With Its Novel Affiliate Model, The Sporting News Bets on Lifetime Value

The revenue-share structure rewards the publisher for referring repeat customers

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Sports publisher The Sporting News raised $15 million in Series A funding in September, in large part because of the unique affiliate marketing model it employs.

The company, like a growing number of sports media newsrooms, generates revenue from referring its readers to sportsbooks and gambling operators. 

But unlike traditional affiliate models—where retailers like Amazon pay publishers like Wirecutter on a cost-per-acquisition basis each time a customer makes a purchase—The Sporting News uses a revenue-share structure, meaning that it receives a percentage of the lifetime value of the new customers it sends to gambling operators.

“When it comes to delivering a customer to a platform with a longer use case, it is short-sighted to take a one-time fee,” The Sporting News CEO Rich Routman said.

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