House of College Hoops - evolving our brand & what it's meant to me
Scene set: October of 2019.
I was less than 5 months out of school. I hated my first job - it was full of mundanity, my commute was long, and I wasn't passionate about the work I was doing. But, you need to pay the bills somehow. So that part stayed.
I knew my long-term goals were to break into sports announcing eventually, but I wanted a little more. Yes, my broadcasting and PA announcing gigs kept me busy, the extra cash flowed in, and my craft improved.
But I needed a little more of the things I loved in my life.
Dan Gardella, a friend from high school and afterwards, was having so much fun writing for College Hoops Digest. I thought to myself, "how could would that be?"
Next thing you know, Josh Adams - the founder and editor - calls me. I was prepared for a full-blown interview; our call was far from that. We talked about how different this product was than other blogs and other sites. The evolution of different writers we'd gone through over the six years prior. The "no game recap" rule. The small reimbursement for parking, or a hot dog, or a soda if you write an article. All that jazz.
So, Josh took a bet on an unrefined writer and away we went. The sheer experience I got from learning how to cover a game "the right way," and not in the cookie-cutter, boring "corporate J journalism" method, was instrumental.
I sat on press row for Providence Friars games, for MTE's at Mohegan Sun and the Prudential Center, and so many more games. A dream for the 22-year-old kid trying to find his role in sports.
The Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in November 2019. Virginia knocked off Arizona State in a 48-45 rock fight. Talk about Tony Bennett basketball.
Josh may kill me for sharing his email with our crew at the beginning of the 2019-202 season, but here it is. A casual reminder that we all had the inherent ability to succeed inside us.
When Will and I had the opportunity to absorb College Hoops Digest last year, we jumped. Will worked his magic and gave the branding a (much-needed) face-lift. We had podcast episodes, Twitter Spaces, and much more. We added new talent that contributed immediately.
But we knew we could go further.
And now, as Will announced, House of College Hoops is the next generation of college basketball content at House Enterprise. I'm so excited that we will continue to dive fully into college hoops. Very simply put, to grow this brand, we'll use very basic principles. We'll have the same mindset of "telling the real story," but with a different product and delivery.
We'll bet on video - we'll stream video and find you, the viewers, where you are. We'll give you the (largely unfiltered) content you crave in the format you like. You'll find us on both Twitter and YouTube.
We'll embrace responsible gambling and the opportunity it brings. Sports betting was taboo just years ago. Now, it's crucial for any brand looking to progress and reach new consumers. We'll have futures, picks, overs and unders, and maybe even more shows if you demand it.
We'll bring you a great podcast. With conversations already recorded with coaches across the league, we'll get right into the nitty gritty of the things you need to know and the stories for the upcoming season and beyond.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy. Maybe we'll have a toast to how far we've come, the folks that helped us get here, and the future. Stay tuned...you've only just heard the beginning of this journey.