 HERO Sports expanded beyond college soccer and basketball to include all NCAA sanctioned sports. The site’s traffic tripled from the previous year and the team grew to six full-time employees in a glorified double-wide trailer in Seattle’s Eastside.
Expanded To Professional Sports
Most college sports fans are also professional sports fans so HERO Sports added more value to users by expanding to NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL.
Manual content production reached new highs as our small army of writers averaged almost a thousand monthly articles. It was at this point we recognized the challenges of a strictly ad-based revenue model and began searching for new ways to monetize the business.
Brad Weitz Hired As CEO
With so many media startups struggling to scale to profitability, HERO Sports looked outside traditional media circles to find new CEO, Brad Weitz.
Weitz brought a wealth of experience scaling technology businesses. One of his first initiatives upon taking the helm was starting development of a platform to automate the mundane tasks around content development. The internal platform enabled HERO Sports’s editors to create thousands of new pages of compelling content.
Pivoted From B2C To B2B
The success of our automated content on herosports.com drew the attention of some of the largest content producers in the world – one of those companies is the Associated Press. When we explained to them how we use data, marketing analytics, and algorithms, to create high quality content they asked if we would be willing to license the technology.
And so, the world’s most storied and respected journalism institution became our first B2B client. Once we realized the power and potential of creating search optimized original content for businesses we pivoted the business to focus solely on creating value through content for B2B clients.
Data Skrive Is Born
Our content automation platform is vertical agnostic and therefore capable of creating content for any industry. Since “content is king” – and compelling, relevant, and timely content drives sales, interest, and education; our platform represents a significant opportunity to drive ROI.
With a myriad of potential clients across all verticals we needed a name that more accurately reflected what we do and who we are. We combined the fuel for our platform “Data” with the Danish verb “Skrive” meaning to write. We are data writers — we are Data Skrive.