It was Ryan Lanigan’s time in the shadows as a student-athlete at Brockton High School that ultimately inspired him to create a website that covered not just the superstars but every contributing member of a team.
“My name wasn’t in the paper a lot and I thought, let’s promote these kids because they deserve it,” he said.
To that end, in November 2011 Mr. Lanigan, a 2011 Bridgewater graduate, launched Hockomocksports.com, a sports-driven website that covers the 12 high schools in the Hockomock League of Southeastern Massachusetts.
From soccer, basketball and football, to ice hockey, lacrosse, softball and baseball; he and his team, including Managing Editor Josh Perry, cover all varsity sports “Hock” fans follow.
Visitors can click on the site to find updated game results, statistics, and photos of their favorite teams and players.
In its inaugural year, Hockomocksports.com averaged between 400-500 page views per day. That number jumped to 1,500 the following year.
The numbers have steadily climbed, and as of May 2018, Hockomocksports.com tallied, on average, 10,000 page views per day.
During the 2017-18 school year the site garnered an impressive 4.3 million page views total.
Initially, Mr. Lanigan said, the audience for the site was mostly young people. Now there’s a 60-40 split between younger and older fans.
With new advertisers and sponsors signing up, combined with sales of photos taken by the site’s staff, Mr. Lanigan’s enterprise garnered enough revenue last year to allow him to leave his job at TechTarget and focus solely on the website.
“Luckily, putting in that time resulted in our best year,” he said. “Some might call it a hobby, some call it a job… We just love it and are lucky enough to be able to do it.”
Job or hobby, Mr. Lanigan’s said he is grateful to do what he believes is his calling.
Growing up, once the newspaper arrived at his house each day, he could be found scouring the sports section. After just one year at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, Mr. Lanigan transferred to BSU where he joined the student-run newspaper, The Comment.
“The second I joined the paper I knew I was staying at Bridgewater,” he said. “Being in the newsroom, staying up doing copy edits, and being around people with a common focus, it seemed right for me,” Mr. Lanigan said.
Looking forward, his goal is to sustain the business and continue covering high school sports, where he said the competition is still “pure.”
“We’re not in this to make millions of dollars,” Mr. Lanigan said. “We care more about kids succeeding than anything. I don’t want to write about the kid that struck out at the end of the game, I want to write about the kid who threw the strike.” (Photos courtesy of hockomocksports.com.)