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Q&A: Hughes explains 247Sports move

Opening Statement

Our new mobile site will enable UofL fans easy access to InsideTheVille.com anywhere they go

First, let me say how excited I am about joining 247Sports. I owe a debt of gratitude to Jim Heckman, the former CEO of TheInsiders.com (now Scout.com) for giving me an opportunity to get started in the industry ten years ago. We had a great run at Scout.com, I made some good friends and will always remember those years fondly.

Now that we've joined forces with 247Sports it's hard for me to contain my excitement about our new partnership. Not just from a personal standpoint, but because I know we now have the tools and support to deliver a better service to Louisville fans than was ever possible with our former network.

Through this process, I've gotten to know Shannon Terry (247Sports CEO) and his team. In my opinion, Shannon, who built Rivals.com before starting 247Sports, is a visionary leader in our industry. I'm totally convinced that he's building the best team of network developers, recruiting experts and team-site publishers in this industry. Once Louisville fans get used to our new platform I'm extremely confident they'll agree with that assessment.

I'm ready to get started at 247Sports and I hope all of our members will come over and join with us as we take InsideTheVille.com to a higher level than ever before.

Why did InsideTheVille.com move from Scout.com to 247Sports?

There were a lot of factors. Really, though, it boiled down to one overriding factor --- My belief that 247Sports will allow InsideTheVille.com to deliver the absolute best product for Louisville fans for the next decade and beyond.

It all starts with Shannon's leadership, experience and commitment to building the No. 1 network in our industry. I believe 247Sports offers users industry-leading message boards, prospect database and mobile platform. All three of those products made my decision to join 247Sports an easy one.
All three of these products will strongly enhance the user experience for our members.

From a personal standpoint, I began taking serious notice of 247Sports when market-leading sites like CatsPause, Bucknuts, OUInsider, BamaOnline, InsideTheU, CarolinaBlue, GatorBait and WildcatSportsReport started joining the network. And I could go on and on listing the market-leaders that dot 247Sports' lineup. It's impressive. We've been the leader in the Louisville market for a decade, so it's professionally satisfying for me to join the ranks alongside other great sites in our industry. It's that level of talent that will quickly establish 247Sports as the No. 1 network in the industry. In many ways, I think it already is, especially on the technology front. That's an impressive statement when you consider 247Sports has existed for just two years.

What makes the player database cutting edge?

Because it encapsulates a players development from high school to the pros. Forget the social media integration with Twitter and Youtube, which in and of itself is a revolutionary feature in our industry. The 247Sports player database will make it easy for users to follow players from the beginning of their careers to its conclusion. It's a one-stop shop for fans to find out everything possible about a recruit - bio, stats, vitals, recruiting interest, photos, scouting videos, articles. The Timeline feature, which offers a quick snapshot of a players recruitment and development, is also going to become a favorite product for our members. The player database is the backbone of any network and 247Sports has the best one in the industry. Louisville fans are going to be blown away when they start digging into our new player database at InsideTheVille.com.

Why is the 247Sports mobile site unrivaled in the industry?

That is huge from my perspective. HUGE, and I mean to stress that one word. Mobility is where this industry is quickly heading and 247Sports offers users an unrivaled mobile platform. Simply, it is an impressive product and it's going to change the game for Louisville fans. I go back to Shannon's vision - the mobile site was a priority development for 247Sports from the beginning and it's going to pay dividends for publishers and fans alike. InsideTheVille.com now has something to offer our members that we couldn't prior to our partnership with 247Sports - a true mobile platform. It was designed to fit your mobile device and be easy to use. The entire site - news articles, message boards, player database, Twitter feeds, rosters, schedules - is all there. By joining forces with 247Sports, InsideTheVille.com users went from having no mobile site to follow the Cards to having the absolute best mobile site in the industry! I am ecstatic about this product and Louisville fans should be, too!

What is the background on 247Sports national recruiting experts?

247Sports has as impressive a recruiting expert lineup as anyone. 247Sports is truly where outstanding talent and superior technology are joining forces. When you pair industry-leading products like the 247Sports player database, message boards and mobile site with recruiting experts like JC Shurburtt, Barton Simmons, Gerry Hamilton, Steve Wiltfong, Jerry Meyer and on and on you are building something special. And that's the whole mindset of 247Sports - a commitment to excellence. When you talk about the experts I mentioned, you're talking about the best and brightest in our industry. I'm really excited for Louisville fans that we're teaming with these guys because it will truly enhance the value of an InsideTheVille.com subscription.

What about InsideTheVille.com subscribers that are concerned about their subscriptions through Scout.com?

There's no reason for any concern. We will take care of our subscribers. Our members have been loyal supporters of InsideTheVille.com for a decade, we have heartfelt gratitude for that support, and we will take care of them by honoring their Scout.com subscription here at 247Sports. For example, if someone had a subscription with InsideTheVille.com at Scout.com, they will have their remaining subscription time honored at 247Sports at no additional charge, plus receive an extra month free to show our appreciation for moving with us to 247Sports. Very easy process - sign up for a free account and create a username, then follow the simple instructions to receive your matching subscription for free to InsideTheVille.com and 247Sports.

Activating your InsideTheVille.com account on 247Sports does not impact any previous subscription/memberships on other networks. What you do with your other account is up to you, but remember, there is only one InsideTheVille.com - and it is located on 247Sports.

Final thoughts for InsideTheVille.com members about joining 247Sports

For the past ten years, my total commitment has been to provide the absolute best online service for Louisville fans. Though we've changed network partners that commitment hasn't changed. In fact, we're expanding our coverage of UofL sports with the addition of Lindsay McDonald, who will change the way women's basketball is covered in our community. We've also brought on board a new intern, Chris Hatfield, who will contribute football recruiting and game coverage for the website. He's a go-getter and has a bright future with InsideTheVille.com.

I know change is rarely easy. I also know with the help of our members we'll be able to make InsideTheVille.com better than ever. From our end, InsideTheVille.com now possesses the publishing tools, management support and superior technology to deliver a product that will be unrivaled in the Louisville market. Publishing InsideTheVille.com is not a job for me or my staff and that's including our entire team of message board moderators - it is our passion!

I would simply ask our members, thousands of which have been with us from the beginning, to join with us here at 247Sports as we continue our work. You have my personal commitment that excellence will always be our standard. With your continued support I know we'll be wildly successful!

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