HBCU Sports Out of the Shadows
The Shadow League uses tech to change HBCU sports coverage
American sports contests are about more than stats and scores, but average sports media coverage would have you think it’s all about the numbers. But one digital publisher is expanding and bringing a cultural perspective to sports journalism with diverse profiles of sports personalities and unparalleled coverage of sports and leagues that are otherwise overlooked. Using the power of the Internet, The Shadow League is shining the light on the often-ignored world of Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) sports.
Visit TheShadowLeague.com and you’ll find an entire section dedicated to HBCU athletics. Stories include profiles on today’s HBCU stars, features on past legends and coverage of everything from track competitions to rivalries such as the “Battle of the Real HU” between Hampton University and Howard University.
“There was no single, dedicated destination for us to learn about these athletes or their stories before,” says Yussuf Khan, SVP and general manager. “The Shadow League fills that void.”
The site launched in 2012 with a team of contributors and has since grown into a digital media powerhouse with an estimated 150K unique users per week. Visitors come for original video content like Draft Dreams, which features pro football prospects, and podcasts such as TSL Sports Talk where athletes, front office executives and sports media personalities discuss the game behind the game. In addition, 15 Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, have partnered with the site to create and sponsor original content and events such as The Shadow League Sports Connect Series Powered by AT&T.
Khan says The Shadow League’s success is the product of hard work and commitment to a vision. “We don’t have unlimited resources. We created this on our own.” It’s that drive, he says, that helps them win.