The Future of Content Episode 26 with Scott A. Hale of BasketballNews.com

Key Ideas:

  • Content quality is key—if you  put out enough high-quality content, regardless of what it’s about, people will eventually find it.
  • Sports involves an incredible amount of struggle, perseverance, and hard work, but any can identify with it.

Creating content isn’t always easy. It can be a thankless and sometimes challenging job—how do you say something different than what everyone else is saying? How do you find a way to stand out? 

Scott A. Hale found a unique way. He co-founded BasketballNews.com and has hired former NBA players to write for him, which means they bring a perspective and quality to their articles and podcasts that other writers can’t. From there, he developed an SEO strategy built on consistently creating quality content. He discussed why he didn’t want to be like many others in sports media where they distribute “lowbrow” content like highlights and sports arguments, but instead, share meaningful content from the player’s perspectives.

“The players thought the journalists were there for them, when in actuality, if no one covered the NBA it wouldn’t be as big as it is and the players wouldn’t get the salaries they do. It’s funny to watch the players on staff now on the media side—they’re realizing the work ethic that goes into being a writer and are gaining more respect for the journalists now that they’re on the other side.”

— Scott A. Hale, CEO and co-founder, BasketballNews.com

Scott’s goal is to expand into video content and not just focus on the NBA. His goal is to eventually get into high school and college basketball as well as short-form documentaries that focus on the human element of sports, which is often overlooked. 

“There are so many vivid stories to be told, and I think if we tell them in a way that sports is the backdrop, you wouldn’t have to be a huge basketball fan to follow them.”

— Scott A. Hale, CEO and co-founder, BasketballNews.com

I’m not an avid sports fan in any way, but I’ve become hooked on Formula One racing. The only F1 track in the U.S., the Circuit of the Americas, is about 20 miles from where I live, and until I started watching F1: Drive to Survive on Netflix, I didn’t care about F1 at all. Now I’m hooked on it. I watch the races on Sundays, only because I was exposed to the human element of the sport and the drama behind the scenes, and those are the parts that I find fascinating. 

For Scott, sports is the perfect backdrop because it involves so much struggle, perseverance, and hard work that anyone can identify with it. The content he and his team create for BasketballNews.com is written so that anyone— whether they’re avid followers of the sport or just casual observers—can relate and engage.

Scott A. Hale

Scott is the CEO and co-founder of BasketballNews.com.

>> Scott A. Hale on LinkedIn

>> BasketballNews.com


Stream Episode 26 now, or subscribe on your favorite podcast platform below.


Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript may contain some minor wording and formatting errors. Apologies in advance!

Todd Nienkerk: Welcome to The Future of Content. I’m your host, Todd Nienkerk. Every episode, we explore content—its creation, management, and distribution—by talking to people who make content possible. Our goal is to learn from diverse perspectives and industries to become better creators. The Future of Content is brought to you by Four Kitchens. We build digital content experiences for ambitious organizations. 

Today I’m joined by Scott A. Hale, co-founder and CEO of www.basketballnews.com, and we’ll be talking about a lot of stuff—sports content, creating an independent media startup, dealing with athlete egos, content—all of that stuff. Welcome to The Future of Content, Scott. We’re super excited to have you. 

Scott A. Hale: Todd, much appreciated. I’m excited to be here. 

Todd Nienkerk: Excellent. So tell us a little about basketballnews.com and how you got started. 

Scott A. Hale: Sure, so we actually launched August 28th of 2020, so, you know, right in the middle of the pandemic. So the NBA was actually, it had just started back. So they were having a bubble season, so it was a unique time to launch but at the same time, I actually think it was a good time for us, just for the fact that pretty much everything was being done online. What we wanted to do was give a voice to the former players themselves, and also we went out and just sought out a bunch of really talented young, exciting writers as well, so it’s sort of like merging the two. And it worked out great for us because the players, having played in the league for so long, they were able to get us access that a normal startup wouldn’t ever actually get. 

But those first 60 to 90 days, I spoke to friends from Fox, to like, Sports Illustrated, ESPN even, and of course they’d never say this on the record, but they were all impressed with the quality of content and the number of interviews we were getting.

They would ask me how, and I was like, it isn’t us, it’s the players, right? So it’s just different when it’s a former teammate or a former colleague, you know? There’s only 15 people on the team, so you know, you don’t have to be best friends with people, but literally, imagine working with a company that small and you’re travelling and you have this unique experience. So when it’s a former teammate reaching out, it just means more. That’s how we were able to get exclusive interviews right out the gate.

So on our staff we have Etan Thomas, right? So he got Mark Cuban for 90 minutes in his car. I was like, Etan? Who gets Mark Cuban for 90 minutes? Well, Etan was Mark Cuban’s first draft pick when he bought the Dallas Mavericks. So literally, like, that’s what’s been our secret sauce, I would say, is the players, you know, having these relationships for 15 to 20 years and then leaning on that. 

Todd Nienkerk: Wow. So you’re a totally independent startup media company. You don’t have investors, none of that. It’s you, and a couple others got together, you decided that you wanted to create digital content for basketball fans for the players. Is that kind of the secret for you—that you recruited former players and that not only gave you insight into what’s happening, but it also opened a lot of doors, I imagine? 

Scott A. Hale: Yes, definitely. So my partner, Chad, his entire background is funny. He always says he sold underwear online, OK? But really, he was an SEO expert and then he started his own company in his garage, and so it was called yandy.com. He smartly bought a domain that was already doing well. Since he already knew Google search engine optimization, he just focused on an industry that was already being searched and used well online. 

So he started selling lingerie and halloween costumes. He would do so much business. To make a long story short, he starts in his garage with like five grand and seven years later sold the business for almost $50 million. He always downplays it, but the moral of the story is, he knew how to get products to the top of the Google search and so in starting basketballnews.com, I mean clearly it’s a little bit of a different industry, but the point is, he found a phenomenal domain, you know. Basketball is called basketball everywhere in the world, right? It’s not like “football” versus “soccer,” so it’s basketballnews.com. 

He actually got the domain. He and I linked up and first met the summer of 2019 and started going over different ideas, and so yeah, that was one of the main things we did. We started finding players we thought would be a perfect fit and so that’s what we’ve done. And then, like I mentioned earlier, found a couple really talented young writers as well and kind of molded the two and built on that. 

Todd Nienkerk: So some of the keys for success here for any aspiring content writers who are listening right now: Find experts within that industry or topic, right? In your case, former basketball athletes, right? Two: search engine optimization. You have to know how to get your content to the top of search results, and in your case, it was buying a great domain and having someone who knows SEO. And of course, having great content creators. People who are great writers and just know how to craft the work. 

Scott A. Hale: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. And to be honest with you, I’m not sure which one of those is more important. I tend to focus on the content. I’m just a firm believer that if you put out enough high-quality content, regardless of what it’s about, people will eventually find it, right? So Chad and Charlie’s history of success with Google just helps them find it faster. But for us since day one, our number one focus is how do we create as much good and unique content that no one else has. And taking fans places that they normally couldn’t go. So with the players we have on staff, they write articles, they have podcasts, so these guys are telling exclusive stories all the time. 

For us, it’s just worked great because unless we raise $300 million, how are we going to possibly compete in this competitive landscape? We empower the players to tell stories with and about the people they’ve played with. And so, for us, that made not only the most sense, but the best content that’s evergreen. I feel like if people find us three years from now, a lot of those stories and articles will still be relevant then. 

Todd Nienkerk: This reminds me a little bit of what LeBron James has been doing in building a bit of a media empire there. How would you compare what you’re doing with what he’s doing? 

Scott A. Hale: I’d say a lot of the stuff that he’s doing is more first person. They have been doing a phenomenal job and I just think in general, going back further to people like Magic Johnson or Isaiah Thomas, typically what was happening was players would play their entire career and then they would retire, and it’s crazy to think that people would retire at 35, right? I mean, when you’re 17, 35 feels extremely old, but when you’re 35, you’re like, “I still have 60 years,” you know? 

So the generation after them has started investing and getting more involved in things off the court while they’re still actually playing. That’s what’s really cool to see because for a company like us, we’re getting involved with more guys currently playing in the league. 

But as far as how we’re different, I would say, first and foremost the website itself is still a journalistic website. We have long-form articles, first-person articles, exclusive interviews, so things like that are different. Most of what they’re doing is mostly video stuff. Keep in mind as well the podcast. We have 10 of them now. We’ll probably have anywhere between 12 to 13 by the end of the calendar year and I just think we’re focused on basketball as a whole. 

Todd Nienkerk: Got it. It sounds like then, your content is really split between editorial copy, more traditional magazine and newspaper-style journalism and podcasting. Is that accurate? 

Scott A. Hale: Yes. Without a doubt. 

Todd Nienkerk: How are those two performing? How is the more traditional type of content—the copy-based content performing? How’s the podcast content performing? How do they compare? 

Scott A. Hale: That’s interesting, because what we’ve done is, by having a lot of the people do both, it’s really cool to see people that are fans of the podcasts start to read that person’s articles, and vice versa. I think one thing we all do is, we all kind of assume, not even necessarily on purpose, that people digest all of this content the same way we do, right? 

I personally am old school. I buy books still, literally. I buy paperbacks. My wife thinks it’s funny as hell. I need to read the pages, flip the corner. I feel like I’m actually engaged in reading a book. A lot of people that use our site or have downloaded the app are 25 and younger. They don’t care about a book, right, so for them it’s pretty much podcasts only. 

But I think what we’ve done a really good job of, is we haven’t hired the same person twice. So, yes, we have multiple players, but we have some players that were more stars, some were role players, some have coached, some haven’t; we’ve hired writers—we have a writer that’s 65 and we have a writer that’s 19—so for us what we’ve tried to do is, again, basketball is this enormous world, right? So we want to do it justice by making sure we’ve covered the entire landscape of basketball. 

Todd Nienkerk: What are you finding works best on basketballnews.com as it relates to sports content. Like, what makes engaging sports content in your opinion? 

Scott A. Hale: That is a great question. To me, integrity. While we could probably do a few different things that would probably get our numbers up higher, we don’t necessarily want to become like the lowbrow, two guys on a mike yelling at each other, making up fake arguments, right? For us, we want to respect the reader and respect the listener and I think while we’re definitely not off to a slow start, but I think we could be off to a faster start. But I think what’s going to maintain the longevity is the purity of the actual content. 

So let’s take it back to like anything. The Office is still funny. Cheers is still funny. I’ve watched Goodfellas a thousand times, so just thinking of the things that I still like 15 years later, and it’s because they didn’t compromise the quality, right? I would rather us build a cult following and then we can expand the cult versus us just coming out and making a huge splash and then not knowing what to do next, because then I feel like you’re always chasing that. 

We stress to the writers and podcasters, anyone we’ve hired, that it’s quality over quantity. Obviously we don’t want people taking 60 days to write an article but at the same time we would rather have as much good content as possible and again, when you’re a startup, I think you just have to realize that it’s going to take time. So we try to do as much evergreen content as we can. So people who are constantly finding us, once they find us, it’s the same response, Todd, every time: “Oh my God, where have you guys been? I didn’t know about this site!” And then we can watch the numbers and they go back through and read the old articles and listen to the old episodes. So for me and us as a company, I feel like that’s the best way to do it. 

Todd Nienkerk: Maybe it’s obvious by now, and in particular to our listeners, but I don’t follow sports very closely. As a result, as a layperson, when I encounter ESPN or SportsCenter or something, to me it’s just people yelling stuff at each other about whatever their opinion is, and it’s clearly like they’re having a good time or whatever, but I’m not interested in that. Watching people argue is only interesting to a point, right? 

It’s really refreshing to hear your perspective on this content, where you aren’t trying to do that. You’re trying to really approach sports content production, sports writing, and podcasting from a thoughtful perspective, where you really acknowledge the intelligence of the reader or listener and you’re trying to do something different. Are you finding that that’s a differentiator for you? 

Scott A. Hale: Yes, and I definitely hope so, because that’s what we’ve been doing. Having said that, we’re basketball, so I don’t want to pretend that this is brain surgery or some deep philosophical debate, right? I mean, we’re not religiousnews.com, so while we definitely thrive to make intelligent content, at the same time, it’s fun. I mean it’s sports, right? Most people follow sports because they either played it or because they work hard all day, get home, and just want to sit there, grab a coke or beer or whatever, and watch the game.

Todd Nienkerk: Watch people who are great at what they do, doing that greatly, right? 

Scott A. Hale: Right. Exactly. And I say this all the time. There’s only 450 people in the NBA. It feels bigger because of the stadiums and how famous these people are, but if you just break it down like that, there’s probably fraternities at the University of Texas, I imagine, that have 450 members. So think about how small that is. So we have five guys that played at the pinnacle of the pinnacle, so their stories and knowledge and jokes and insight is interesting to so many people, so our job is to help them share those stories, right? 

And to me, what will pay off for us in the long run, is our name is basketballnews.com. We focused on the NBA for pretty much the first year. Next fall we’re getting more into college and high school. Basketball is the second most popular sport in the world. China and India are in love with basketball. The NBA just invested $100 million in basketball in Africa. 

For us, we want to be a global brand. And again, this goes back to Chad finding the name basketballnews.com. To me that’s the beauty of it, right? It isn’t probasketball, it isn’t americanbasketball, it’s basketballnews.com. 

Todd Nienkerk: It’s specific but general enough to grow on. That’s really smart. 

Scott A. Hale: Yes, without a doubt. Without a doubt. 

Todd Nienkerk: Was that part of your plan all along, or has that kind of emerged as you’ve gone on? 

Scott A. Hale: No, from the first meeting. So I used to work at Adidas for six years, so I travelled everywhere. I’ve been to Europe, South Africa. I’ve been all over the place and I’ve seen the game grow. From the first meeting Chad and I had, when he told me he bought basketballnews.com, I knew Chad already, we were already friends, I knew he was a smart guy, successful, but I just basically asked him, “So is this a hobby or do you want to build it out? If you want to build it out, the name basketballnews.com can work in pretty much every country in the world.” He wanted to make it as big as possible. 

So for me, after the first meeting, I was all over it. I was like, okay, cool, I’m ready to go. And literally, the first hire we made was a guy named James Posey who I’ve known since college days. He played in the NBA and won a championship with the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. So that gave us a lot of credibility right away. Then we hired Alex Kennedy. Funny story about Alex: He’s been covering the NBA since he was 15. So his dad had to take him to games when he was going into locker rooms. Hiring a former player/champion and getting a respected journalist, those were the first pillars we had, basically. So we built up players on this side, and writers on that side. We pretty much stuck with that and I mean, to be honest with you, I don’t want to sound like we’ve figured it out, but it’s paying off greatly right now. 

Todd Nienkerk: That’s awesome. Let’s take a short break. When we return, we will talk with Scott about creating compelling social media content and babysitting the egos of former NBA players. 

[BREAK] 

Todd Nienkerk: Welcome back to The Future of Content. Our guest today is Scott A. Hale, founder and CEO of basketballnews.com. 

Let’s talk about social media. As I understand it, the NBA, in particular, is really permissive when it comes to fans’ use of content in social media. So there is a lot of recording of the live events, a lot of commentary. From what I understand, this is pretty unusual compared to other major sports leagues. How do you as a basketball news content creator compete with all of the stuff that’s out there in social media, particularly fan-created media? 

Scott A. Hale: Todd, that’s a phenomenal question and something that we literally brainstorm on daily. So, the NBA was probably way ahead of some of the other leagues, and I think it’s also just the nature of the sport. There’s so many quick highlights, and you think of social media, right? It’s like short attention spans—Twitter, things like that. So, the NBA skyrocketed and what’s actually changed a little bit in the last year, year-and-a-half, is the broadcast partners have actually bought up some of the biggest social media platforms and have limited what some of these pages are able to do. 

So us as a news network, we want to partner with the NBA. So we actually do not show highlights or anything like that at all. Like I said, if this was five to seven years ago, it would just be highlight after highlight, making fun videos and things, but this is all pretty much in the last year. For us, it’s like, how do we create enough cool, unique, fun content that we can share on social media but not give away on social media? That’s the ultimate, I don’t want to say struggle, but the ultimate journey. Because you have to give away enough to entice people, but if we give away everything, why would they come to our site, right? 

Todd Nienkerk: Right. Because your model is, you want to drive people to your site because it’s sponsored. 

Scott A. Hale: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. That’s what we literally grapple with daily. What we’ve done is focus on, you know what, we have so much content at this point, let’s give away some of the good stuff. Almost like a good faith deal. I think people have gotten so smart, that if we’re only going to give them a little bit, there are so many other free outlets, there are so many sources of content. Why would they go with us? For us, we want to earn their trust. We want to earn their eyeballs. So we throw it all out there. The site is free. Everything about us is free. 

We have some competitors that are subscription based or have a free model with a paywall. And we’re clearly not there yet. I mean, we’ve only been live for nine or ten months. But even if it was five years from now, we still want to be as fan-friendly as possible. 

It goes back to what I mentioned earlier. We would rather build up a cult following and be loyal to them and hope they would be loyal back. 

Todd Nienkerk: So it’s totally free. All of your content is totally free at the moment. 

Scott A. Hale: Absolutely free. 

Todd Nienkerk: Do you see that ever changing in some model, in some way? 

Scott A. Hale: I can see possibly a subset of the site. If we partnered with a gambling company or something like that, possibly, but honestly, life is expensive, OK? I mean everyone has bills, student loans, rent, yadda yadda. So for us, again, looking at the role sports plays in people’s lives, it’s supposed to be a stress reliever. It’s supposed to be something fun. 

So for us, I feel like we have all this great content, why not share it with as many people as possible? I do realize that video lives forever; I don’t want this to come back down the road, so that isn’t to say that we wouldn’t put some exclusive things behind a paywall, but as far as the majority, most of the content we have, we want it to be as free as absolutely possible. 

Todd Nienkerk: Got it. So going back to the social media thing that you mentioned earlier, you said that your goal is to create shareable content or promotional kinds of content that’s just enticing enough to get people to click and go to your site. What are some of the ways you do that in the space where most of the content seems to be highlight oriented, like actual game footage oriented, whereas what you’re doing is more introspective on the sport and the culture and all of that? 

Scott A. Hale: Yeah, totally. For us, Instagram is huge. With almost all of our podcasts, they’re filmed as well, so it’s just taking the best snippets. With the Rex Chapman podcast, Rex has reinvented himself. He has over a million followers on Twitter, and I guess 700,000 of them didn’t even know he played basketball because he’s always sharing funny dog videos and stuff. For us, it’s like, if he has a guest on for 90 minutes, we find two or three of the funniest things or maybe more shocking things and tease with those. That’s what’s worked the best for us. Basically just having confidence in the content. I think what happens is that people don’t believe in what they’re producing, so they’re always trying to keep it away. For us, we’re like, this is a great interview. If we share five minutes of it, I don’t think someone will watch it and feel like they don’t need to watch the entire thing. I think it’s the opposite. They’ll watch five minutes, find it engaging, and turn and watch the entire thing. 

If you believe in the content you’re making, it’s no different than a singer. If I’m that confident that this is a great album, I’ll throw out the first single. That’s how I see it. Believe in what you’re doing, have conviction in it, and share just enough of it—not the entire thing, but just enough that people feel they have to watch it. 

Todd Nienkerk: Something that’s really unique about your model is combining former professional athletes with content creation. As you and I both know, working in the content creation space, sometimes us content creators can be a little precious about our work and have a bit of an ego—we’re a little protective, just a little bit. I also imagine a lot of NBA players, athletes, stars may have a bit of an ego about their abilities, and when you bring the two together, you have NBA star athletes who are now creating content. What is it like to manage those personalities and those egos when you have to give them editorial direction?

Scott A. Hale: Todd, is this a three-hour podcast? Because the funniest and coolest part is knowing that everyone has a point of insecurity at some point in their lives. Even the single most confident person you’ll meet. James Bond was insecure about something, right? So it’s cool and fascinating to see that. Myself, being a former writer, I know how deep I would get into something and how much time and passion and energy and thoughtfulness I’d put into something, and then to not get the response I hoped for. It may not affect my confidence, but it’s still like, what am I doing all of this for? So I understand from the writer’s standpoint. 

For me, part of my job, regardless of your title, if you deem yourself a leader, you have to figure out the people that you’re leading. So, just because some of these guys have played in front of thousands of people and sold Nike and Reebok and Adidas and played in front of millions of people on TV doesn’t mean they’re not insecure about certain things. For some of these guys, playing basketball was the easiest part because they’ve done it since they were young. They were so good at it, you know? They just did it their entire lives. They were praised for it from day one. And so much of their identity is built into that. 

Todd Nienkerk: Right. They’ve always been told they were great, they should play for the NBA, then they do it, it’s constant reaffirmation. 

Scott A. Hale: Constantly. So now, it’s like they’re done playing, so clearly they have knowledge of the game, but it’s how to communicate that. Working on their writing and podcasting skills. I didn’t realize how coachable many of them are. You do have to massage the ego, but if you think about it, most of these guys have been coached in intense environments their entire lives, so you can be more straightforward with a former player than you can with a writer. 

The writer feels they’re being yelled at, whereas the former player has yelled and been yelled at, gotten into fisticuffs, screaming matches on the bench, because that’s how intense it is. That’s how bad they want to win. For them it’s a pride thing. You do have to massage the ego and do a bit of babysitting, but you can also be as direct as you need to be and flat out tell them their writing isn’t not good enough, and they will respond to that because they’ve been told that before. 

The writer, even though you’re telling them it’s not good enough, you can’t just take their confidence like that. You have to praise them on one part and figure out where you can get the rest of the piece up to that level, whereas you can tell the players flat out that it’s not good enough. 

Todd Nienkerk: Writing is rarely a team sport. So if you start your career, if you’re trained as a writer, you do so much of it alone or on assignment that the idea of coaching, it becomes an adversarial relationship with your editor, who is your coach. You haven’t built the mindset of having something to learn, needing to learn from them.

Scott A. Hale: Todd, that is a phenomenal point, and that’s what it is. We all adapt. The players have adapted, because at some point, someone had to help them get better. Whether it was a dad, or an uncle, or a high school or college coach, at some point, they had to take instruction or they were no longer on the team, literally. That’s how basketball works. Like I mentioned earlier, there are only 15 guys on the team, so on the best teams, the players practice with the players. With the writer, this person has typically gotten better by themselves. They’ve worked on their craft by themselves. They may have writers they read and admire, but typically they work by themselves. 

Again, confidence is everything. I want people to have the confidence to fail. To me, that’s one of the most important things I’ve learned from sports. If you play trying not to fail, you typically fail. You have to be fearless; if you screw up, it doesn’t matter, just don’t do it again. I want all of our writers to have the freedom to fail, but how do you tell them that they’ve failed without crushing their confidence? That’s the difference between dealing with writers and dealing with players. 

Todd Nienkerk: And the players handle it better. 

Scott A. Hale: They handle it better. I think the players, though, they completely underestimated how hard it is to write. The journalists cover the league and the players in the league think the journalists are there because the players are there, when in actuality both sides need each other. If no one covered the NBA it wouldn’t be as big as it is and the players wouldn’t get the salaries that they covet. It’s a marriage, and it’s a perfect marriage as long as both sides respect each other. 

It’s kind of funny to watch the players get into the media now and a lot of them are starting to realize the work ethic, the travel. I mean there’s a reason the top writers are who they are, male and female, because they bust their ass. They cover stories, they’re very intelligent, and just like the players, they worked at their craft to get there. It’s funny to see that a lot of the players are gaining more respect for the journalists once they’re done playing and they in turn are doing podcasts and all these other things. 

Todd Nienkerk: That’s fascinating. Well, what’s next for you and basketballnews.com? What do you have on the horizon? 

Scott A. Hale: A lot of video content. Like I mentioned earlier, the first year we focused on 95% professional only, so this fall we’re getting into college and high school basketball. For us, video content is going to be huge. We’re looking to do some docuseries, short-form documentaries. There’s so many vivid stories to be told and I think if we tell them in a way where sports is the backdrop, I don’t think you’d have to be a huge basketball fan to follow it. 

There’s a show on HBO every year called Hard Knocks. It’s a football show about training camp and guys trying to make the team. My wife, the only football player she knows is Tom Brady, maybe, but she watches the show with me religiously every year because she loves the human aspect, she loves the journey, she loves the triumph, the sadness of the guy not making the team. 

So for us, how do we tell these human stories with basketball as a backdrop? Over the next year, year-and-a-half, we’re going to be doing a ton of video content and I think that will help brand us and elevate us to a completely different level. 

Todd Nienkerk: That’s fascinating, and it’s so cool, too, that sports are doing such a great job with video content and in particular, documentary style content to recruit new fans. F1 for example, is something that I didn’t care about. The only F1 track in the U.S. is in Austin, 20 miles from where I live. The Circuit of the Americas. I didn’t care about F1 at all. I didn’t care about racing at all, and then Netflix released F1: Drive to Survive and suddenly I am sucked into it. 

I watch the races on Sunday and I am into it, purely because I was exposed to the human element of the sport and understanding the drama behind it, because that’s actually the part that’s fascinating. I think that’s why people really love professional wrestling. It amps up the drama aspect of what’s fundamentally wrestling, you know? It’s a submission sport. That kind of stuff is so fascinating and even when I said earlier in the show, I don’t personally follow sports, but I love the human side of things. All of the content that is produced leading up to the Olympics and watching the journeys and the trials, it’s just fascinating. 

Scott A. Hale: Sports is the perfect backdrop because of so much struggle, so much perseverance, so much hard work, literally you can sit at a desk all day, you can be a mailman, you can be a barber, but ultimately you can identify. Look at Rocky. We all loved Rocky because he was an American hero. This guy came from nothing. He was beating up frozen meat in a food truck, right? If you take that example, you can extrapolate that out in any sport. For us, that’s how I think we grow. That’s how we grow the game of basketball, and like I mentioned earlier as far as expanding across the globe, that human story translates everywhere. 

Todd Nienkerk: Content creators, take note: What grows sports is storytelling. That’s what it comes down to. Fascinating. Let’s leave it with this: Where do you feel the future of sports content is heading? 

Scott A. Hale: I think it’s already there. I think it’s cell phones. It’s fascinating to see how, when I was a kid, how we’d digest content. I remember rushing home to watch The Cosby Show because it was on Thursdays at 8:00 and if you missed it, you had to wait for the rerun six months later. And you just never saw it. Then of course came the VCR, TiVo. 

Nowadays, the viewer controls all of the content. I feel for us at basketballnews.com, the video content is going to eventually take us to a completely different stratosphere. I feel like the content we will create around basketball will translate to Asia, Africa, South America, and beyond. I feel that those journeys that aren’t being told, we want to tell those journeys, and I think most people will digest those journeys digitally through their phone. 

Todd Nienkerk: Well, thank you again, Scott, for joining us today. How can people get a hold of you? If they want to learn more, what do they do, where do they go? 

Scott A. Hale: First, download the app, basketballnews.com. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. We’re probably posting seven to ten videos a week. We have podcasts, interviews, exclusive workouts. Last but not least, follow us on Twitter at basketballnews, minus the ‘A’. In fact if you know anyone at Twitter who can get us the basketballnews handle, it would be much appreciated. It was a disqualified account and we’ve reached out to Twitter for seven months to get it. That would definitely be good places to find us. Download the app. We use push notifications but we won’t bombard you with them, I promise. 

Todd Nienkerk: Another way to respect the intelligence of your reader. Perfect! If anyone out there works at Twitter, help us out! Get us that basketball news with an ‘A;’ that will help us. All we need is an ‘A.’

Scott A. Hale: I appreciate the plug! 

Todd Nienkerk: No problem, no problem. 

Listeners, I’d love to hear from you, yes you. What do you want to learn about the future of content? Feel free to send show ideas, suggestions or examples of the content you create. You can email me at future@fourkitchens.com. We’re also on Twitter @focpodcast. 

To learn more about Four Kitchens and how we can help you create, manage, and distribute your digital content, visit fourkitchens.com. Finally, make sure to subscribe to The Future of Content so you don’t miss any new episodes. 

Until next time, keep creating content!