Update to the Extra Points / The Intercollegiate Partnership

Here's what this means for you, and for Extra Points

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

Back in July, I announced that Extra Points would be merging with The Intercollegiate. We hoped that with this merger, we could create a new entity that would combine short and medium form writing with longer, investigative journalism. We hoped we could combine our mutual interests in open records and college athletics accountability into a new entity that told interesting stories. And we hoped that by combining our editorial resources, we could improve the sustainability of our efforts.

Those were good ideas and good plans. But after a few months, it’s also become clear that those plans require adjustments. So after November 1, Extra Points and The Intercollegiate will formally separate back into different brands.

Why are we doing this?

I want to be clear. This is an amicable break-up. I believe Extra Points was a better product because of the involvement of Daniel and Luke, and I will continue to read and support their work in the future.

This is happening because over the last few months, we’ve realized that while we agree on many things, there are also some critical differences that make a formal merger difficult to sustain. We have different audiences. We have different revenue models. We produce different types of content. And the joint effort to build and maintain both brands makes less financial sense than it did in July. By splitting, we’re both free to pursue the audiences, partnerships, revenue models, stories, and structures that make the most sense for us.

What does this mean for me, the reader?

Hopefully, not too much will change. I still plan on publishing four days a week, pursuing the same types of stories, in the same type of voice, as before. My ambition to make Extra Points a resource for academics, journalists, students, and regular ol’ fans who care about the behind-the-scenes in college athletics has not changed. Any bulk subscription orders, any agreements to speak to classrooms…all of that stuff remains unchanged. But there will be a few immediate changes:

  • The Extra Points logo will change. FOIA SAXA is awesome, but the bulldog is part of The Intercollegiate’s brand. Over the coming weeks, I will chat with designers and come up with new branding that I think you’ll like. I am open to suggestions!

  • The t-shirt sales at Homefield will be suspended by November 1. Once new Extra Points branding is created, I hope to sell shirts again on Homefield and potentially create other merch options for you. I still have a few leftover stickers with FOIA SAXA, that I’ll give away to new subscribers until I run out of the stickers.

  • Bonus audio content from The Intercollegiate podcasts will no longer appear in these newsletters. I might link to the podcast from time to time (it’s a good podcast!), but exclusive stuff won’t appear here anymore, since it isn’t mine. I’ll continue to look at audio offerings that may sense for this audience, and what I actually have time to produce, moving forward.

  • My email will revert to MattBrownOhio@Gmail.com, at least for the time being. Emails sent to MBrown@TheIntercollegiate.com will be forwarded to that email, but I will phase out of using the Intercollegiate email address.

What does this mean for the future of Extra Points, big picture?

Candidly, I think everything is on the table.

Right now, I think Extra Points is continuing to grow at a healthy enough clip for me to continue to make this my job. Revenue is growing by ~`10% each month. The free subscriber list continues to grow. My open rate and retention rate are very strong, and I think the fundamentals of the business are still pretty good.

But this also means that this goes back to being a one-man operation, and that’s a challenge, especially since we’re 1) in the middle of a dang pandemic 2) I’m doing this while also project managing Zoom Elementary School, and 3) Making this my job means that in addition to writing, reading and researching, I also need to spend time on business development, strategy, bookkeeping, and more.

So this is working for now. But I doubt it can work like this forever.

So, am I open to potentially selling Extra Points to a publisher? Sure! Am I open to licensing this content or looking into other partnerships, like with another publisher, a university, or other entity? Sure! Am I open to hiring more help? Potentially, especially if this newsletter generates more revenue. Am I open to other arrangements that would provide revenue streams beyond reader subscriptions? Sure! Am I open to just walking away and getting a regular job? I mean, probably not, but if you have one, you should still contact me anyway.

If you have thoughts about any of that, drop me a line at MattBrownOhio@Gmail.com.

In the meantime, I will continue to do my very best to keep giving you something you’ll want to read, almost every weekday. I’ll continue to look for new ways to make Extra Points better. And I’ll continue to read and share work from The Intercollegiate. They provide an important service in the college athletics media landscape, and I wish them the very best. I know they feel the same about me.

Thanks for your readership and support. If you have other questions, hit me up at MattBrownOhio@gmail.com. And if you want to take this opportunity to subscribe, to help make sure Extra Points remains sustainable for the future, you can do right here: