Esportudo.com is creating new ways for sports fans in Latin America to engage with their sport. Founder Marcos Araújo, whose parents came to the Boston area from Brazil, is leveraging his background in digital media to address a huge unmet need. His website now gets 20 million visits a month and is growing. Brands love the opportunity to engage with the Latin community in an effective way.
Topics included in this episode:
Marcos Araújo’s parents immigrated here from Brazil
Marcos Araújo went to UMass Amherst
Worked at Goji.com and HubSpot
Esportudo entertains sports fans
Make money by creating branded content and getting paid by brands
More than 100 content creators. Video, audio and text.
Reach 20 million people per month, daily users: 50,000 to 100,000
Last year was about putting out the Esportudo brand, this year is about becoming the number one site for sports in Latin America.
Launching in Spanish in 2019.
Starting to target content based on location. Colombia is second biggest.
Mini pivot: from addressing local problem to dealing with global problem.
US fans have a wealth of channels to enjoy their sport, in Latin America and many other countries there’s only TV, radio and print. There’s a huge opportunity to build these alternative channels.
Co-founder Gabriela “Gabi” Silva is Marco’s cousin. Studied at Northeastern. Shared a house with her and others after college. Started as Bleacher Report for Brazil. She worked in marketing at Staples.
HubSpot encouraged Marcos Araújo. His ex-boss is an investor in Esportudo.
Gabi Silva is the operations manager.
Sal reads a great review in iTunes. Please leave your review or rating on iTunes.
Pivot: started out as an aggregator of content but found that creating original content was what really moved the needle in terms of traffic.
Still moonlighting at HubSpot, Marcos was writing two articles per week then built team of content creators.
Through trial and error have built engagement: time spent on site now averages 6 minutes vs. 90 seconds in typical website. Bounce rate is only 6%.
Marcos Araújo grew up in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
How sports bridges over cultural difference in the different Latin populations.
Esportudo’s competitors are old companies. When users see that Esportudo content creators skew young it creates a natural connection.
90% of users are under 30 years old.
Users love the digital sports brands like Bleacher Report, not so engaged with traditional sports media.
Workshop for writers in Brazil 20X oversubscribed!
Fundraising was hard due to lack of a network. Bootstrapped in first two years. Finally got lead investors from the industry.
Adam de Sola Pool is a great mentor.
Marcos Araújo and Gabi Silva connected with Adam at Northeastern accelerator. Impressed with progress.
Report often. Look for thought leaders in your industry.
Marcos thinks that immigrants are prone to starting businesses because they cannot access attractive job opportunities so they have to create their own by starting a company.
Established companies in Brazil don’t offer a great environment for workers, Esportudo wants to change that.
Marcos’ parting words: (1) believe in yourself, (2) be open to the need to change course, and (3) be persistent, don’t give up.
CORRECTION: I said Esportudo reaches 20 million in a year, the correct stat is 20 million people in a month.