PHNX Sports Delivers Fan-Centric Approach in Arizona

After years of covering the Phoenix Suns, Greg Esposito and Lindsey Smith chose to join PHNX Sports, which takes a fan-friendly approach to sports coverage. (Photo by Mary Grace Grabill / Cronkite News)

PHNX Sports chief executive Saul Bookman, right, here with Gerald Bourguet, said “the company’s ethics are to lead from the crowd, not the stage”. (Photo by Mary Grace Grabill / Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Over a month ago, sports fans in Phoenix and surrounding Arizona discovered a new digital medium that covers the valley’s major professional sports teams, Arizona State and Arizona, as well as sports betting.

However, unlike other media, PHNX Sports aims to build a community of fans and engage them through social media and the point-of-sale subscription website,, which includes a digital ‘lounge’ where fans can come together to discuss Arizona sports. the subjects.

It’s a unique, fan-driven approach.

“The goal is to cultivate the culture and community around the sport in the local market, and we are doing this by changing the way fans can engage and interact with the people who cover their favorite teams,” said Brandon. Spano, CEO of All City Network. , the parent company of PHNX Sports.

PHNX Sports is an extension of the Spano Network, a former Bleacher Report sports reporter and sports-talk radio host in Denver, launched in 2014, which featured a group of bloggers.

That business eventually became DNVR Sports, which includes written rhythm coverage, podcasts, video broadcasts, merchandise, and even a sports bar, all geared towards Denver sports fans.

Like DNVR Sports, digital media PHNX Sports offers podcasts, post-match shows, a YouTube channel, weekly sports shows, sports betting content and merchandise.

The company has attracted popular media figures from Valley. including former Channel 12 sports presenter Chierstin Susel, longtime Coyotes reporter Craig Morgan and Suns podcaster Greg Esposito, who is also the company’s vice president of content.

Longtime Arizona Coyotes reporter Craig Morgan had a lot of followers before he landed at PHNX Sports. (Photo by Mary Grace Grabill / Cronkite News)

The idea is to bring audiences together from radio stations, social media, websites and newspapers and create a sense of community across various platforms under one brand that will ideally bring the sports city together.

Spano has developed a concept of three Cs, which encompass the company’s mission: culture, community and content.

“Ultimately it’s about the pride of the city and building a community and culture and creating content where people can be proud to represent Arizona,” said Spano.

PHNX Sports includes coverage of beats, podcasts, and conversation about the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Suns, Coyotes, Arizona Wildcats, and Arizona State Sun Devils, though it also branched out into other sports such as the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA.

Even mainstream sports media are moving towards streaming more content, and Saul Bookman, CEO of PHNX Sports, said the goal is to reach audiences wherever they are through a model. digital.

“We want to go where the people (the fans) are, and everyone is using the technology in their hands every day with their cellphones,” Bookman said.

The goal of PHNX Sports is to create an inclusive community where people are proud to be from Phoenix and represent its teams and the state sports scene.

The idea isn’t just to discuss sports, it’s to include the fans in the discussion.

“Our philosophy is to lead from the crowd, not from the stage,” Bookman said. “We’re not trying to put you down. We want you to be part of our conversation and part of our family.

The PHNX Sports model creates communities within a community, with dedicated channels for each team, but also general discussions of topics and issues that impact all professional franchises and college programs.

PHNX Sports maintains a main Twitter account for all content and discussions, as well as individual team Twitter accounts focused on the teams covered by the digital outlet, as well as one dedicated to sports betting.

“We understand that not all football fans are hockey, basketball or ASU fans,” Bookman said.

Makayla Perkins, director of social media for PHNX, is the mastermind behind the main Twitter account and a veteran of Operation DNVR Sports.

Perkins wanted every detail of the launch to be planned and perfect to have the biggest impact.

“We have to make some noise,” Perkins said. “We need to let people know that we are here and about to change the sports landscape. ”

PHNX Sports employees posted teaser videos ahead of the launch date to fuel the conversation on social media.

As a result, PHNX’s main Twitter account reached 4,000 followers in the first two weeks. PHNX Sports’ YouTube channel, which has produced over 160 videos, already has over 1,300 subscribers.

The September 9 launch was timed to coincide with the introduction of legalized sports betting in Arizona, and PHNX Sports has a PHNX Bets channel on its platforms to meet fans’ appetites for sports betting. Perkins said that the legalization of sports betting in Arizona was one of the reasons All City has grown in the market.

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In addition to her duties as Director of Social Media for PHNX, Perkins is the host of the Phoenix Sports Postcast, a weekly show where guests from other team podcasts can join in discussing all things the landscape of the world. Arizona sports news. Likewise, the website includes a “lounge” where fans can come together to virtually discuss various topics.

“It’s the best way to get a really quick look at what’s going on in Arizona sports news,” Perkins said.

Perkins is also a member of the PHNX Diamondbacks podcast and is one of five women involved in the cover. Of the six teams covered by PHNX, five include a woman.

The representation of women on each of the teams is part of the company’s goal of a more inclusive community and for a female audience to feel comfortable in a world of male dominated sports fandom.

There is more to come from PHNX Sports, Spano said, including sports bars like the DNVR successfully opened in Denver, despite a global pandemic.

Like the DNVR Bar located in the heart of Denver, the hope is to open the PHNX Bar in downtown Phoenix. The Denver Bar hosts team watch nights, broadcasts all local team games, and records podcasts and videos onsite, which fans can listen to while recording.

The Denver bar also allows fans who do not have access to some of their favorite teams’ shows due to their cable or satellite TV to watch the games. It is becoming a bigger issue in the new world of TV streaming.

In Arizona, for example, subscribers to streaming services such as Sling and YouTube TV cannot watch games broadcast on Bally Sports Arizona, which broadcasts the Suns, Diamondbacks, and Coyotes games. Some services also do not offer the Pac-12 networks, which contain many games from Arizona and Arizona State.

“We want to represent the valley,” Bookman said. “We want to encourage this. “

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