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IQ News: Sports Sites Eye Enthusiasts

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Swell.com, a San Clemente, Calif.-based surfing site set to go live by late Q2, is the first in a trio of sport-specific URLs slated for introduction this year. Two sister sites, which will focus on skateboarding and snowboarding, are set to launch this fall.
Staffed by former editors of Surfing, Snowboarder and Skateboarder magazines, the three sites will offer news and information for both devotees of the sports and interested onlookers.
Thanks to partnerships with Florida-and California-based surfing organizations, Swell.com will have 10,000 members and cover more than 300 surfing events nationwide, according to Doug Palladini, chief operating officer of Swell.com.
Founded by Jeff Berg and Nicholas Nathanson, who have experience in money management, e-commerce and surfing, Swell hopes to attract its hardcore target audience with sport-specific content, while remaining broad enough to be of interest to casual observers. In addition to covering surfing competitions, Swell.com will include weather and surf reports, articles on environmental issues and tourist information for popular surfing locations. Cutting-edge music, graphics, streaming video, e-mail, fashion and advertising sources will be featured.
An integrated ad campaign will be orchestrated in-house initially and will incorporate online, print, radio, TV and outdoor, according to Palladini, who wouldn't disclose the budget.
Unlike extreme-sports Web sites like EXPN.com, Swell.com and its siblings won't "try to incorporate everything from Rollerblading to BMX," Palladini said. "That's the antithesis of our sites. We're operating under the belief that a skateboarder wants to go to a skate-specific site that's very deep to his core interests. He wants to stay within his community."