Founder Story: Digital Sports Desk by Terry Lyons

Industry

Entertainment

Location

Massachusetts

Stage

Pre-seed

Today we're spotlighting an exciting venture in the sports media landscape, Percent, launched by Terry Lyons. Terry brings over 25 years of experience from helping elevate the NBA to a globally recognized brand, now channeling his expertise into Terry Lyons Sports Marketing LLC.

Since 2008, he has been consulting across sports, marketing, technology, and entertainment sectors, engaging in strategic partnerships with notable firms like Pivottv Media.

One of his standout projects, PGA Tour Brunch, aims to cut through the morning clutter of emails by delivering essential PGA Tour updates and insights directly to fans' inboxes at lunchtime.

It’s a fresh take on sports journalism, providing golf enthusiasts with timely tournament news six days a week. This initiative reflects Terry's ongoing commitment to transforming sports media by enhancing how fans receive and engage with sports content.

Let's hear from them personally.

Please Introduce Yourself and Tell Us About Your Startup?

Widely known in the sports world for his 25+ year career helping build the NBA into a globally-recognized sports, business and philanthropic property, Terry Lyons has successfully transitioned into a second career as an entrepreneur in the world of multimedia, brand-building and communications consulting in the sports and entertainment fields.

In the summer of 2008, launched Terry Lyons Sports Marketing LLC, consulting with a number of companies in the sports, sports marketing, technology and entertainment industries, including strategic partnerships with Pivottv Media (Boston, NYC, LA) where he works in the sports television production and technology field.

PGA Tour Brunch is designed to give golf fans basic news and timely information on the PGA Tour and its tournament of the week. On most days, it will arrive in your inbox at Noon (ET) (usually) six days a week (not Tuesdays).

While there’s a glut of e-News flooding your inbox every morning, PGA Tour Brunch is designed to provide you with some interesting reading at lunchtime.

Overview of Digital Sports Desk

Digital Sports Desk stands out in the sports media field with its targeted focus on Boston-area sports, covering major leagues like the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA sports, as well as delving into sports business and the PGA Tour.

Founded by Terry Lyons, a seasoned sports industry veteran known for his significant role in elevating the NBA, Digital Sports Desk leverages his vast experience in sports marketing and multimedia.

A key offering from Digital Sports Desk is the PGA Tour Brunch, an e-news service delivered directly to subscribers' inboxes six days a week at noon, excluding Tuesdays.

This unique product caters specifically to golf enthusiasts, providing essential news and insights on weekly PGA Tour events in a concise and timely manner, differentiating itself from the typical morning news flood.

Digital Sports Desk initially gained momentum with local sports coverage and has since expanded its scope to appeal to a broader national and international audience with PGA Tour Brunch.

The startup faces challenges in expanding its subscriber base and seeks to enhance its reach through strategic advertising and public relations efforts.

With plans for more in-depth coverage facilitated by on-site accreditation at PGA Tour events, Digital Sports Desk is poised for exciting developments that will enhance its offerings and appeal to a growing community of sports fans.

What Problem(s) Does Your Startup Solve?

News and information on each week’s tournament are spread out all over the online landscape.

PGA Tour Brunch acts as a navigation tool to save its subscribers time and effort. It’s mobile-focused, provides the vital info a Pro Golf fan needs to know, and adds links for additional news stories.

How Did Your Startup Gain Its Initial Momentum? Share Successful Strategies or Future Plans.

The concept was born in Boston and a prior version was called Red Sox Lunch which had a local feel to it. PGA Tour Brunch has a much wider (national/international) fan base.

What Were the Biggest Hurdles in Gaining Traction, and How Did You Overcome Them?

The biggest hurdle is spreading the word about the product. It needs an ad campaign (on PGA Tour Radio) and possibly a public relations push to add subscribers.

From your perspective, what's missing in the current startup environment?

For this start-up product, nothing is missing. Of course, a wider awareness and fan following of the sport of professional golf would help.

Can You Share Your Experience With Fundraising? What Was Your Approach?

While I have worked with start-ups and fund-raising, I admit it’s more difficult to ask for money for my venture. I co-founded Boston Venture Community Sports, a networking project to help entrepreneurs like myself.

What Hurdles Did You Encounter While Fundraising, and How Did You Tackle Them?

I have NOT actively raised since the start-up. It’s been word of mouth and comping subs to key people in the golf industry, PGATour.com, ESPN, etc.

What’s Next for Your Startup? Any Exciting Developments on the Horizon?

I’ve been cleared for on-site accreditation at PGA Tour events which will allow for more in-depth coverage but will add travel and lodging costs. Proper funding and very select (monthly) travel will help.

The best trend is the need for golf industry and sporting goods industry plus the TV partners of the PGA Tour to promote their products. More effort will be given to sell-in a title sponsor, and to have the “How to Watch” section sponsored.

If You Could Go back and Give Yourself One Piece of Advice at the Start of Your Journey, What Would It Be?

To attempt to raise a 3-year seed fund before starting the weekly (6 days a week) publication, and to land one of the sporting goods or golf companies before. Attempts were made with both Dick’s Sports Goods (golf division) and Taylor Made golf club company.

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