Pittsburgh Hockey Now had a colorful beginning. We were unabashed, stern, effusive with praise and hopefully a good bit of fun. Now I’m happy to say our infancy is coming to a close. It’s been a full year since we launched Pittsburgh Hockey Now as a daily hockey website full of analytical thought, news, reports and whatever else we felt you crazy, hockey-loving fanatics wanted.
And a video channel, too with over 1300 subscribers.
But don’t worry, we’re not going to change just because we’re getting older.
We turned one, last month by ushering nearly a half million people through the online turnstiles into this barn. Our “uniques” soared past the advertised level of at least one of our beat writer colleagues/competitor which covers all three professional sports in Pittsburgh. Just little us with one sport, beating the “mainstream” with three and four sports.
For all that I am, good and bad, fun and exhausting, thank you.
Thank you to our daily readers and those who send us cool stuff via DMs (Our boy Tom became our unofficial scouts scout). Thank you to those who shout encouragement when I slip into the concourse for dinner before games. Thank you for everything.
Thank you, Shelly Anderson, for hitting home runs including getting Sidney Crosby to open up about winning the Hart and Selke trophies (Read it here). Thank you, Michael Dummer, for cranking out pregames and accepting the transition into more “digital content” (that means those fun little stories, like Phil Kessel finally scoring after 16 games).
Thank you for changing the tone of the discourse. This season, there has been a lot of vitriol, anger, piling on players and attacks. PHN held firm in its balanced analysis of the scapegoat players. And you rewarded us, instead of punishing us.
We’ve done our best, every day. Morning, noon and night, my keyboard is never far away. And we’ll continue to push ourselves into higher stratospheres, with your help. The goal remains to become one of the beat writing organizations in town. That final step will be a difficult step for a lot of reasons, but we also don’t shy away from a challenge.
Our next challenges are greater name recognition, sponsors, and finding ways to grow even further, with or without that “beat’ designation. We’ve approached too many potential sponsors who were hesitant because they didn’t recognize PHN; sometimes they know my name, sometimes just Shelly but we’re still “new” to them.
So, as we transition from crawl to walk, perhaps run, we still need your help to spread the word and let hockey fans know who we are.
This little website began as Pittsburgh Post Game a few years ago when this writer was mostly a radio guy looking to augment his market presence. It grew, it made a few impressions and left a few marks on me and at least one other NHL city. Amazingly, Bob Grove was one of our original contributors. I was too fortunate to have John Perrotto do some work for us in Nov. 2017. Shelly joined up in Jan. 2018 and remains with us. Matt Gajtka pushed us into the daily coverage, partially subscription-based, 100mph rocket we are today.
We miss Matt’s partnership, but hockey life called him in a different direction and we couldn’t un-launch the rocket. Someday, we may find another partner willing to share the risk and craziness…and absolute lack of sleep.
I don’t know what comes next for us. This has been beyond my wildest dreams. And I’ve enjoyed the resistance, too. I’d love to tell you the stories of small-town politics which has stood in our way but I’ll save those stories for another day. Actually, that resistance drives me. If no one cared or tried to hold us back, I may have gotten bored.
It’s a crowded market. Thank you for choosing us. Thank you for opening up to many of the different things we’ve done and the different perspectives we’ve offered. I hope those perspectives have enhanced your enjoyment of hockey. I do love this game and will forever be loyal.
So, thank you. Spread the word. Tell your boss to consider advertising with us. We’re not one of the big boys, but we offer more. And I promise, we always will.
Driver of this Craziness.