Preps sports site to stretch coverage across country
Andy Beal admits that lately when he takes a long look at the rolling Sierra foothills outside his Cameron Park office window, he gets a bit nervous.
Considering what his company, Waveshift, Inc., is about to attempt, such anxiety is expected. But as company president, Beal also knows how far Waveshift’s MaxPreps.com has come in the past three years.
Two years ago, Waveshift introduced SacPreps.com, a Web site dedicated to coverage of high school sports in the Greater Sacramento area. Last year, SacPreps.com became MaxPreps.com, as Beal and company took their coverage to the next level – providing prep coverage for the entire state of California.
Now they’re going national.
“All 50 states … Over 2,000 leagues … 15,280 teams … 72,000 games … Just one Web Site … Wow,” flashes the rotating advertisement on MaxPreps.com’s Web site, announcing the company’s expanded coverage.
“I get very nervous when I think about,” said the 46-year-old Beal, a few days before the launch. “Obviously, this is a huge leap for us. There are also a number of things being changed in terms of the scope of operation in addition to going national.
“We’ve taken over CalPreps(.com), which used computer programs for statistical analysis and rankings. We’ve bought a TV show in New York City, that will focus on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but will hopefully be the first of many TV shows for us (offering regional prep coverage). We figured we might as well try to do it in the biggest market in the country and try to make our mark in the world.”
Providing prep coverage on such a stage as the Big Apple is a far cry from where Beal and his cohorts were a few years back, before launching SacPreps.com. The original idea was to develop the software the Web site now uses and sell it to members of the media to aid their ability to track high school sports statistics.
Nobody, though, was buying.
“We spent a lot of money on this and it was like ‘What are we going to do with it now?'” Beal said. “In July of 2002, we decided that maybe we would just do this ourselves and see what happens.”
What happened was avalanche of interest. High school coaches were extremely receptive to the idea, Beal said, and they followed through by regularly submitting their respective teams statistics. With those consistent reports from coaches, as well as links to area newspaper stories – including those of The Union – fans suddenly were just a mouse click away from the most comprehensive preps coverage perhaps ever provided of the Sacramento area scene.
“It went so well that first year that we decided to build on that and do it statewide,” Beal said. “That went so well that we decided to take it to the next level this year.”
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