It's a wonderful morning to make a very special announcement. SB Nation is acquiring two key new media properties. The FanTake network, which focuses primarily on college sports, and The Offside, an international soccer network.
The FanTake network is run by Paul Wadlington and Drew Dunlevie. Paul and Drew's storyline is familiar to us in the SB Nation family: They started a single blog, drew a big audience quickly, and decided to launch several more. The FanTake network was born, comprised mostly of NCAA sites, but also covering MLB, NBA, and high school recruiting. Their flagship site, Barking Carnival, has grown to becomes one of the most popular and respected college football blogs. Although we had the advantage of a head start of several years and the momentum and size that comes with it, the FanTake network was running on a parallel track to us, so it made a lot of sense to combine under one tent. FanTake will accelerate our ability to achieve our goal of bringing audiences the best fan-focused college coverage on the web.
The Offside was founded by the BootsnAll Travel Network just after World Cup 2006. It began with the launch of their World Cup blog in 2002. The site has grown dramatically since then, bringing in writers in a team format very similar to our own. They have dedicated team bloggers covering many different European and worldwide clubs. The beauty is that many of the team sites they have now will strengthen areas we haven't yet covered, such as the Italian and Spanish leagues.
The beautiful part is that BootsnAll shares our approach to building community/sport blogs and this instantly beefs up our relatively young soccer network. The Offside brand is well respected across Europe for their coverage of the game. It was named one of the sites to follow in 2011 by the Guardian in the UK. Many English-speaking fans of European teams in Italy frequent the sites. I know because the Roma blog was one of my favorite sites on the Web.
I'm thrilled that SB Nation is adding more great talent to what is by far the fastest growing, highest quality and most engaging set of sports communities on the web. Both FanTake and The Offside share our values and commitment pro quality and fan perspective. Please join me in welcoming them to our team ... we're very happy to have them.