SkyscraperSports.com has created a unique lane in online sports media. The site features the latest analysis, news and reviews on every aspect of New York professional sports. Whether you follow the Islanders, or want the latest trade rumors involving the Knicks, Steven Tsakanikas and his talented team of contributors have got your fix. I recently got a chance to chat with Steven to discuss the origins of his site, as well as his outlook on sports journalism in the digital age.
- Sweet Startups: Please provide our readers with a little information about SkyscraperSports.com:
Steven Tsakanikas: SkyscraperSports.com is a New York sports website that fans come to for unique perspectives, in-depth analysis and opportunities to attend exclusive events. We cover the New York side of the MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL leagues which includes every team from the Yankees to the Knicks to the Jets.
- Sweet Startups: The sports industry is HUGE. How did you carve out a lane for yourself in this niche arena (New York sports)?
ST: There are so many different ways fans can get their news and analysis, but there aren’t many for New York in specific. This didn’t make much sense to me because NYC has more than double the amount of people living here than the next biggest city in America and has ten different teams across the four major sports leagues.
I think that once fans can tell you’re an authentic fan and not just somebody who has a degree in Journalism looking to make money off a website, you establish credibility and ultimately gain their trust.
- Sweet Startups: What are some of the most challenging aspects of running an online sports magazine?
ST: Like you said before, it’s really hard to carve your own lane in the monster industry that is sports, so I think just trying to bring New Yorkers to your site instead of sites like ESPN and Bleacher Report was really tough. It’s hard to pry people away from something they’ve been using or reading for a while, but once fans actually read an article or two on our site, they see it’s completely different than these other sports websites. They’re reading articles from fans, not Journalists and I think it’s evident in our writing.
- Sweet Startups: What are some of the most rewarding elements of managing your site?
ST: Obviously, there are numerous rewarding elements of managing a site, especially one where you care about the content that’s being produced. I think my favorite aspect about owning my own site is that I can control the authenticity of it. Pickpocketing occurs daily in New York, so New Yorkers know when somebody is trying to rob them, whether it be of their money or of their time. We always post authentic, meaningful sports articles that fans always appreciate.
When I hear stories of people telling one of my writers that they love their articles and read them all of the time, it makes me feel like we’re headed in the right direction.
- Sweet Startups: As a sports writer and entrepreneur, are there any journalist you look up to and admire? If so who and why?
ST: Ian Begley, who covers the Knicks for ESPNNewYork.com.
I met Ian right before I launched SkyscraperSports.com last year at Carmelo Anthony’s basketball camp, as I was volunteering and he was covering the event. I recognized him from Twitter and immediately introduced myself. I told him how I appreciated his writing and also told him about my site that was launching soon. He gave me some valuable tips that I still incorporate in my writing to this day. He’s a true professional and I aspire to be half as successful of a sports writer as he is one day.