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Published by Kevin O'Keefe, CEO & Founder of LexBlog

LexBlog client, TrueHoop, joins ESPN

February 13, 2007

TrueHoop ESPN
LexBlog client and friend Henry Abbott is joining ESPN – and he’s taking his LexBlog created TrueHoop blog on all things NBA with him.

From Henry: “I just signed a contract with ESPN. They now own the name TrueHoop, and I am a full-time ESPN employee.”

I tell all you guys, lawyers included, “Act as if you have a magic wand when creating a blog. What type of work do you want to do? Who do you want to work with? What type of clients do you want to serve? And be careful what you wish for. Blogging can make it happen.”

I remember sitting with Henry at the Newark Airport pushing two years ago. Henry, who had a strong media and marketing background, wanted to learn blogging from a business standpoint. I explained the best way to learn blogging for PR and marketing was to first blog about something you’re passionate about.

Following TrueHoop’s growth and Henry’s passion, I always told Henry that he’s going to be amazed where TrueHoop would take him.

Reading his post today, tell me if it doesn’t sound like this dude is living out a dream:

To be honest, I wasn’t looking to sell TrueHoop, and I liked owning it. But TrueHoop needed a new model (besides the zero income one) if it was going to pay my mortgage.

TrueHoop was conceived as the show pony for the agency I co-owned, Gekko Blogs–not my full-time job. But it just got too fun. Things changed. TrueHoop was all I really wanted to do every day. So I have investigated my options. Big time. I have had power lunches! Eventually ESPN called and we started talking.

I had hard conversations with all of the people involved in Gekko Blogs, including my wife Jessica, our star employee Gerald Pugliese, our clients, our vendors (most importantly LexBlog, whose founder Kevin O’Keefe told me I should start an NBA blog) and most importantly Gekko’s co-owner, the best business partner anyone could ever want: Randy Shain. My move, of course, means Gekko Blogs is now entirely inactive. Those are big changes for everyone, but we worked it out in a way that, I believe, has made everyone happy.

My guiding philosophy through the whole process was: I don’t want to do this if it’s going to impair TrueHoop in some way. I don’t want TrueHoop Lite. And I don’t want you readers to one day yammer on about ‘back when TrueHoop was…’

And, while the people at ESPN have shown precious little interest in monkeying with the content, they have demonstrated a willingness to dream up all kinds of ways they might be able to put their resources to good use to make it better. For instance, that big ESPN audience ought to let me steer a lot of traffic to all those good basketball blogs out there.

I’ll also be able to pick up and travel when necessary, for instance to the All-Star game later this week, where I will be meeting face to face with a lot of the NBA contacts who have been so important to TrueHoop so far. I’m convinced this will do wonders for the number and quality of my NBA contacts, which should mean TrueHoop will just get to break more and more news, and have more meaningful perspective on what’s really happening. (I also promise to leave lots of annoying voice mails taunting Danny Ainge’s for that losing streak.) There will be cool technology things. There will be photography. There will be more stuff……

I’m joining a respected mainstream media site with a massive audience, working alongside some professionals I deeply respect, just at the moment in history that mainstream media sites are really starting to appreciate the power of the blog. My job description is essentially self-created and it’s my dream job–which I know because I have already been trying it out for nearly two years.

If this doesn’t turn out to be fun, then I’m doing something seriously wrong.

Congrats Henry. And to you other dreamers out there, lawyers included, it can happen. Pull out that magic wand.

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