COURTESY TOMMY SCHMITZ
COURTESY TOMMY SCHMITZ

When Tommy Schmitz (COL ’07) first began brainstorming his sports-related startup, he settled on an unusual target: those least interested in sports.

The resultant Enough Sports, which launched this year, provides daily sports news in two minutes or less, envisioned with the intent of aiding interviewees and filling awkward silences.

“Sometimes people get into situations where someone is talking about sports and they have to awkwardly back out of conversation, particularly in the business world,” Schmitz said. “Non-sports fan go to board meetings where people are chatting about the game last night. We wanted to give them just enough sports news that they need to know every day.”

Schmitz, who majored in American studies at Georgetown before studying entrepreneurship at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, heavily credited his time on the Hilltop with giving him the initiative to create a startup.

“The American Studies program was awesome for me because it was interdisciplinary. It allowed you to create your own curriculum, so there was a hint of entrepreneurship there. It allowed you to fit puzzle pieces together and to look at things from a new angle,” Schmitz said. “Enough Sports brought together a hypothesis around media and sports and how to integrate technology. Interdisciplinary degrees teach you how to do that.”

Schmitz’s hypothesis is one reflected in the majority of modern popular news sources, including Buzzfeed and theSkimm, a consolidated newsletter sent to your email inbox daily. Short-form content, which Schmitz believes is a result of current social media trends like Twitter, is replacing the traditional news medium.

“Once we launched, a lot of people said, ‘This reminds me of theSkimm,’” Schmitz said. “It just points to broader trends. People want short-form, quick, when they want it, at their fingertips.”

Once they came up with the concept, Schmitz and his business partner, who preferred to remain anonymous, focused on realizing Enough Sports, opting for what would be the solution that would address the need they saw for instant sports news, in the quickest and least expensive way.

“We thought maybe there’s a way to solve it without building an app, so we figured out the fastest, cheapest way to figure it out,” Schmitz said. “We spent a weekend and built a website quickly and integrated with MailChimp.”

After sending out emails to colleges to recruit writers — including current Georgetown students — the Enough Sports team had assembled a staff and a business model that almost immediately gained traction with an unexpected variety of demographics.

From venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to real estate agents in Florida, user feedback proved Schmitz’s hypothesis on the value of consolidated news.

“A large majority of people enjoy it because it saves them time, like busy professionals or college students who are too busy to watch ‘Sports Center’ or don’t feel like flicking through Twitter in reverse chronological order,” Schmitz said. “We’re giving you exactly what you need, as soon as you wake up. Here’s the story and here’s why it matters.”

Among Schmitz’s current writers is Bethany Blakeman (COL ’16), who contributes stories to Enough Sports on Monday through Thursday and echoes the advantages of having at least a general knowledge of basic sports information.

“I find that many people who aren’t interested in sports are held back in the workplace due to a lack of knowledge and therefore fail to contribute to conversation,” Blakeman said. “It is also valuable to people, like many of my peers, who have a general knowledge of sports … but don’t have the time to check ESPN everyday.”

As Enough Sports continues to gain traction, Schmitz says their plans for expansion hinge on customer feedback, which has primarily centered around a demand for customizable newsletter based on current location or college team.

“You don’t want to be caught looking 10 steps ahead and not focusing on the present,” Schmitz said. “I think that right now the focus is on just making sure we’re providing a great service.”

 

 

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*