Recent financial struggles among digital-media companies — including the abrupt shutdown of Defy Media and the collapse and sale of Mic — have highlighted a key lesson for the sector: the need to find reliable, diversified revenue streams.
To that point, Turner’s Bleacher Report says it’s raking in some big dough with a new event for its B/R Kicks sneaker-culture content brand: The Drop Up, set for Friday, Dec. 7, in New York City. It’s billed as a day-long festival and evening party for sneakerheads.
Bleacher Report created B/R Kicks about two years ago, featuring exclusive sneaker news, drops and athlete-brand collaborations. On Instagram, B/R Kicks now has 950,000 followers, including influencers like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Justin Timberlake, Devin Booker and Dwyane Wade.
According to Bleacher Report, the B/R Kicks brand will make more money from the Drop Up event than it has in its entire existence (but declined to provide dollar figures). “We’ve built the brand for this very moment,” said Bleacher Report chief marketing officer Howard Mittman.
The Drop Up main event will run from 1-9:30 p.m., with free tickets to fans available on a first-come-first-serve basis to those who have downloaded the B/R app, followed by an invite-only after party from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. featuring rapper-model Sheck Wes. The event will be held at a gallery in Chelsea (at 525 West 24th St.).
Bleacher Report’s sponsors for the event include Levi’s and Adidas, which will showcase its new N3XT L3V3L sneaker. The Drop Up will feature special sneaker customization lab featuring designer Mache and one-on-one master classes by sneaker designer UBIQLAB. It also will also include art exhibits featuring the top 10 basketball shoes of all time as selected by the B/R Kicks editorial team; GOAT sneaker selfie photo opportunities; and exclusive B/R Kicks customizable products for sale.
And Twitter is teaming with Bleacher Report to build wall display for the hashtag #NBATwitter showing the most-discussed sneakers on the platform throughout the year.
BR expects some 1,000 visitors over the course of the day, with another 300 for the after-party.
In addition, B/R Kicks is launching two new original series in conjunction with the Drop Up: “The Pre Heat” and “Sneaker Shock.” It also will program social stories to share Drop Up moments with fans outside of New York.
Turner, which is part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia, bought Bleacher Report in 2012 for around $175 million.