Preview: Rise of the Niche Sport Magazine
Justin Ellis is a Senior Editor at ESPN The Magazine. This year will be his third time attending SXSW Interactive, and he will be apart of a panel entitled “Rise of the Niche Sport Magazine” along with Caitlin Thompson of Racquet Magazine and George Quraishi from Howler Magazine. Each with their own unique background, the panelists want to bring that diversity to the conversation. I spoke with Ellis over the phone about the upcoming panel, what people who attend can expect to takeaway from the session, and how those skills could be used in other areas beyond that of sports.
The three panelists have drawn inspiration for their panel from methods and trends they have seen first hand happening more broadly in sports media. Similar to what could be seen on the now-defunct website Grantland, writers with non-traditional sports background that were often times underrepresented are being given a voice thanks to niche magazines and websites that are arising and producing content.
The talk will cover more than just print, including social and digital media, podcasts, and other ways of gaining recognition in different forms of storytelling, and how all of those tools are important in establishing a brand’s identity. They also intend to cover sports media and magazines at all levels, from small startups, to the slightly more established all the way up to main stream publications.
Ellis pointed out that “all media companies have to think about all the ways they can reach people through storytelling in different formats.”
The panel will primarily be discussion based, and Ellis remarked that the panelists do not want to come across as just experts giving a presentation, but rather as individuals with experiences they can share that will help those present learn and create a dialogue.
“The primary goal is to create an environment where people can share ideas,” Ellis said.
When I asked Ellis why someone not interested in sports should attend the discussion, he pointed out that the keyword in the title of the panel would be “niche,” not sports.
“We will specifically be talking about sports, but the message, tools and techniques will be applicable to other areas and themes that could all be used in areas of people’s certain interests, from technology to music or even politics. We all have specific types of stories and personalities that we are interested in and these days there are so many different ways for us to get tuned into them,” Ellis said.
You can learn more about Ellis’ upcoming panel by clicking on the link below.
When and Where:
Thursday, March 16
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
JW Marriott – Salon FG / 110 E. 2nd St.
Find out more: Rise of the Niche Sport Magazine