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It's cool when I talk to everybody, I guess. But what would be REALLY cool is if we all talked to each other. Here's another way we can do that.

Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.

One of the most rewarding aspects of starting this newsletter has been the relationships I’ve formed from it. Over the last eighteen months, my inbox, my DMs, and occasionally, my actual mailbag, have been full of fascinating conversations with all sorts of folks who are passionate about college athletics. Many of them work in the industry in some capacity, but plenty of folks aren’t.

It’s important to me that Extra Points isn’t just an email you get in your inbox. For this project to really be successful, I want you to feel like you didn’t just sign up for a newsletter, you signed up to be part of something, a community, a group of people who love college athletics, who want to understand it better, and want to make it better.

I’m always thinking of new ways to help that community grow, to make it easier for everybody to engage, and to learn from each other. Several weeks ago, I partnered with my friends at Moon Crew LLC to give Extra Points subscribers a Discord channel. I think it’s been a huge success! Our readers have a place to chat, ask each other questions in real-time, crack jokes, and build relationships. I hope more Extra Points paid subscribers will join us there.

But I don’t want that to be the only way for Extra Points readers to learn from each other. So I’d like to try another experiment.

I’m going to kick off an Extra Points reader interview series

Maybe we’ll call it Talk Back Thursday, or Talk About Thursday, or uh…we’ll keep workshopping this. The catchy title can come later.

But what I would like to do is highlight an Extra Points reader, maybe weekly, maybe biweekly. I’d like to not only interview that person but also allow Extra Points subscribers to also submit questions.

We already have our first interview subject. This week, ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart has graciously offered to be our guinea pig. If you have a question for Commissioner Gumbart, from something ASUN specific to changes in college athletics to his guitar-playing skills, drop me an email at MattBrownOhio@gmail.com, or ask the question in the Extra Points Discord room. My hope is to run his responses late this week, so I’d get those questions in sooner rather than later.

There is a lot of expertise among Extra Points readership. There are conference commissioners, athletic directors, coaches, consultants, academics, accountants, and many others with deep industry experience and knowledge, experience that I am confident our entire readership would enjoy learning from. I also know I have readers who have deep knowledge of e of the real nuts and bolts that make college athletics work, from stadium operations to apparel contracts, to academic counseling. Extra Points is interested in that knowledge too!

But I also have a lot of readers who don’t work in college athletics, readers I think would be equally fascinating to highlight and learn from. The superfan of the D-III school, the former college athlete, the NCAA 14 playcalling wizard…everybody has their niche, their particular corner of this sport that they’re passionate about. I think all of that expertise has value, and I want to elevate all of those passions, not just the ones with more impressive-sounding LinkedIn job titles.

Would you like to participate? Here’s how

If you’d like to volunteer to be a community interview subject, please just fill out this Google Form. I’ll drop you a note shortly thereafter, and we can figure out a date.

Any Extra Points subscriber, free or paid, is more than welcome to sign up. You don’t have to work in college athletics. As long as you have some expertise that the Extra Points readership might be interested in, feel free to sign up, and we can chat.

Here’s the part of the newsletter where I ask you to subscribe

Anybody can sign up for a free subscription to Extra Points, which gives you two free newsletters a week.

But this entire operation only works because of paid subscribers. I get almost all of my revenue from newsletter subscriptions. For just $7 bucks a month, or $70 for the entire year, you get access to four newsletters a week, and the Extra Points Discord Room and the other great Moon Crew Discord rooms. We’re taking everything from college football to music recommendations to skincare advice. It’s great.

I also give a 50% student and institutional discount for any university or high school that uses Extra Points in their classroom. Several schools are doing this now, and I’m happy to set up a similar program for your sports media or sports management class. Just drop me a line at MattBrownOhio@Gmail.com. And hey, I still have three Extra Points stickers left! I’ll mail those out, for free, to each new paid subscriber.

My big goal is to get to 600 paid subscribers by the end of 2020. That would help me clear $40,000 a year in annualized revenue, an important benchmark for the long-term sustainability of Extra Points. It would also make it easier for me to pursue other partnerships that could make this newsletter better.

We’re not quite there yet, but we’re very close. Your subscriptions make this project possible.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’m excited to try this! I’ve been energized by the passion and experience of so many readers, and I’d love to share that with everybody else. And if it doesn’t work out, well, I’ll try something else in a few weeks and we’ll just all politely agree to never bring this up again. It’ll be great!

In the meantime, if you have questions for Commissioner Gumbart, ping me in Discord or shoot me an email at MattBrownOhio@Gmail.com.

Thanks again for supporting Extra Points. If you have something you’d like to mail, like a book, a stack of open records, a pennant, hate mail, etc, you can send it to:

Matt Brown

Good Spot Publishing

PO Box 411023

Chicago, IL, 60641

For everything else, from business inquiries to story ideas, drop me a line at MattBrownOhio@Gmail.com, or @MattBrownEP on Twitter dot com.