SportsKeeda: A Venture That Promises to Nurture the ‘Sportsworm’Within YouMeghna Chhabria
From football and cricket to TT, wrestling and kabaddi, Sportskeeda, an online platform for sports enthusiasts, presents news, reviews and a lot more, coming straight from the ‘keedas’’ (Yes, their writers call themselves ‘keedas’) mouths!
Sportskeeda is essentially a network or community of sports lovers. On Sportskeeda, you will find news articles, interviews, reviews, analysis, comics, and even satires on a variety of sports featured therein; you can write your own articles, debate, and also participate in quizzes and other contests. Sportskeeda is primarily user driven. The website promotes interactivity and claims to give equal justice to all sports. They currently have a community of around 2.5 million visitors and are targeting 5 million visitors per month by the end of the year.
An engineer and an MBA graduate from SIBM, Bangalore, and with work experience at Infosys and Tutorvista, Porush Jain, Founder and CEO, Sportskeeda, is a self proclaimed startup and business freak. As part of the E-Cell at SIBM, Porush had written a folder full of B-Plans. Being a sports lover and enthusiast, and seeing opportunity in the lack of a popular Indian sports website, he zeroed in on Sportskeeda. He wanted to give his venture a name that would arouse curiosity and interest; inspired by the popular phrase ‘kitabi keeda’ (Bookworm, in English), Porush decided to name it Sportskeeda.
Porush started Sportskeeda as a WordPress blog in October 2009 while he was in his 2nd year at SIBM. “I have been playing hockey, TT and cricket since my school days. I’m more of a sports enthusiast than a player though. When I started doing some groundwork for Sportskeeda, I found that there were a lot of cricket-centric websites in India. There was no website that gave equal justice to every sport. So, I started Sportskeeda, with an aim to promote other sports in India,” said Porush.
Within a short span of time, Porush converted the blog into a full-fledged website. To share the concept and get feedback from his friends, Porush started by writing around a dozen articles himself. People received it well, and began contributing articles regularly to the website.
Porush approached writers on Indian football, hockey, badminton and even kabaddi. In a span of 3 months, he had 50 writers who willfully supported the Sportskeeda cause. On the eve of his graduation in March 2010, Porush faced a big decision; whether to continue with Sportskeeda and make it his primary focus or take up a safe job elsewhere. He assessed the worst case scenario and decided to continue. With Sportskeeda receiving 30000 UVs a day, that does seem like a decision well taken!
Apart from Porush, the Sportskeeda team is 12 people strong. Srinivas Cuddapah is the Co-Founder and CMO at Sportskeeda and heads their online marketing initiatives. He has been a friend and mentor to Porush throughout.
Sportskeeda’s revenue model is advertisement based. They get just under a million visitors a month, 55% of whom are repeat visitors. Sportskeeda has also recently received funding from Seed Fund.
A striking feature on their website is the live commentary on not just cricket, but hockey, football, and occasionally, badminton as well. They trended on Twitter on several occasions for providing live commentary of matches such as the India Vs Pakistan hockey final at the Asian Champions Trophy. On another occasion, Sportskeeda attracted 15,000 visitors for their live commentary for the football friendly match between India and Qatar.
We asked Porush about the latest trends in the Indian sports community, and this is what he had to say, “Football is huge in India. We have more writers on football (450 out of a total of 800) than any other sport, cricket included. We have a community of 30000 to 50000 Indian National Football team fans, who follow us religiously. Also, wrestling is quite popular among the younger folks in the age group of 12-18. The ‘Cricket is our religion’ scenario is beginning to change.”
Well, that does seem like a positive footing for a sporty future!
To know more about Sportskeeda, visit their website here.