“I grew up supporting the Patriots. Interacting with players and taking fans inside the locker room is an extension of my passion,” Bendetson says. “I think Maven and The Sports Xchange have a great partnership with an exceptional opportunity to give Patriot fans deep news and insight they will rarely find elsewhere. I could not be more excited to be part of this coalition.”
In June, Maven announced the launch of its sports network and is rolling out channels for all 32 NFL teams and major NCAA schools and will follow with every professional sport, including all major professional teams across the globe. An alliance with The Sports Xchange — where Bendetson serves as a Patriots beat reporter — is jump-starting the effort. “William’s deep experience and understanding of the Patriots has led to unique insights for Patriots fans. We’re excited to have him join the partnership between Maven and The Sports Xchange,” says TSX founder Frank Cooney.
In addition to writing about the Patriots for three seasons at CBS, Bendetson was a correspondent for ESPN, where he authored feature stories about unheralded NFL players and the struggles of retired players. He authored the book When the Cheering Stops, about the 1990 New York Giants.
Maven’s business model is the same one the founders used to launch the Rivals.com and Scout.com networks many years ago, and marries proven leadership with next-generation technology to create a world-class home for elite, independent publishers and reporters. Maven is partnering exclusively with press-credentialed veterans to leverage the robust platform. In an era where sports journalism has been displaced by direct marketers pitching clickbait, memes and lists, Maven is embracing authenticity and professional reporting direct from the field of play.
Each team-centric maven will be awarded a “franchise” built on Maven’s platform and within a network of hundreds of independent media channels, all supporting each other with unified distribution and advertising scale. Maven’s coalition currently reaches nearly 100 million monthly visitors in a range of non-sports categories.
Maven CEO James Heckman is a former senior executive from Yahoo! and News Corp and the founder of Rivals, Scout, 5to1.com and NFL Exclusive. He says of Bendetson: “William’s knowledge about the New England Patriots and football in general offers fans a unique and authentic source with Patriotmaven. We are looking forward to the engagement and community he will build through his analysis and reporting.”
TSX is in its third decade as a sports wire service behind only the Associated Press in terms of broad, deep journalistic content in North America. Cooney won multiple Emmy Awards tied with the launch of FOX Sports (1994) and created underlying grading system that still runs mega-popular Madden Football. When he moved NFLDraftScout.com onto the Maven platform this spring, Cooney predicted the combined abilities of TSX and Maven will “raise the bar on multimedia journalism at a time the industry needs it the most.”
Maven (noun | ma·ven | ˈmā-vən): A professional, authentic authority, evangelist and recognized community leader for a specific topic, cause or organization.