Lonzo Ball is not the best player in the NBA. He may not even be the best rookie. He’s also not the most famous player, the most scandalous, the most popular or the most charismatic. But he is now the only player in the NBA with an entire website, run by a major media company, built around him. Last week, USA Today Sports Media Group, which has had success with micro-sites covering each NFL team, launched Lonzo Wire, an online outlet devoted to all things Lonzo. Early content included two posts about Lonzo (and his father, LaVar) appearing on Ellen, two posts about little brother LaMelo’s college basketball eligibility, a post about Lonzo’s “beef” with the rapper Nas and, yes, an analysis of the Lakers point guard’s jump shot. In total, the site published 30 posts over its first seven days, all about Lonzo or his family. In its narrow focus and thorough devotion to a single subject, it’s unlike anything else on the sports internet. The concept for Lonzo Wire was born when Chris Pirrone, the general manager of USA Today Sports Media Group, Neal Coolong, editor of USA Today’s NFL sites, and others teamed to brainstorm how to expand the company’s constellation of specialty sites. The NFL pages had found an audience, and though Pirrone and Coolong doubted the viability of adding a site for every NBA team, they figured the right subject could galvanize the league’s fans. Their attention shifted to Los Angeles and well… “The Lakers are a great franchise. But there are a ton of Lakers sites already out there,” Pirrone said in a phone interview. “So to me it was just like, how do we put a little different twist on this? Is there a personality out there that’s strong enough that we can actually cover the sport or the team through a personality?
USA Today is launching a website entirely devoted to Lonzo Ball. Here’s why
Awful Announcing | Sep 19