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Defending Deadspin's Decision to Publish Favre Sexting Material


Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth


Obviously, if there's one big winner in the Brett Favre-Jenn Sterger sexting saga it's Deadspin. And deservedly so, there's a reason ESPN employees get fired if they're caught browsing it at work (True story! I got additional confirmation from other sources on the existence of this practice over the weekend).

If there's any justice in the world, Deadspin achieved 20-30 million page views these past few days.

Because the process they employed in releasing this information to the public was the polar opposite of LeBron James/ESPN's "The Decision." LeBron's reality special was more of a publicity train wreck on multiple levels than Fox's "Who wants to marry a millionaire?" in 2000.

But the site that provides sports news without access, favor or discretion had the perfect storm going for them here with Favre-Sterger and they capitalized on it.


First, the PERFECT game matchup appeared on the schedule on this season. The NFC North and AFC East coincidentally play each other this season (only a 25% chance of that happening in any given year). Favre and the Vikings take on his former team, the team with which he committed these lewd acts, in a nationally televised Monday-nighter, Boom!

Then they roll out the goods on the last possible workday (i.e. higher traffic day of the week) before the game. Yes, Friday is a workday, but it's by far the smallest traffic day of the work week, so you have to do it on a Thursday. A typical Friday's traffic numbers are almost like a weekend's traffic stats.

Then they give one day advance notice before releasing the voicemails/cell phone pics in order to create a buzz/buildup off inbound links, and sufficient time to get those links going viral. The post goes live right in the middle of the day, during the lunchtime peak period.

This was BRILLIANTLY orchestrated! You have to hand it to them. Then the Randy Moss trade occurs giving another storyline to MNF and a cherry on top for Deadspin. And this plan was imperative because they invested thousands of dollars in acquiring these pictures.

To Deadspin's detractors, you know what you're getting when you go there. If you don't want pics of Patrick Kane after a one-night stand or discussion of Roberto Alomar's STDs- don't go to the site!

I don't want to do what Deadspin does, at all. They have their niche, I have mine. But if you like what A.J. Daulerio and company do over there, then go ahead and click away. Obviously, lots of people do because their numbers are HUGE. If you don't like it, you're free to take your web browser somewhere else.

But for those who think blogging is simplistic, and anyone can do it. Who believe that Deadspin is simply vulturous, making money by doing nothing but besmirching someone else's name...let me channel my inner Jim Cramer on CNBC before the housing meltdown brought on the second great depression


Every page view Deadspin accrued from this situation is WELL EARNED.

I can't speak for A.J. Daulerio, I don't know his back story. I don't know what he's done to get where he is. But I can speak for myself and my own story. In full disclosure mode, The Sports just had it's best ever week of traffic. BY FAR!

Therefore, I'll soon see more c.r.e.a.m. than usual coming my way. I admit it, horny guys searching for Jenn Sterger and Brett Favre texting pictures of his johnson has been very good to me these past few days. But there's a lot more at work than that.

In May, I read two 400 page books on search engine optimization, an experience that was even less exciting than it sounds. In April, I had sleepless nights due to hacker attacks, viruses and other nightmarish scenarios brought on by Network Solutions, my former hosting service and their gross negligence.

Before that, I spent weekends in MBA school studying some of the driest material you could ever imagine on a Friday night. Before that, I paid my dues covering some of the most boring, inconveniently located and poorly attended sporting events you could picture. So I put in my blood, sweat and tears to get here.

I'm sure the people over at Deadspin have as well. So instead of tearing them down for what they did last Thursday, let's instead be happy for their success.

For how Sterger gained from this, go here.

Paul M. Banks is President and CEO of The Sports , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune's blog network, Walter, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank



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