The Million Dollar Man Behind College Recruiting Rankings
A Net Worth Over $100M from 3 Slightly Iterated Player Ranking Businesses: The Story of The Ultimate Sports Capitalist
Some people will say this man is greedy or taking advantage of the system.
Personally, I think he’s a genius.
He’s built the exact same service 3 times.
The first iteration sold to Yahoo for $98M.
The second one sold to CBS for an undisclosed amount (a few $100M most likely).
And he just started his third one. On3. Clever.
So who is this man I speak of?
Born in tiny Woodville, Alabama, the only child of two cattle farmers, Terry was raised to appreciate hard work.
“It’s psycho how hard-working my parents were,” Terry says. “Words can’t describe what I grew up seeing. When I left to go to college I actually thought I was lazy because I couldn’t live up to their expectations of hard work.”
Terry played Division 1 hoops at Lipscomb University, scoring over 1,600 points in his career.
The First Company
After graduating from college he started his first recruiting website, Alliance Sports.
Alliance sold to Rival Networks for $3M in 2000.
A little over a year later, Terry rebought the assets for only $500,000 after Rivals went bankrupt. He kept the name.
The business model was simple - find subscribers and charge them $10 a month for premium access.
Terry’s Rivals network had grown to 230,000 subscribers by the time Yahoo came calling in 2007. He sold it for $98M, and kept over $20M himself.
He stuck around with Yahoo for 2 years before calling it quits and waiting 1 more year for his non-compete clause to end.
The Second Company
When Terry started 247Sports, he was less eager to sell out again.
Asked about his exit strategy with 247Sports, his reputation for flipping recruiting sites, Terry said,
“I don’t give a crap about my exit strategy, it’s the journey, it’s the competition. It’s building something.”
247Sports is a subscription-based site, which covers college and professional football and basketball.
By 2015, it was generating more than $15 million annually.
5 years after starting the newest site, he sold 247Sports to CBS for $100’s of millions.
He stayed on the staff until 2020.
But why a sudden departure?
The Third Company
After selling the first two websites and becoming an ultra high net worth individual, what did Terry decide to do?
I’m sure you can guess.
Yep, he’s built another college recruiting based website.
This one goes by the name On3 - which is very fitting.
The answer is simple: NIL.
Why add one new section to 247Sports - when you can build a whole new business and slightly adjust it to name, image, and likeness.
On3 is very similar to the other sites, but with an added NIL section that is powered by spiny.ai. (Terry’s other company).
Before even being asked how On3 is different. Terry wrote about it:
1) One super database for fans, media, coaches and athletes
2) National college sports news media group
3) There’s a big difference between a team site and a fan site
At its core, On3 is similar to the other ones with the addition of NIL information.
If you think about it, college football and basketball recruiting rankings have had a monopoly over them for 20+ years.
But not even by one company.
By one individual.
People will hate him for it, but I think he’s a genius.