What is The Kicker?
The Kicker is the brainchild of SNL co-head writer Bryan Tucker and is primed and ready to be the Onion of the sports world…which may seem like a misnomer, since the Onion already has a sports section. But the Kicker sees big opportunity in getting arguably the most engaged audience on the planet — the sports fan — to laugh, and laugh often, and who are we to say otherwise?
What Makes the Kicker Unique?
Besides the blessing of Lorne Michaels’ Above Average Productions, the Kicker has a few distinct qualities going for it, namely, a growing roster of athletes and celebrities it can turn to for regular contributions, and its emphasis on video content. Given its inherent roots in TV comedy, perhaps neither comes as a surprise, but when it comes to video in particular, The Kicker is all business.
One of the first things you notice about the site is how prominently the video content is featured. The site’s Most Popular Videos, for example, occupy a whole a ribbon beneath the hero position (also a video, currently) before you even reach the “Most Popular Articles.”
“Video” is also one of three navigation icons above the fold — right next to “Sports” and “Search.” So that gives you some idea of the site’s serious intention to get you to watch lots of video content. Which of course has serious implications for their business.
What to Watch For
The Kicker enters the scene as a post-display publisher with sizable ambitions in working with brands. The model will most likely be along the lines of sponsored video content, a seemingly ripe opportunity, given the prominence of video engagement on mobile devices and how engaged sports fans are famous for being. But rather than work directly with brands, so far, The Kicker has partnered with another publisher — Vox Media — to help produce a Lenovo video series called “Fantasy Online College.” It’ll be interesting to see if The Kicker continues to partner with more established publishers that have sponsored content studios, even as it builds out its own.
If You Only Have 5 Minutes…
Ronda Rousey only needs a fraction of that time to knock you out, according to today’s featured video.