Looking ahead: Support independent journalism

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

When Kelsey Sagvold, my wife, helped spark my desire to begin covering sports especially UND sports full time, I never thought Seamore Sports would stick around this long. Without a single dime being spent on this site we have averaged over 10000 views per year.

Does that seem like a lot compared to others around us? Well no, it can be a lot more.

Considering that when we started this blog we were amazed that people took the time to even read what we have to say on a game or player, we are always humbled for every view we get.

Last year, when UND Football played Mississippi Valley State, I noticed something. While UND has a wonderful faction of people covering its revenue sports, other schools and even the less viewed sports here do not have the same luxury. We enjoyed providing coverage of the Delta Devils and still try to follow them along with countless other schools and teams around this country as we can, while also writing about games we can attend here at the University of North Dakota.

Before explaining what’s next I want to thank a few people. First, Kelsey, without your thoughts and motivation, without them none of this would have happened. You showed me something that my parents, Jim and Cindy first made me realize, beyond covering sport at any level, I enjoy covering the lesser known stories about any team.

Growing up in Baltimore, I was and still am fascinated by backups and bench players. Watching backup catchers hit for the Orioles, to me, brought just as much of a thrill as seeing stars play for the team growing up.

My parents first sparked that passion and Kelsey helped me figure out how to be consistent with writing and build a brand. We have a long way to go on that front, but there is no one else I would rather be working on Seamore Sports with than Kelsey. Her photos, especially of UND Hockey, have been seen and shared by many and drive people to click on a lot of my hockey recaps.

In addition, I want to thank the UND Athletics Department of Communications, first, former head honcho Jayson Hajdu. He helped facilitate my first ever interview via email with former UND defenseman, Nick Mattson, when I was working for the Indiana Ice.

After that, he helped get Kelsey credentials to take photos when I was working for the Elmira Jackals, the former ECHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres. Since then he has done so much for us, never treating either of us any different than the biggest media outlet in town. Jayson made coverage of UND Hockey possible yes, but helped facilitate increased coverage of UND Soccer and made sure we now have a seat at the table. In addition to Jayson, I would like to thank Matt Scheerer, Mitch Wigness, Alec Johnson, and so many more. All of you have made us feel as welcome as you would any other media member, and provided us access to interview players after games and for features as needed. This merely scratches the surface of what this department has done for us, and I could write a tome on what the department means to Kelsey and I.

I would also like to thank members of the local media, your perspectives on each game we work have informed my writing and made me look at different details and always help me look for more to write about than the mere box score. Whether its Brad Schlossman correctly predicting a good goal on review that I may disagree with, Tom Miller noting something else to keep an eye on with UND Football, or anyone else in the media whose perspectives are invaluable, thank you. If I wrote down everyone of whom to thank for getting Seamore Sports to this point I could fill up many a novel with them.

What does all of this mean? 

Well let’s go back to the example from last year’s game between UND and Mississippi Valley State for a minute. The coverage i gave the Delta Devils perspective for that game brought me back to that same desire to learn more about the lesser known team or player that I have always had. Some of our best numbers in terms of traffic came from coverage of that game, and we were happy to provide info and coverage for MVSU, as we would be and are for any visitor that comes here.

One day, hopefully soon, Kelsey and I would love to be able to provide that same dedicated coverage to all who want it. While you can go to sites like the Athletic to learn more beyond the box score things for high level college sports, and professional sports, there is yet to be a site that provides a similar service, not behind a paywall, for college sports around the country.

That is what Seamore Sports aims to be, and we want to offer a chance to our readers, wherever you are to pitch in and guide coverage. We will work with any athletic department or minor league team in the country and even around the world to provide high quality coverage of the teams you care about.

Over the coming months we will be expanding onto YouTube, into podcasting on a more permanent basis, and providing more outlets for all in sport to have their voices heard.

That goal to expand requires time and money to do so, and that is why I am writing this modest plea. If you donate to the PayPal at the link below at any amount, and want to be listed on certain stories I am happy to do so and will begin to add a funded by section at the end of each article. If you want me to have features written about your team, about what you care about, please consider donating. As we expand I will offer you and/or your business advertising opportunities via our social media spaces, and hope to grow our offerings. We will still write about UND and relish the opportunity to cover as many Fighting Hawks games in person as we can, that will not change any time soon.

Where the UND fans who follow us could help is, again with donating. As other media entities who cover this team move behind paywalls, your donation can empower us to keep providing content free for all.

For example, we are the only outlet that has covered multiple UND Soccer matches in person this season, and the team is on the cusp of winning its tenth match and having its best ever record, yet they have received a fraction of the coverage that other sports here have. We think that crowd-funded independent journalism that can cover games in person or online, and truly crowd-funded journalism that writes about what you want to see more of is a way to empower more discussion about all sports and their players around the world regardless of revenue generating potential.

If you donate and want to remain anonymous that is wonderful and we thank you. If you want to donate and have some thoughts about things we could be covering message Seamore Sports on Twitter or Facebook. We want to cover things you want to see.

If you want to donate a little bit more or run a business that would like to sponsor posts about a team be it here or anywhere in this country, that would also be welcome. Over the coming months Seamore Sports hopes to grow by leaps and bounds with the end goal of providing coverage of all college and minor pro teams for free to you, our most important constituent, the reader.

Thank you for reading, thank you for following along, this is not the end of Seamore Sports, but hopefully the beginning of something much bigger. Be you Fighting Hawks fan or fan of a team around the country you would like to see more coverage of please consider donating. Being able to cover those not being covered on a full time basis is the goal of all of this and we will have more info soon, while always welcoming ideas and feedback along the way. Kelsey and I want to show our eleven month old son, Henrik, that anything is truly possible and to be able to provide for our family and cover sports so many Americans follow with a great passion but are not getting the time or attention they deserve would be the ideal definition of a business founded on helping others receive attention for their good work while building a brand focused on covering sport at any level.

If you want to donate click the link here: https://bit.ly/2W8qXnU

 

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