In 2014, three sports fans named Suryansh Tibarewal, Harit Pathak, and Jaskirat Arora came together to develop a sports platform. Their goal was to provide humorous material that would resonate more with younger audiences and be distinct from what heritage platforms like ESPN provided.
According to what EssentiallySports co-founder Tibarewal told Entrackr, the startup based in Delhi had more than 250 students from various colleges creating material for the platform on a voluntary basis within the following year or so.
“Back then, we all used to write for the sheer enjoyment of it. When he thought back to the early days of EssentiallySports, he said that there was no business strategy in the traditional sense.
Tibarewal went on to say that it took the team close to four years to figure out what actually worked for them; tennis and Formula One were not being adequately covered, and there was a significant amount of room for improvement in these areas in the US market. By 2018, the corporation had begun to place a greater emphasis on its areas of greatest strength.
In its current incarnation, EssentiallySports receives over ninety percent of its web traffic from the American market. The platform had a cumulative total of more than 1.8 billion pageviews recorded in 2022, with an average of over 100 million pageviews per month. Even though searches are the primary driver of traffic, this website still receives views from direct visits as well as news aggregators such as Smartnews, amongst other sources. In addition to covering e-sports, the website also covers traditional sports such as the NFL, the NBA, and UFC.
According to Tibarewal, the sports of tennis, NASCAR, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and bodybuilding are currently among the most popular categories on the platform. At this time, the company has more than 200 writers and editors working remotely, the vast majority of them are located in India.
The adverts that are displayed on the EssentiallySports platform are the primary source of revenue for the bootstrapped company. Tibarewal stated, without giving any additional financial information regarding the company, that the company was able to have superior margins since it focused on a premium market. There are also no immediate intentions to solicit financial support from outside sources. He went on to say that the company will experiment with a paywall by deploying Google’s direct integration infrastructure for paid content. He stated this would be done in order to charge users for access to paid content.
The number of categories that will be covered by the company will increase from 12 to 20 in the near future as part of its plan to broaden its content portfolio to include topics such as NCAA. In addition to this, they intend to increase the total amount of articles that they publish.
The total value of the worldwide sports media market was estimated to be $153.6 billion in 2019, and it is anticipated that it will reach $223.7 billion by 2027, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% from 2020 to 2027. With an average annual growth rate of 2.3% from 2016 to 2021, the size of the sports media market in the United States is projected to have reached $21.1 billion in revenue by the year 2021.
In spite of the sustained success of traditional sports platforms like ESPN and Fox Sports, newer platforms like Bleacher Report, The Athletic, and Barstool Sports have been gaining ground. SportsKeeda, based in India, has garnered a significant following in the United States thanks to the rich WWE and pro wrestling programming that it provides. 2019 marked the year that Nazara Technologies completed the purchase of a 67% share in SportsKeeda.