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Bleacher Report Raises $22M in Venture Capital

Bleacher Report, the polarizing yet increasingly relevant website that Time magazine recently named one of its 50 best websites of 2011, has just received a $22 million investment from Oak Investment Partners.

“Sports is a big opportunity and no one has gotten it right yet,” said Fred Harman, general partner of Oak Investment. “People are clearly as passionate and opinionated as they are in politics, and they are less inhibited to express their opinions. I’d argue Bleacher Report has done a far better job of embracing the capabilities of the online medium than the big sports name brands have.”

Bleacher Report recently hired five new “lead writers” to spearhead the site’s sports coverage, a move that Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports derided as “window dressing.”

(Bleacher Report is) a widely mocked sports website known for extremely low-quality content that is gamed to dominate Google’s search engines. They have a reputation for spelling errors, typos, and slideshows created in poor taste…

(H)iring four new high-quality writers doesn’t outweigh 5,000 (or however many other) poor quality ones who are published. They can throw the well written columns of their new writers on the front page, bury the low quality writers on back pages, and still rake in the pageviews. That’s what I mean by window dressing. Just because the stuff doesn’t show up on the front page of the site doesn’t mean it does not exist.

Want to make a high-impact change that will gain the respect of the sports community? Stop gaming Google.

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Nielsen Sports: Marketability of LeBron and Wade Dropped Precipitously

Maybe it’s the public backlash over “The Decision.” Or maybe it’s LeBron James‘ disappearing act in the fourth quarter of last season’s playoff games. Or maybe it’s Dwyane Wade‘s insistence on always doing press conferences right alongside James, looking part lackey and part look-out. Or maybe it’s all those reasons and more that the public image and marketability of James and Wade, respectively, have plummeted over the last year, according to Nielsen Sports, whose N-Score measures name and image awareness, appeal and personality attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience and influence, both at the national and local levels.

Over the last year James’ N-score dropped from 131 to 26, while Wade’s went down from 117 to 34. Both fell out of the top 10 NBA list, which was led by Dirk Nowitski of the Mavericks at 132.

“From endorsement superstars to being knocked off the top 10 list, they’ve learned the hard way the importance of public perception and appeal,” said Stephen Master, vice president at Nielsen Sports. “After that whole Game 6 press conference, do you think companies are going to be lining up to do business with LeBron James? Probably not.”

Following Nowitski in the top 5 of NBA players are Kobe Bryant (83); Steve Nash (68); Kevin Garnett (65) and Tim Duncan (51).

Is Spero Dedes' Radio Job With Knicks In Jeopardy?

After getting arrested for DWI in the Hamptons, Spero Dedes‘ radio broadcast deal with the New York Knicks could be in jeopardy, according to the New York Post.

Dedes reportedly hasn’t signed a contract that would officially make him the radio voice of the Knicks. A spokesperson from MSG Network has declined comment.

The 32-year-old Fordham grad left his radio position with the Los Angeles Lakers in order to come back home to New York.

 

 

 

 

Bruschi Shares Pats' Media Rules

During an appearance on ESPN’s NFL Live, former Patriot Tedy Bruschi revealed Bill Belichick‘s four “rules” for interacting with the media.

1. Speak for yourself. “That’s something Coach Belichick always said — ‘Don’t worry about anyone else’s situation, on another team or your team, always think about your job, doing your job, and commenting on that.”

2. Never talk about injuries. “Never let them know if you’re hurt or not hurt.”

3. Pour on the perfume. “This is compliments. You want to spray that perfume on your opponent on Wednesday all the way through Saturday, and then get the job done on Sunday.”

4. Fall back on cliches. “When in doubt, use the old safe cliche. You love those — ’100 percent’, ‘one day at a time.’”

Rex Ryan‘s four rules for the media are the complete opposite of these.