Growing Media Company Focusing Spotlight On Underserved Sports Such As CrossFit
Austin-Based FloSports Making Its Mark
Football is certainly king among American sports today. But maybe not as much as people realize.
At the high school level, there are more than 1.6 million runners compared to 1 million football players. Austin-based FloSports, founded in 2006 by brothers and former collegiate athletes Martin and Mark Floreani, is filling the void for underserved sports such as track and field, wrestling and CrossFit.
“Nothing against football, which is obviously a very exciting sport, but there are so many other sports that are not being covered enough,” said Martin Floreani, a former wrestler. “Our aim is to be a disruptive force in the sports media market.”
Investors are taking notice. In the last eight months FloSports has secured more than $11 million in funding including an additional $3 million in debt financing. In two years, media advertising sales have increased from $2 million to $5 million and should continue to grow considering 2016 is an Olympic year. The company rapidly, its work force within the past year.
David Weiss, executive VP of multimedia sales, said advertisers such as Nike, Under Armour, Asics, Gatorade and milk are attracted by the 18- to 24-year-old demographic offered by FloSports. Revenue comes from advertising and tens of thousands of paid subscribers.
The production numbers are staggering. The company creates 5,000 hours among live sporting events each year, owns 980,000-plus videos, features the top webcasts per sport, and has more than five million athletes ranked within their respective sports. Gymnastics, jujitsu, or grappling are also covered and the company recently announced the launch of FloSoftball, its first team sport. The company has also produced 100 documentaries.
Participation figures are also increasing at a healthy rate. There were 51 million runners and/or joggers in 2012, up 25 percent from 2007. Total gymnastics participation was 5 million in 2012, a 26 percent rise from 2007. Fastpitch softball participation increased 12 percent from 2007 to 2012 with 2.6 million players. There were more than 174 million participants in strength activities, nearly 4.3 million track and field athletes and 1.9 million wrestlers in 2012.
Participation is defined as more than once per week and the numbers come from a 2013 report entitled “Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report," written by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
“I think one of the reasons that the sports we cover have higher participation numbers than football is that you can play them all your life,” Weiss said. “So our goal is to grow these sports by getting them more visibility with the hope that it will have a domino effect.”
On Sunday, the company will host “Flotrack Throwdown: Rip City” in Portland, Ore., an interactive, festival-style atmosphere for track fans.