7220sports.com is moving to a subscription model
CHEYENNE -- Here is an extensive list of purchases that cost more than $3.07 on any given day:
- A tall cappuccino at Starbucks
- Two gallons of unleaded gas (for now)
- A Big Mac (just the burger)
- A pack of cigarettes
- An M&M Blizzard at Dairy Queen (I know from experience)
- A whiskey and Coke
- Three lottery tickets
- A fancy micro brew (I don't know from experience)
- A day trip fee to Curt Gowdy State Park -- for a Wyoming resident
- A candy bar and a soda
Why on earth did I just share all that nonsense with you? As much as we fought it -- believe me, kicking and screaming -- Friday, Oct. 9, 7220sports.com is moving to a subscription model.
You can get your subscription right HERE.
That means our readers will register with a login, password and that small monthly fee to access breaking news, features, game coverage and a wide range of content we produce on a daily basis. You know, like Netflix of ESPN Plus, just way cheaper.
Well, mainly COVID-19 has all but wiped out the advertising market, which is our lone source of revenue. That's the simplest way to put it.
Those three crisp dollar bills -- and seven red cents; ya know, Wyoming -- will land you the most comprehensive UW athletics coverage around. It will allow us to pay for travel to cover games and to do exclusive feature stories. Mainly, it will keep the lights on and pay the salaries of our employees. Covering a Division-I beat fulltime is a spendy venture.
Not one you can do part-time.
It's all or nothing.
The goal in our first year was to "prove it." We were the new kids on the block, who came flying out of the chutes on June 1, 2019, with little fanfare or advertising. None of us had any idea what to expect.
Over the past 16 months, our website has featured more than 800 original stories. That averages out to roughly two a day, not to mention podcasts and videos. More than 2 million people visited 7220sports.com last season.
That number is still hard to wrap my mind around.
Another thing sets us apart. Unlike our competitors, we are a local company with homegrown employees. We aren't from faraway places, we are Wyomingites. This isn't a stepping stone for us on our way to larger markets. This is it. This is where we want to be.
Like I've mentioned a hundred times before, this is not the route I pictured this site going. I wanted to keep it free for everyone, forever. Unfortunately, that just isn't in the cards anymore if we want to keep going.
That sucks to say, but it's a reality at this point.
We made it through year one on ad dollars. It wasn't always easy, but then again, I'm not a salesman. I figured that out quickly. Like many new businesses, we had to foot the bill out of pocket. We did whatever it took to do the job.
Last fall, we traveled to Texas, Oklahoma, California, Utah, Idaho and Colorado to cover football games. We drove to Billings, Salt Lake City and all over the Lone Star State doing feature stories about Mitch Donahue, Mike Purcell, Dana Dimel, Fennis Dembo and many others.
Kasey Orr, our media manager, was the only local journalist to stay for all three Wyoming games in Las Vegas at the Mountain West Tournament. Our photographer, DJ Johnson, was at every football game, home and away.
Of course, none of this includes the day-to-day expenditures, taxes and all that other fun stuff that comes with running a small business. Efforts to provide quality UW coverage goes well beyond football and basketball season.
We are hoping that $3.07 is a fair price for what we provide each month. That is by far the cheapest price on the market when it comes to UW coverage.
We have big plans this season. We hope you'll be on board with us.
How this is going to work?
Well, we are ironing that part out as we speak. Our Mr. Do-everything Casey Dearcorn is figuring out the particulars to make this as smooth and painless as possible.
Our initial thought is to charge by the month, not year, which means your card will be charged the $3.07 per month unless you cancel.
All of our stories should feature a subscription button that prompts you to an easy method payment page. Once you're signed up, you will have every story and video feature at your fingertips.
About those big plans
Because we are going behind a paywall, we felt like we need to offer even more to our valued and passionate readers of this site.
Plus, we just want to do more fun, unique features and projects to continue our site's growth.
One project I can spill the beans on is a new tailgate show coming this football season. We know tailgating is a major passion of UW fans. We also know that won't be a possibility this fall because of that virus that keeps hanging around. However, we are putting together a cooking show of sorts. Our hope is you'll follow along at home.
Ryan Rogers, another Wyoming native, will be the host of this show. We don't have a name for it yet, but knowing Ryan, it will be something hilarious.
I have known Ryan for years. His tailgate in Laramie, although not big in flair, is always the spot to grab some grub. And not just any grub, well-thought-out meals that are delicious and easy.
Every Friday, we will release a new video episode of Ryan whipping up some food in his backyard, and sharing the recipe with you. Not only that, he manages the local Cheyenne bar, Midtown Tavern, so he will be sharing some mixology, too.
The goal: Have you guys make some awesome food and drinks while you are throwing your own version of a tailgate at home.
We want photos, too!
Let's have fun with this.
We will also be adding a feed of national college football and hoops news, to go along with an "Around the MWC" tab.
There, you can find all the news from around the country and conference. Our hope is that 7220sports.com becomes a one-stop shop for all sports fans.
We are hoping to throw a self-generating scoreboard at the top of the site, too. That way if you are looking for scores, we have you covered.
That is still in the works.
It's so important to us to be involved in our community.
In Wyoming, when you say community, that means the entire state.
That's why we are launching another "food series."
We have reached out to restaurants in Laramie about doing videos, highlighting their signature dishes. Think Diner's, Drive In's and Dives.
The economy in Laramie is hurting. We thought this would be a great way to try and encourage fans to go enjoy some food in the Gem City. With no tailgating allowed on UW campus this fall, what better time to take your family out to eat before or after the big game?
Laramie has some awesome restaurants. You'll see.
A big thank you
So many of you have reached out to me during this weird, miserable time and offered your support for our little website here.
That means the world to us.
Your words of encouragement, motivational talks and asking how you can help is all very overwhelming. It really shows me how much passion there is for this venture, which makes all the hard work, late nights and long hours on the road worth it.
Like I mentioned above, I hate asking for anything. I really wanted this site to be free forever. Although that isn't a reality anymore, I want to thank all of you whether you decide to subscribe or not.
I'm so thankful.
We're confident that we can continue what we started in the spring of 2019, delivering the best UW content and fan experience possible.
It will be well worth it. That's a promise.
As always, if you would like to reach out directly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.