Bleacher Report Ends 2013 with Record-Setting Growth
As 2013 comes to a close, Bleacher Report, Turner Broadcasting’s leading multi-sport digital and mobile destination, celebrates a record-setting year with unprecedented growth in key research metrics and advertising categories. The impressive performance was the result of significant investments and integrations made for the site during its first full year since joining the Turner portfolio.
According to the most recent multi-platform research data from comScore, Bleacher Report delivered 26.3 million unique users against its website and mobile platforms in October, making it the #3 online sports destination (among non-league sites) and signifying a 28% increase since March 2013. Additionally, according to desktop data, BleacherReport.com has averaged 331 million page views and 128 million visits in 2013, increases of 15% over last year, and the time spent on the site is up 11% through November vs. the same time period last year.
Mobile continues to be a huge driver for Bleacher Report, as its audience continues to grow at a rapid pace, with mobile unique users representing 44% of the site’s content consumption in October 2013 vs. 36% in November 2012.
This significant growth in audience has generated strong response from the advertising community. In 2013, the division attracted nearly 50 new advertisers spanning categories including automotive, telecom, insurance, tech and QSRs.
“Bleacher Report executed on its pre-existing commitment to expand and enhance its content and product offerings in 2013, and it was met with incredible levels of engagement from fans and strong response from the advertising marketplace,” said Matt Hong, senior vice president and general manager of sports operations, Turner Sports. “We look forward to continuing to grow and evolve Bleacher Report as a key brand in the Turner Broadcasting portfolio and utilizing Turner’s core assets to help accelerate such growth.”
This year’s success was driven by a host of new initiatives Bleacher Report rolled out throughout the year with an emphasis on significant investments that further develop its content, video production, product and regional offerings to create a best-in-class experience for sports fans.
Several highly-regarded journalists joined Bleacher Report in 2013 including NBA writers Howard Beck, Ric Bucher, Kevin Ding, Ethan Skolnick and Jared Zwerling, NFL writers Matt Bowen, Mike Freeman and Dan Pompei, college basketball writer Jason King and NHL writer Dave Lozo, among others, bolstering its comprehensive coverage and reporting across those sports.
Enhancements were also made to Bleacher Report’s top-rated Team Stream app, including the launch of a customizable Fantasy Football stream allowing fans to personalize a stream and receive the latest real-time information on the individual players on their fantasy team(s), delivered directly to their mobile phone or tablet device. In addition to driving fan engagement and downloads, the new stream also led to new sponsorship opportunities including McDonald’s serving as presenting sponsor of the My Fantasy Team stream and Coors Light presenting a Cold Hard Facts stream, both significant, new partnership opportunities in the mobile space.
This past year marked an important expansion for Bleacher Report beyond the U.S., with the site’s first international launch in the U.K. With an all-new home page and enhanced Team Stream app, the new interface more prominently features World Football, Cricket, Rugby, Formula 1 and other sports craved by the local fan base. A full-time, London-based Bleacher Report UK editorial staff was formed, led by managing editor Lee Walker and a host of writers and editors across all key sports for the region. The response to the launch and the increased content has been strong, with monthly unique visits up 114% and monthly page views up 63% over last year, while Team Stream downloads and engagement in the region continue to grow.
Other significant initiatives in 2013 include the introduction of a state-of-the-art video headquarters for Bleacher Report in New York, providing expansive production capabilities for the site; the debut of Bleacher Report-branded television segments airing within CNN and HLN programs each day, as well as the integration of BleacherReport.com as the digital destination for CNN.com’s sports coverage; and the launch of Bleacher Report Radio, a daily sports talk program created in partnership with Sirius XM Radio.
“This year was a pivotal one in the evolution of Bleacher Report into a leading digital destination for sports fans,” added Dave Finocchio, co-founder and chief content officer of Bleacher Report. “The momentum generated throughout the year has put us in a strong position for even more success and growth in 2014 and beyond.”