People ask us all the time what it's like being owned by Vox Media, which also owns our managing company, SB Nation. The subtext of the question is often, "Do these straight sports guys tell you want to do?"
We were blessed in 2011 to be acquired by SB Nation and Vox Media, the company started years ago by Oakland A's blogger Tyler Bleszinski, whose last day with the company was Dec. 31. From the first day working with Bleszinski, editor Kevin Lockland and others at SB Nation, we have been given us the freedom to operate the site as we saw fit and develop the content we felt was important to building the scope and impact of what we do at Outsports, the world's most-read LGBT sports publication. They have allowed us to follow our instincts and have been there for guidance when we ask. We've never been told we can't write something -- on the contrary, all of our ideas are supported (though, at times, refined with the help of the talented SB Nation folks).
It's been because of Vox Media, SB Nation, Lockland, Bleszinski, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff, SB Nation studio producer Adam Scigliano, SB Nation managing editor Brian Floyd, NFL editor Ryan Van Bibber, our league manager Justin Bopp, and countless others at the company that Outsports has grown leaps and bounds over the last four years.
In 2015 Outsports had 10 million readers, a number we never thought possible before SB Nation first contacted us looking to talk about an acquisition. Both us are not sure if Outsports would still be around if it wasn't for Vox Media. While we can never tell for sure, it's safe to say it wouldn't exist at its current level without the company.
Various LGBT-owned companies had tried to buy Outsports over the last 15 years but could never get it done. It took a mainstream media company to make it work. We couldn't be happier about it. While some SB Nation readers complain that the site has started featuring too much "gay stuff," it hasn't stopped the folks at SB Nation from heavily promoting our work. When we ask for special treatment of our features -- whether it's putting it in a nice package or providing a camera crew and editor to tell the story through video -- we are always met with enthusiasm.
SB Nation and Vox Media make it possible for the stories of LGBT people in sports to be seen by straight sports fans who desperately need to see them. That is powerful.
Over and over we receive grateful emails from staffers and bloggers for SB Nation and Vox thanking us for our contributions beyond the bottom line. It seems most people at the company understand what we're trying to do on a larger society level and the importance of Outsports in opening sports to everyone.
Thanks to everyone at Vox Media and SB Nation for making 2015 a special year for Outsports. We can't wait to see what our future together holds.