Grand Strand Sports Report celebrates successful first birthday

I remember my daughter’s first birthday. We let her destroy a chocolate cake.

Now my second child, Grand Strand Sports Report, nears the same one-year milestone, and the only thing that’s been destroyed are some misconceptions about the local sports scene.

Unlike the child I helped make and raise with my wife, my partner on this project is the considerably uglier Tyler Watkins, who helped hatch the idea during a late-night swim last summer.

A few months later, Grand Strand Sports Report was officially born on Sept. 20, 2011, arriving a week early by popular demand. We had planned a Sept. 26 launch date, but readers sniffed out our site while we were still in the building stage so we launched a week before we had planned.

That’s pretty much been the story of GSSR in its first year of existence. People assumed there was little interest in some of the local, lower-profile sports, such as golf, tennis, soccer, swimming, volleyball, cross country, track and field, wrestling and so on.

But the reality that we envisioned was that the opposite is true; there’s plenty of interest, just very little media coverage of them. It didn’t take long for us to realize exactly how right we were as thousands began flocking to our site for ALL sports coverage.

Yes, GSSR covers all the major sports – football, basketball and baseball – but we give equal weight to the sports that don’t get the headlines and highlights from local newspapers and TV stations. The other sports’ athletes were simply being underserved by the local media.

A big part of our success has been the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week program, that nominates three local athletes and honors the winner, which is decided by fan vote, with a centerpiece feature story. We’ve had weeks where more than 30,000 votes were cast, which let us know we were on to something.

Another boost has come from our combined 40 years of experience in the local sports market. We have had so many friends, new and old, take part in helping GSSR become a success – from photographers like Phil and Felipe Rancier, Joel Beachum and Chuck Silvey to coaches and parents who send in their game results.

Our connections have helped us break lots of local stories over the past year – from Coastal Carolina’s surprise hiring of football coach Joe Moglia (still our record day for visitors) to Myrtle Beach native Everett Golson being named the starting quarterback for Notre Dame. Not much happens on the local sports scene that we don’t hear about ahead of time.

We’ve had local experts in the community write for us on a regular basis – Meredith Kirk’s golf tips, Scott Doane’s training notes and Cathy Elliott’s NASCAR column. All have volunteered their time and expertise to help us reach every corner of the local sports world.

We’ve also had sponsors believe in our project enough to advertise with us. In addition to Mammy’s Kitchen, like HTC, Rabon’s Housing Center, Black Dog Running, BeStrong Training Systems and Martin’s Heat & Air. These folks have made sure that GSSR continues to reach sports fans from all walks of life.

But our proudest moments have come from the average reader and fan we run into at the ballgames or the supermarket. They tell us how much they appreciate what we do and how much it means to their children to have their accomplishments highlighted on our site. That makes it all worth it.

So as we celebrate GSSR’s first birthday, just as we do our children’s, we look back at how much it has grown over the past year, and reflect on how much more there is in store for us in the future.Thanks to everyone for helping this project successful.

It’s cause for a true celebration. Maybe I’ll destroy a chocolate cake.

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One response to “Grand Strand Sports Report celebrates successful first birthday”

  1. Coach Linda Hopkinson says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TERRY TO YOU AND YOUR GRAND STRAND SPORTS REPORT!!!
    Go ahead and destroy that chocolate cake, you deserve it!! Keep up the great work!

    Coach Linda
    Director of Summer Sports and Fitness Camps
    Pepper Geddings Recreation Center

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