101 Ways to Make Money From Sports: Introduction

So, why write this book?

In part, because I had the good fortune of being able to make money from sports from my blog, BadJocks.com for several years after I founded it, reaching a peak in 2006 when I actually broke a national story about hazing on a Big Ten athletic team. (More on that in Chapter 1.)  Unfortunately for me, the sports reporting tides were already starting to change at that point and soon thereafter a number of competitors with deeper pockets and–more of a willingness to be sued–pushed my site to the sidelines.

When I started BadJocks in February of 2000, most sports websites were either reporting on scores (new sites) or fan sites that dealt only with one team (Go Cubs!). Nobody was really looking at what I called the “little stories” in sports: hazing incidents at the college and high school level, parents behaving badly at youth sporting events, and coaches getting a little too close to their student-athletes. Eventually I attracted an audience, and that audience attracted advertisers. It was a simple formula and one that worked well in the early days of the Internet.

Today, however, the sports-blog marketplace is much more crowded and, although I would never discourage someone driven to write about a subject they were passionate about, there are certainly many other ways to may money from sports these days. What brings me back to the subject of this book.

Please note though, the title is about making money from sport, not MAKING A LIVING from sports, although the later is certainly possible in most areas. But let me give you an example of what I see as the difference. A friend of mine from when I worked in radio years ago has since retired and loved to sunny Florida but wanted to stay active. He found that he could indulge both his need for a little extra spending income and love of baseball by working as a usher for spring baseball games played in a new stadium not far from his home. The job was not taxing, he could spend most of the game enjoying the action, and he got to interact with other “snow bird” baseball fans. It’s not a living, but it is a nice way to spend and afternoon.

So my plan is to look not just at the obvious ways of making money from sports (like being a professional athlete, team owner or agent) but the hidden corners and areas the average sports fan may not consider. Do I currently have 101 ways to make money from sports? No, but I’m a lot closer than you might think and have every confidence that along this journal I will hit that number and likely exceed it greatly. As with many things, the thrill is in the discovery and I hope to be able to share what I find with audience who will enjoy the journey with me. My plan is to not only write blog posts, but do podcasts and videos as well, interviewing the very people who are doing the job and making money from something they love!

Everybody ready? Let’s get started