Welcome to The Game, the new sports & content media website presented to you by the staff & creator network of IMAGO.

By Gavin Booth

We can start with what we are not. Whilst the world is overburdened with excessive content, the sports media & careers in real journalism period are threatened. The gutting of intelligent media has been taking place for years. We are not the high water mark of sports & news journalism. We are however, determined to talk about it & to protect it. This isn’t much of a home, but is a shelter and a warm cup of something. If you want to write and have a voice, here it is.

This is also not a content marketing play from some cynical hack’s enterprise sales playbook circa 2013. Not a content farm or a bait fodder exercise. Again, the world doesn’t need more of that.

We all have our sports & content footprint. The Game is simply the footprint of all our team, our picture desk, our global contributors, our relationships across media, sport, photography. Our subjectivity.

I have a simple premise – a focus on stories & causes can help make the world a little better. Great photography can also raise us above the sum of our parts. Creators should communicate what makes them create.

My own personal footprint started at a place called Springfield Park with around 1400 fans watching my hometown team. Only the ghosts play there now. I used to be seventeen. Of the countless stories that you can dig into there you might find the story of Roberto Martinez, of the “Three Amigos”, an FA Cup win & a 3rd place in a World Cup. Hard work, “the other”, connection, circumstance, belonging, growth. All that good stuff. Sin Miedo.

My own journey took me to New York & taking afternoon naps listening to WFAN. I learned what “Metsian” means. I know who Bonny Bonilla is. I got excited about sabermetrics and Hall of Fame arguments. I remain thoroughly ambivalent & confused about College Sports. Carlos Beltran’s swing was an art form. Serena Williams is Americas’ greatest living sportsperson.

There are so many stories & causes out there. The things that often matter most don’t often happen under the bright lights. People win and lose away from the big fields every day.

The world of 2020 feels dismembered and fractured but it is offering up themes & discussion points we will pick up on here. Sports & beyond.

We will talk about governance & sustainability. Greed and insularity. Sports & news are very much considered entertainment & products. Audiences to be monetized. But what & who ultimately are they for? How does a Geisterspiel make you feel? Why should we care about the college coach earning $12M a year? Who ultimately should get to decide who gets to play what & when?

A life delivered by drone, our sport in a virtual world or whatever a “stream” looks like in 5 years. Let them eat content.

What I do know is my doom scroll in the recent election week (that was a month right?) was made bearable by the professionals who could write.

What I do know is that I don’t need sporting martyrs for my entertainment. What I do know is, anyone that I feel safe to call “us” – the people, who care about what world & culture we live in 5 years from now, who know the joy of an illogical love for a team, who maybe love photography, should stick together.

Show a bit of conviction, have a freakin’ opinion. Don’t just let it happen.

Sin Miedo.
G.

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