SportsBiz Spotlight returns once again with one of our favourite brands in the world of football at the moment, VERSUS! We sat down with their Editor-in-Chief, Corey Pellatt to learn all about the business.
Tell us about the business?
VERSUS is a media brand and fan community that represents the future of football. We’re the first publisher dedicated to documenting football’s impact on culture and society, looking at the game’s relationship with music, streetwear, identity politics, sustainability, gender equality and so many more passion points that the next generation of fans and players care about.
Our content has built us one of the most engaged communities of football fans online – particularly on Instagram – and we currently reach 10m people every month across our platforms. In addition to creating best-in-class editorial content on site and social, we also work with some of the world’s biggest youth culture brands, servicing them with content, creative, production, insights and experiential solutions.
What’s the main purpose of the organisation?
Our mission is to create a better future for football by championing the people, the stories and the ideas that will make the game a more equal place for everyone. We believe in football’s ability to be a positive influence in culture and society, and that sentiment inspires everything we do.
From an editorial perspective, we believe our content has the ability to start important conversations and speak truth to power. A great example of this is Johnny Kay’s essay on the Black fan experience, which remains essential reading for anyone who’s ever been to live football.
Commercially, we do everything we can to ensure our brand partnerships address important issues or empower our community. A good example of this is our recent work with adidas. We did a series of in-store activations at their flagship store in Oxford Street over the summer, all of which had community empowerment at their heart. One week, we taught a creative writing masterclass so attendees could write their very own VERSUS captions and the next, we put together a first-of-its-kind networking event that gave young people the chance to mix with some of the most exciting professionals working in the sports industry.
If failure wasn’t a possibility, what would be your biggest ambition?
I wouldn’t let the fear of failure limit any ambition. If you’re not winning, you’re learning! We want VERSUS to be the brand that owns culture and conversation for new generation fans and players, and creates real change in football at the same time.
What’s your USP?
I think our USP is our realness. We always speak on things we care about from a place of love and sincerity, and we speak about football in the way real fans do. Our tone of voice – and the response our content gets – really proves that. We’ve built an audience that’s 100% authentic and 100% organic.
And I think everyone on our team is powered by the same desire to entertain and empower our community every single day. That’s really important.
How many people work at VERSUS and what capacity? I.e. job roles etc.
We’re a tight knit team of seven people spread across content, commercial, creative solutions and campaign management. We’re incredibly lucky to have an amazing team ethic and excellent talent density, which is essential to our consistency.
We’re also supported by an amazing network of freelancers – photographers, writers, filmmakers, creative producers, stylists, etc.
Who are your usual clients?
Our client base is filled with brands who operate in a sport-culture space. This year alone we’ve worked with adidas, Nike, PUMA, New Balance, size?, Sports Direct, Reebok, Manchester United, Arsenal, and more.
Who would be your dream client?
Anyone who is passionate in leveraging their power to create positive change with big ideas.
How can people connect with VERSUS? What’s your website and socials?
If you would like to feature your sports based business or know of an organisation you would like to see feature, get in touch.