A former AOL exec has recruited a team of tech veterans to help fund his new sports blogging network. Jim Bankoff, one-time programming chief of AOL, has just secured a “mid-seven-figure sum” of money for SportsBlog Nation (also known as SB Nation), a startup that’s been chugging along under the radar for several months now, according to published reports.
The funding, the Sports Business Journal says, comes from former Yahoo senior executives Dan Rosensweig and Jeff Weiner — who just left Yang and company in June — along with Accel Partners, the company that put up the cash for Facebook. Also on-board are AOL vice chairman emeritus Ted Leonsis and other Silicon Valley finance stars.
SB Nation consists of about 150 individually written and maintained blogs organized by topic — baseball, basketball, college, football, hockey, soccer, or “general.” Each one primarily focuses on a specific team and is run by a writer in the team’s city. According to the Journal, the site retains ownership of all content and then shares ad revenue with its bloggers.
Thus far, the site claims about 2 million unique visitors a month and says some of its blogs rival major media outlets for coverage of particular teams.