Sports is a topic that we almost know too much about thanks to 24/7 news cycles. Constant coverage of pre-game, mid-game, and post-game. However, all this coverage is missing one essential aspect of what makes sports so great — the fans. The community of people that root for your team is fantastic, the rivalry of debating with a sports fan of the opposing team is even more riveting. Griffin Whitman, a 2019 Syracuse University sport management graduate, saw an opportunity to get in-depth with the typical sports fan and all that they do.
Whitman’s love for sports started early as a kid. He says, “I used to watch ESPN every day all day. I knew from a young age I wanted to work for a sports media company like Barstool.” However, after his capstone internship at Intersport, a media and marketing firm in Chicago, during his fall of senior year, he realized that there was something that neither Barstool nor ESPN did. He says, “I networked with a lot of people at the company and picked their brains about my idea for a media company that focuses on the fan and the fan experience… a lot of people I spoke to liked it.”
In February of 2019, Whitman officially launched LFG Sports, a sports media company that changes the way sports are covered by focusing on the fan experience. Whitman describes his company as if “ESPN and Barstool had a baby. We’re producing high quality content that’s edgy, authentic and completely fan-oriented.” He says his first year was really focusing on concepting on exactly what the brand was and focusing on content production. After COVID hit, Whitman says he had the opportunity to really think about the sales growth potential as well as the monetization possibilities of LFG which helped him give the company some direction as they entered their third year.
Through the first year of LFG, they gained great traction as 6-10 of their stunts went viral accumulating millions of views. When asked about which one was his favorite, Whitman mentions the MLB Home Run Derby in 2019 where Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit two home run balls that ricocheted off massive LFG Sports posters. The signs were featured on the on-air broadcast as well as the jumbotron multiple times. Whitman also highlights another video this year of a Bengals fan going crazy during the NFL divisional round that brought 4.3 million views.
Viral stunts are only the beginning for LFG Sports. Whitman says this year LFG sports plans to roll out their full college ambassador program as an initiative called LFG State College which puts passionate college fanbases in a “conference” against one another. You can’t help but be excited for what Whitman and LFG Sports has in store.
Story by Jack Lyons ‘22, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photos and graphics supplied