January 12, 2022
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The multi-media website IlliniGuys.com celebrates its first anniversary today with more than 1,100 pieces of content and drawing nearly 2.8 million page views in its first 12 months.
"To say this has exceeded our wildest expectations would be an understatement", said co-founder Larry Smith. "With our various projects - the podcast series, radio show, and number of subscribers, we are already into year four of our growth plan. The response has been tremendous and we are humbled and grateful for everyone's support and commitment."
Smith, along with Mike Cagley, Brad Sturdy, and two silent partners, launched the premium Illini information website just before noon central time on January 12th, 2021. Since then, more than 1,000 Illini fans have registered their membership. The site produces a pair of podcast series; "Sturdy For 30" and "I On The Illini".
"I remember calling our web developer Neon Rain on day three because the site was showing an error message", says Cagley. "We had so much traffic that we had crashed the site. The developers were amazed and so were we. We knew then that we had a good thing."
In August, the trio launched the IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular, a weekly, 2-hour syndicated radio show focused on University of Illinois sports that airs on 25 stations and is heard in six states around the Midwest.
"The radio show gives us another platform to reach a unique audience with our exclusive Illini inside stuff'" says Sturdy. "We've already gained the trust not just of Illini fans, but even Illini coaches, players, and administrators, and we don't take that lightly."
The team has offered a free 7-day trial to new subscribers and that isn't likely to change any time soon.
"The first year of IlliniGuys has allowed us to meet tons of new people, develop new friendships and enjoy Illini sports at a new level", said Cagley. "From my own perspective, there were many things that I could pick to describe but maybe the coolest thing about year one was sitting across from Loren Tate in WDWS studios and talking Illini football and basketball with the guy that I grew up listening to when I mowed the lawn on Saturday mornings back in the early to mid 80s."
The Guys staged a $1,000 Bracket Challenge last March and plan to do that again during this year's" NCAA tournament.
"It provided great entertainment for our members", said Smith. "Look, we're here to have fun and interact with other Illini fans across the country and even the world. We will always push the envelope and look for ways to engage and inform our members. 2021 was great, but we will keep reaching to newer heights in 2022."
The founding IlliniGuys trio is joined by Director of Recruiting Kedric Prince, Football Writer & Analyst Matt Stevens, Social Media Specialist Shannon Denny, Football Contributors Kirkland Chappell and Steve Sturm, and contributors Connor Cagley and W. Elijah Smith.
For more information about IlliniGuys.com or the IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular, send an email to info@IlliniGuys.com.
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