The Announcement (in brief)
Moe and I are really excited to announce a month long partnership with Manscaped! What is Manscaped? Well, it’s a men’s grooming product for below the waist. I wanted to send out an email and will post something on the site as well because I want to be really clear on our (League Crawler’s) approach to this, how it happened and what to expect.
First and foremost, you guys use and enjoy League Crawler because you are gamers, commissioners and players. You’re not here to be preached to or hard sold any product. I know that. For any of you out there that have been around a long time, you know I’m not a huge fan of weaving dollars into League Crawler. We’ve done tournaments in the past with payouts and for free. $ gets people excited, but also makes people mad. That said, what we’re doing costs money and this is a way for us to not only offset those costs, but give back in a meaningful way.
History, because it's important to me...
I started League Crawler in 2014 and for the most part, it’s all been me. Site development, promotion, graphics, Twitter, Facebook – you name it, it’s me. If I counted the number of hours I’ve put into LC, it would be staggering. Most of the cost has come out of my own pocket as well. Hosting, domain name, giveaways and site development are all costly. Fortunately, along the way we’ve had leagues, players and others come along to help. When I tell you that donations keep League Crawler alive, I truly mean that. For example, a few years ago I thought about shutting League Crawler down. Discord servers, competition and the platform I initially built League Crawler on had gotten to a point where it was unsustainable and impossible to continue working with. I heavily weighed the options and considered selling it, shutting it down or COMPLETELY overhauling it and starting over. I mulled that last option for over a year. It was a tough year. In the end, I decided to move over to a new platform that costs money to not just host, but develop. We’re in the WordPress Ecosystem now, running several premium plugins that make the site work. I’m constantly trying to tweak, re-invent and upgrade the site to make it user friendly, helpful and invaluable to the user.
The plan to re-launch the site in January meant a lot of $ and to show you how much your donations mean to us, Nate from OMFL had recently given $100 as a one time donation. That money was the push that I needed to purchase a plugin that makes the site truly dynamic in many ways. We just re-upped that subscription. It costs $100 per year. That’s just one of several that we purchased to really try to raise the bar on what we’re doing. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. One time donations and monthly support allows us to do better things and grow our footprint in the community. The “Our Supporters” section of the website shows a list of every single person that’s donated. I tied it in to the Patreon (which I’ll get to) levels, Platinum, Gold, etc because some people gave money before I even had levels to be a part of. It’s important to me to recognize and thank everyone that supports us, monthly, one time and cumulatively. Whether you’re a Soden Bowl that gives to us monthly, or someone that gave us $10 once, it all matters to me and I’m truly grateful. I’m also humbled that you find enough value in what we do that you’d give some of the dollars you work hard for to this thing. You’ll also notice that there’s a section on the Supporters page that lists the first ten donations. I published that on the website years ago when the first few donations came in and stamped it in time. Kind of like buying a “brick” in the foundation of a wall that will stay there forever with their name on it. I was thankful then and I’m still thankful today.
We re-introduced the Patreon program which, to me is the best of both worlds. It starts at $1 per month, all the way to $20 per month and at each level it gives supporters some extra “shout out” opportunities. Those may or may not add any real value to you as the supporter, but for me – it’s more of a way to say THANK YOU to those that freely give your money to what we do. I made the decision to not have any ads at all on the site when I re-launched it. Hopefully that decision will pay off and the lack of clutter will be appealing and it’ll balance. I also made the decision at the beginning of this whole endeavor that League Crawler will NEVER have a pay wall. If you notice, on the site – everything is free. You use the site, your content gets bumped, period. There is no bias on the site either. No league gets more preferential treatment over another. Same with Twitter. No pays for re-tweets. You tag me, I re-tweet and/or like it to help spread the word. I do that all day long, whenever I check my phone.
Enough History, Get On With It!
So, fast forward to today. The League Crawler Podcast/Live has been the most fun and successful thing we’ve tried in the last and it’s 100% due to Moe, our guests and you guys that are listening and supporting it. My job is to help promote and try to not get in the way. We’re 30 episodes in and have interviewed league commissioners, content creators, an NCAA DE, a former Madden developer, the lead developer of Axis Football and more. It’s been a really fun ride and we’re excited about the future! My hope is to grow the channel so that when we have a guest on, thousands of people see it! Imagine you talking about your league or your channel with Moe and thousands of people hearing about it and what you’re doing. Right now, we’re at the “hundred” of people. But we’ll get there.
Manscaped reached out to me via email about a month ago and said they came across our content on League Crawler Live! and wanted to test us as a potential partnership. We have one month to run ads, offer a promo code “LCLIVE” and see if our listeners/community respond. If there’s enough interest and buy in, they will start the process of a real partnership with us for a given period of time where they pay by viewership stats. So, what does that mean for you? Well, it means you’ll see some branding of their stuff over the next 30 days, some tweets from me and definitely an ad on the live show and anything else we do. If you’re in the market for this particular product and buy one, use our code please! Or if you just want to help us make a good impression to get us to the next step buy buying something, that’s cool too. That said, let me make this clear:
League Crawler is FREE. You can choose to support us or not, I’m fine either way. Having some financial backing from a company like Manscaped will really help us grow and do more/bigger things, but what defines us is how much we love you guys and what you’re doing in your own worlds. I’ll do my best to keep the wheels turning here at League Crawler without you guys ever feeling like you’re being used, or squeezed. That’s a promise.