Posted by sean on July 1, 2016
If you are a friend of Sports Reference, you'll know that sponsorships, which launched in July of 2002, were our second revenue generator (the first being just asking for money). For those who want to know, Charles Saeger sponsored Scott Erickson on July 21, 2002 to kick things off. For a number of years, sponsorships were our main revenue generator and paid all of the bills. Since 2006, however, sponsorships have become less and less of our overall revenue, now representing less than 4% of our annual revenue.
There are a couple of reasons for this decline. We have ad-free and play index products, so heavy users can now buy stuff from us, and perhaps a bigger deal, the sites have gotten very popular. We have always priced the sponsorships based on the number of pageviews each page sees to offset the loss of ad revenue we forego with the sponsorship message. Kobe Bryant's page now costs $3,320 to sponsor. Understandably, that exceeds most people's budgets or their level of interest. So with a bit of a sad heart, I've decided to shut down the page sponsorship system. We will stop accepting new sponsorships as we re-launch our sites with their new redesign. This will start in June with Hockey and Pro Football and proceed from there.
What about existing sponsors? We are happy to refund the remaining sponsorship time on a prorated basis. If you do not ask for a refund, we will include your message permanently on the player or team page, but in a location lower on the page (see below). I can guarantee that your message will appear for at least two years in its new location and, while we won't guarantee it beyond that, I have no plans to remove it following the end of two years. We'll contact all of our existing sponsors via email laying out their options as we wind down page sponsorships.
New Location of Emeritus Page Sponsorships