Today we’d like to introduce you to Kendall Hilton. Kendall, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today? In 2012 is when my journey began. After being irritated by the lack of substance within sports media, my childhood friend and I decided to start a blog; Fan-i.com. The blog was my introduction to sports media, as I spent time writing about the latest sports topics and narratives that interest me. I was never a writer, but I taught myself the fundamentals of writing and began to grow after each post. Fast forward to 2015; I started my journalism career as a freelancer. My transition to journalism was unorthodox. I didn’t attend university or take courses. Instead, I practiced self-educating. I studied Associated Press articles and practiced emulating the format. And for my interviews, I developed a conversational style that makes athletes comfortable and gets the most information in a short amount of time. After seven years in the sports media business, creating a lane for myself in Baltimore, I followed my now wife to Los Angeles in 2017. Transitioning to California has allowed me to reevaluate my career as a journalist and embark on new endeavors as a writer. Has it been a smooth road? I don’t think the road is ever smooth for someone who is trying to build their brand. The struggles of building an audience, finding your voice, never losing faith, and trusting the process are all constant. The toughest obstacles I faced were life-changing moments. The birth of my son and moving to California were the biggest because it forced me to take time away from building my career. Earlier in my career, the biggest challenge was developing trust, which is a journalist’s most valuable asset, along with integrity. So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Fan-i Sports story. Tell us more about the business. Fan-i Sports is unique because we value the love of the game first. We are fans of the game and love to tell the stories from a different perspective. Since our inception, we’ve managed to include high-profile athletes to our brand, including Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), Dwayne Haskins (Washington Redskins), and many others when they were just high school ballers. I think what separates us from other sports media companies is we don’t follow the trends. We pride ourselves on not following the trends. We pick the stories we want to tell instead of allowing social media to dictate our direction. How do you think the industry will change over the next decade? The sports media industry is changing rapidly. It’s hard to determine where it will be in five years because things drastically change in twelve months. The media landscape is going through a financial transition, and it’s one I think will suffocate small independent brands like Fan-i Sports unless a company has strong financial backing and a built-in audience. The internet has been a gift and a curse because it has allowed people like myself to create avenues and media platforms. Still, the abundance leaves little value in journalism and other forms of newsgathering media. Unless you’re providing shock value or click-bait, creating a financial foundation for a media brand will take more than articles. Major corporations like USA Today and Sports Illustrated have cut the distribution of their newspapers and magazines. They instead are focusing more on content marketing, which I think will be the most significant trend going forward. Contact Info:
- Website: Fan-i.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @Fanisports
Image Credit: James Sneed/Fan-i Sports Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.