USA Today is launching a sports-only subscription product called Sports+ that will ostensibly compete with the likes of The Athletic.
Sports+ launches in seven markets today — Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin — all of which have an NFL team. The launch of Sports+ is to coincide with the start of the 2021 NFL season, which kicks off Thursday night on NBC.
USA Today is bringing in former ESPN NFL reporter Josina Anderson as a senior NFL insider.
Sports+ is free for existing digital subscribers of certain Gannett properties in launch markets, including The Indianapolis Star, Detroit Free Press and The Enquirer. For others, it will cost $4.99 a month, with a discount of $2.99 a month for those that sign up for the whole year.
Sports+ is part of the paper’s new subscription strategy first announced back in July.
“I am thrilled to announce the launch of USA TODAY Sports+, an interactive experience that allows us to engage in new ways while building personal connections with local communities across the country,” said Alicia DelGallo, Managing Editor, USA Today Sports+. “The investment in our diverse talent and emerging technology is particularly exciting for me, and I know that it will translate to a deeper connection with fans and their teams.”
“Gannett is betting big on sports. We are well positioned to reach our sports audience of over 53 million sports fans and capitalize on our large network of over 500 dedicated sports journalists, offering access and local perspective that is unrivaled,” said Michael Reed, Gannett Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our strategic agreement with Tipico, our incredible sports journalism and our USA TODAY Network footprint will ensure Sports+ engages our existing subscriber base, attracts new audiences as we provide exclusive content, experiences and product offerings so fans can literally fan harder.”