Digital media veteran to develop content and audience growth strategies for collaborative sports platform
NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2020 – The Local Media Consortium, a strategic alliance of local media companies, today announced the hire of Kevin Lockland as General Manager of The Matchup. Launched in July, The Matchup is a collaborative online sports initiative that provides fans with access to high quality, locally produced sports stories and coast-to-coast content.
An experienced digital media product and editorial leader, Lockland served as VP of Editorial and General Manager of SB Nation, which he grew into one of the top five digital sports brands in the U.S., and in the process helped Vox Media emerge as a leading digital-first media company. Prior to SB Nation, Lockland was GM at AOL Sports. Most recently, he was a senior partner at digital media consultancy QCatalyst, where he helped public media organizations adapt to the changing media landscape, evolve their culture and adopt new ways of working to better serve their local communities.
“With Kevin’s extensive experience in multimedia product, content development, and success in building and branding sports websites, we are confident that he will be a successful GM for The Matchup,” said Fran Wills, CEO of the LMC. “As we begin to grow The Matchup, starting with content coverage in all 32 NFL markets by early next year, Kevin will be front and center, using his vast industry knowledge to develop content and audience growth strategies for local media participants, and positioning The Matchup a go-to destination for all sports aficionados.”
Funded in part by the Google News Initiative, The Matchup provides the LMC’s local media members with a means to increase their audience reach through content sharing, enabling them to compete with top sports sites for lucrative sports advertising revenue. With a combined audience of 78 million readers, the LMC’s members are uniquely positioned to bring professional, college and high school sports coverage to a broad audience. On The Matchup, fans can access content about their favorite teams, players and sports across all member sites with a single subscription – even if the content originated on a site other than the local media outlet they subscribe to.
“I am a long-time believer in the power and importance of local media, so I am thrilled to join the LMC and The Matchup, which will allow local media companies to gain new revenue from advertising, attract new audiences and hasten digital transformation,” said Lockland. “I look forward to taking The Matchup from its current early stage to a major, competitive sports site that offers a wide-range of content penned by some of journalism’s best sports writers.”
Advertising and sponsorship packages on The Matchup will be sold direct on a national and local level, enabling the local media ad network aggregate to compete with national platforms while members keep the majority of the revenue from ads served. Designed with input from publishers, sports editors, advertisers and die-hard sports readers, this model offers the best of both worlds – a national sports site and local consumer relationships. Local media organizations interested in participating in The Matchup content sharing model can inquire at Matchup@localmediaconsortium.com. Aficionados who want to know how they can access sports content no matter which city they’re in can visit www.thematchup.com or follow @MatchupTeam on Twitter.
The LMC delivers significant ROI to its members by harnessing its purchasing power to negotiate large cost-saving and revenue-generating deals with digital partners that are superior to what individual media companies would be able to negotiate independently. In addition to The Matchup, the LMC has launched several groundbreaking initiatives including the first ever privacy protocol for publishers, the Local News Advertising Inclusion List and the Branded Content Project.
About The Local Media Consortium
The Local Media Consortium delivers economic value through strategic partnerships on behalf of nearly 90 local media companies in top markets across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and includes more than 4,500 outlets. By harnessing the combined volume and scale of its members, the LMC reduces costs and increases revenue with technology and service providers like Google, Facebook, Monster and others. The aggregated LMC audience footprint spans 200 million unique monthly visitors and its member companies serve more than 6 billion pageviews to consumers. More information is available at http://www.localmediaconsortium.com/.
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Kristin Brocoff, 949-400-4899
Update 7/31/21: While The MatchUp pilot achieved some positive outcomes, after careful consideration, the LMC has decided to discontinue The MatchUp initiative effective July 31, 2021.